Rise to Rebellion
A Novel of the American Revolution
By Jeff Shaara
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345427540, 512pp.)
Publication Date: June 29, 2004
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Jeff Shaara dazzled readers with his bestselling novels Gods and Generals, The Last Full Measure, and Gone for Soldiers. Now the acclaimed author who illuminated the Civil War and the Mexican-American War brilliantly brings to life the American Revolution, creating a superb saga of the men who helped to forge the destiny of a nation.
In 1770, the fuse of revolution is lit by a fateful command—“Fire!”—as England’s peacekeeping mission ignites into the Boston Massacre. The senseless killing of civilians leads to a tumultuous trial in which lawyer John Adams must defend the very enemy who has assaulted and abused the laws he holds sacred.
The taut courtroom drama soon broadens into a stunning epic of war as King George III leads a reckless and corrupt government in London toward the escalating abuse of his colonies. Outraged by the increasing loss of their liberties, an extraordinary gathering of America’s most inspiring characters confronts the British presence with the ideals that will change history.
John Adams, the idealistic attorney devoted to the law, who rises to greatness by the power of his words . . . Ben Franklin, one of the most celebrated men of his time, the elderly and audacious inventor and philosopher who endures firsthand the hostile prejudice of the British government . . . Thomas Gage, the British general given the impossible task of crushing a colonial rebellion without starting an all-out war . . . George Washington, the dashing Virginian whose battle experience in the French and Indian War brings him the recognition that elevates him to command of a colonial army . . . and many other immortal names from the Founding Family of the colonial struggle—Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Warren, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee— captured as never before in their full flesh-and-blood humanity.
More than a powerful portrait of the people and purpose of the revolution, Rise to Rebellion is a vivid account of history’s most pivotal events. The Boston Tea Party, the battles of Concord and Bunker Hill—all are recreated with the kind of breathtaking detail only a master like Jeff Shaara can muster. His most impressive achievement, Rise to Rebellion reveals with new immediacy how philosophers became fighters, ideas their ammunition, and how a scattered group of colonies became the United States of America.
Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of A Chain of Thunder, A Blaze of Glory, The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure—two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father’s Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives again in Tallahassee.
“A rousing novel recounting the events that led to the Declaration of Independence.”
—The Washington Times
“HISTORY MASTER JEFF SHAARA SCORES AGAIN . . . WITH HISTORICAL ACCURACY AND A YOU-ARE-THERE IMMEDIACY.”
—The New York Post
“A PANORAMA OF EVENTS, MOTIVATIONS, AND EMOTIONS . . . By telling the story of the American republic through this compressed cast of characters, [Shaara] creates an easy intimacy. . . . Here the chief eyes through which Shaara portrays history belong to Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington, and the commander of British forces in the colonies, Gen. Thomas Gage. . . . The binding threads of Shaara’s story are the insights he adds, through imagination and research, into the personalities that shaped events. . . . Engaging.”
—The Christian Science Monitor
“THERE ARE PLENTY OF MOMENTS OF HIGH DRAMA, BOTH IN THE COURTROOMS AND ON THE BATTLEFIELD.”
—St. Petersburg Times
“SHAARA’S BEST BOOK SINCE GODS AND GENERALS . . . A compelling, finely researched work that brings readers a better understanding of the men, events, and times that led to American independence . . . A book that may be fiction but is so well-researched that it will enhance anyone’s understanding of those revolutionary times and events. For Jeff Shaara, it is a battle well-won.”
—Greensboro News & Record
“RECOMMENDED . . . [SHAARA] MAKE[S] OUR NATIONAL MYTHS SING AND OUR COUNTRY’S HISTORY COME TO VIBRANT LIFE.”
“Shaara artfully blends ‘story’ and ‘history.’ His novels about the Civil War, Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure, brought that seminal conflict to life as few works of fiction have. He now applies the same eye for character and detail to the period leading up to the first year of the Revolutionary War. . . . If you want a very readable refresher on what lies behind the Fourth of July, here’s your book.”
—The Christian Science Monitor
“The dialogue is crisp, sounds authentic, rings true. . . . The problem with historical fiction is that the reader already knows how the story will end, so the best writers provide something more, retelling the story as the participants themselves experienced it. In this Shaara excels. . . . A splendid account of the hardening of a people who believed in an idea worth risking the loss, in their words, of their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.”
“Good historical fiction . . . [A] cast featuring John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and British commander Thomas Gage has inspired Shaara to produce lively text. Some passages are frankly magnificent.”
—Morning Star-Telegram (Ft. Worth, TX)
“Masterful . . . Once more breathing vigor and passion into the dusty annals of history, [Jeff Shaara] demonstrates an ever-growing level of literary competence in the first installment of his projected two-volume saga of the American Revolution. . . . Richly embroidered with portraits of such heroes as Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Thomas Jefferson, the tapestry chronicles America’s plunge toward liberty.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Sweeping and turbulent, Rise to Rebellion rarely fails to satisfy the reader who appreciates historical fiction done with style, accuracy, sensitivity, and analytical skill. If there were questions about whether Shaara would live up to his literary pedigree, this should be the book to finally silence the doubters.”