Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor
The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776
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In Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor, acclaimed historian Richard R. Beeman examines the grueling twenty-two-month period between the meeting of the Continental Congress on September 5, 1774 and the audacious decision for independence in July of 1776. As late as 1774, American independence was hardly inevitable -- indeed, most Americans found it neither desirable nor likely. When delegates from the thirteen colonies gathered in September, they were, in the words of John Adams, "a gathering of strangers." Yet over the next two years, military, political, and diplomatic events catalyzed a change of unprecedented magnitude: the colonists' rejection of their British identities in favor of American ones. In arresting detail, Beeman brings to life a cast of characters, including the relentless and passionate John Adams, Adams' much-misunderstood foil John Dickinson, the fiery political activist Samuel Adams, and the relative political neophyte Thomas Jefferson, and with profound insight reveals their path from subjects of England to citizens of a new nation.
A vibrant narrative, Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor tells the remarkable story of how the delegates to the Continental Congress, through courage and compromise, came to dedicate themselves to the forging of American independence.
Praise For Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776…
An engaging history of the Founders of 1776.”
Full of fascinating details.”
Lively study of the main players of the two Continental Congresses.... Beeman elegantly moves through the deeply compelling process of how these motley characters fashioned government as an agency for the people. A welcome addition to a rich, indispensable field of scholarly study.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
The American Revolution tends to bring out the best in its chroniclers. Case in point: Richard Beeman's latest book, Our Lives, Our Fortunes, & Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776. It's a charming, fast-paced retelling of a narrative that's been retold a thousand times before.... It's not really the historian's trade he's plying in these pages but rather the epic poet's: reciting the grand old stories while the wine of patriot season flows and the night sky over Boston is filled with fireworks.
There's a worth to that, and Beeman has written a worthy book.”
Open Letters Monthly
This book should be required reading in every college survey course on American History... An outstanding book that should become an instant classic and needs to be on the bookshelf of anyone who fancies themselves knowledgeable about the Revolutionary Period.”
Battles & Book Reviews
[Beeman] demonstrates his virtuosity .the book abounds with colorful descriptions and personalities .vivid writing.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
[A] winningly delivered twice-told tale about the founding events of the United States.”
New York Times Book Review
Richard Beeman's account of the movement to American independence is gripping, even if the reader knows the subject well and has no doubt as to how it ends.... We are fortunate to have as readable and cogent account of it as Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor.”
New insight to an old story.... Beeman is a strong, direct writer, adept at bringing historical personalities to life.”
Our best history of the Continental Congress and the grand debate that led to independence.... With back-room deals and personality clashes in abundance, Beeman's tale of independence is as complex, worldly, and occasionally tedious as modern-day politics.”
Books & Culture
You walk away from Our Lives with the undeniable impression that the Founding Fathers really were giants, however flawed, who single-handedly created American democracy.”
Basic Books, 9780465026296, 528pp.
Publication Date: May 7, 2013