Cover image for Samuel Adams : son of liberty, father of revolution
Samuel Adams : son of liberty, father of revolution
Irvin, Benjamin H.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
176 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Examines the life of Samuel Adams, a hero of the American Revolution who is credited by some with having fired the first shot at Lexington Green, the "shot heard 'round the world."
Prologue: the elusive Samuel Adams -- Samuel Adams's Boston -- Raised for rebellion -- Tis not in mortals to command success -- Sam the publican and the Stamp Act Riots -- Mobs and massacre -- To save the country -- The Coercive Acts and the Continental Congress -- Is not America already independent -- The storm is now over -- Epilogue: Samuel Adams's legacy.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E302.6.A2 I79 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E302.6.A2 I79 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The story of one of the most important -- and most elusive -- figures of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams traces the life of the "Man of the Revolution," as he was called by Thomas Jefferson, from his childhood as a fifth-generation New Englander to his pivotal role in the Boston TeaParty and war that followed to a life spent in public service. Benjamin Irvin explores the fascinating contradictions of Samuel Adams's life: he was born into a family of high rank, but lived a humble, almost impoverished life; he could barely manage his personal household, but brilliantly managedthe Massachusetts House of Representatives; he pushed for the Revolution, but resisted the Constitution; he spearheaded resistance to the English government but staunchly opposed resistance to the U.S. government. A perceptive look at the life of a complex man, Samuel Adams is an evocative portraitof one of our nation's most interesting Founding Fathers.

Author Notes

Benjamin H. Irvin is at Brandeis University.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 9^-12. From the Oxford Portraits series, this book presents the life and contributions of Samuel Adams. Adams being Adams, the biography becomes inextricably intertwined with the history of Boston, particularly in the eventful and pivotal years that led up to the American Revolution. Irvin notes the relative obscurity of this Founding Father, who guarded his privacy during his life and, by destroying personal papers and letters, after his death as well. Still, there's a great deal of information here, well organized and well written, about Adams' family background, his strengths, his shortcomings, his goals, and his many achievements. Black-and-white reproductions of period paintings, prints, and documents illustrate the text. Occasional one-or two-page features introduce pertinent selections from the writings of Adams and his contemporaries. A chronology and a bibliography are appended. This solid, detailed biography will suit a somewhat older audience than Dennis Fradin's Samuel Adams: The Father of American Independence (1998). Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-This book's prologue cites the important role that Adams played in the Revolutionary War and speculates as to some of the reasons that he has "largely eluded our popular imagination." He is portrayed here as a passionate man whose influence and actions were pivotal in our nation's history. Largely responsible for instigating the Boston Tea Party, Adams and the Sons of Liberty were active and vocal about England's control over Colonial trade. Irvin's account of events is exciting and written in a compelling narrative style. He presents an unbiased assessment of Adams's actions and character. Like Thomas Paine, Adams's talent for writing stirring articles was integral in invoking citizen support for an independent nation. Some articles and other primary-source documents, judiciously abridged, appear throughout the book. Black-and-white reproductions add visual appeal. Students will enjoy knowing such trivia as the fact that Adams's tuition to Harvard, at age 14, was paid in flour. A fine, objective biography that establishes the subject's egalitarian philosophies and explains the political realities of his day in an engaging manner.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.