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The Revolutionary Samuel Adams

Written by Stacy Schiff

From Little, Brown and Company:

A New York Times Bestseller
Best Books of 2022 — New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Oprah Daily, Los Angeles Times, TIME, USA Today, New York Magazine, Air Mail, Daily Kos, Boston Globe, Barnes & Noble, BookPage, GoodReads
Best Audiobooks of 2022 — Apple and AudioFile

A revelatory biography from a Pulitzer Prize-winner about the most essential Founding Father—the one who stood behind the change in thinking that produced the American Revolution.

“A glorious book that is as entertaining as it is vitally important.” —Ron Chernow

“A beautifully crafted, invaluable biography…Schiff ingeniously connects the past to our present and future, underscoring the lessons of Adams while reclaiming our nation’s self-evident truths at a moment when we seemed to have forgotten them.” —Oprah Daily

Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the Revolution, “Samuel Adams was the man.” With high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, Adams led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history.

Stacy Schiff returns Adams to his seat of glory, introducing us to the shrewd and eloquent man who supplied the moral backbone of the American Revolution. A singular figure at a singular moment, Adams amplified the Boston Massacre. He helped to mastermind the Boston Tea Party. He employed every tool available to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him, creating the cause that created a country. For his efforts he became the most wanted man in America: When Paul Revere rode to Lexington in 1775, it was to warn Samuel Adams that he was about to be arrested for treason.

In The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Schiff brings her masterful skills to Adams’s improbable life, illuminating his transformation from aimless son of a well-off family to tireless, beguiling radical who mobilized the colonies. Arresting, original, and deliriously dramatic, this is a long-overdue chapter in the history of our nation.

“With incomparable wit, grace, and insight, Stacy Schiff narrates the birth of the American Revolution in Boston and the artful, elusive magician who made it all happen: Samuel Adams. For too long, Adams, hiding behind his many masks and stratagems, has evaded historians, but Schiff draws him from the shadows into the spotlight he so richly deserves. A glorious book that is as entertaining as it is vitally important. This is a time for Americans to meditate on the fate of their republic and no better place to start than here, at the beginning, with this book.”―Ron Chernow

“A beautifully crafted, invaluable biography. . .Schiff ingeniously connects the past to our present and future, underscoring the lessons of Adams while reclaiming our nation’s self-evident truths at a moment when we seemed to have forgotten them.”―Oprah Daily, “Favorite Books of 2022”

“A superb new biography of Samuel Adams…Adams was…a patriot — maybe the most crucial patriot. The Revolutionary is not merely a dutiful exhumation of a poorly remembered Founding Father, it’s a thrilling, timely account of how the American Revolution happened; how the colonists were radicalized and came to think of themselves not as Bostonians or Virginians, but as “Americans.” The Revolutionary is informed on every page by scholarship, but Schiff, as Adams himself did, knows how to hold an audience.”―Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“Stacy Schiff continues to showcase her command of the genre, thoroughly researching her books and breathing new life into history. In The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Schiff re-introduces readers to the founding father. Adams is considered to be historically overlooked, and Schiff reveals that that may have been intentional: the statesman and political philosopher destroyed countless documents and most of his personal correspondence. This book, at times brimming with drama, carefully sifts through the remaining materials to build a robust portrait of an important patriot.”―Laura Zornosa, TIME (“100 Must-Read Books of 2022”)

“[With] exquisite, fact-based prose… Stacy Schiff has produced a delightfully enthralling and insightful account of an elusive Founding Father. A tour de force.”―Mark G. Spencer, The Wall Street Journal

“Schiff…is a master biographer….These pages contain great drama and constant motion…To read this book is to immerse oneself in a very particular and thrilling time and place. Boston in the years leading up to 1776 was a wild and often dangerous city, with violent protests and brawls and raucous meetings of the people. This is how a democracy was born, a government by and for the people, at least in theory. With Adams as her fulcrum, Schiff vividly returns us to the streets and halls where it all began.” (4 Stars)―Chris Vognar, USA Today

“Riveting, suspenseful, and even laugh-out-loud reading, as Adams outflanks the British at every turn. . . A vivid and evocative writer, Schiff excels in her portrayal of Boston in its agony and anger. . . Superb.”―Mary Ann Gwinn, Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Beer drinkers know founding father Sam Adams as a brewer and a patriot; Pulitzer winner Schiff emphasizes a man of action who “muscled words into deeds” in the cause of American independence. Retracing Adams’s early years in Boston and his political awakening, Schiff vividly recounts major events in the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, making for a fast-paced and enlightening account.”―Publishers Weekly, Gift Guide

“An enthralling portrait…any book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Schiff is reason for excitement. Her previous subjects have established her as one of the most talented and creative biographers at work today. Readers interested in the American Revolution or the ability of individuals to destabilize political institutions will find her new book rewarding…[and] will likely find themselves agreeing with John Adams, who said, ‘Without the character of Samuel Adams the true history of the American Revolution can never be written.'”―Amy S. Greenberg, New York Times Book Review