30 Following

Shelly's Book Journal

The 3 Rs: Reading, Reviews & Recs.

Let's chat about books!


Currently reading

The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Shelby Foote
Progress: 380/976 pages

History Truths: What really happened at Bunker Hill?

Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution - Nathaniel Philbrick

In the tradition of his past books on history, Philbrick gets down to the nitty-gritty on what really happened to jump-start the American Revolution.  While there was some discontent in other parts of the colonies, it was the spark lit by the New Englanders that started the raging fire.  These colonists would not be denied.  It is a much more detailed account of some of the things happening in the Boston area in those early days of rebellion.


Philbrick is once again at his best, flushing out the real stories of history for readers.  In an era when the American Revolution has been reduced to a handful of questions on a standardized test in our school systems, Philbrick walks us through the characters and in-depth circumstances of this pivotal time. Through this work we see that the colonial fight was not always a grand and honorable endeavor, but it was in fact a “Revolution” – a rebellion and overthrow of those in charge.


This book impressed me.  Once Philbrick actually got us to that fateful day in 1775 – the shot heard round the world – I was completely fascinated because of how many gaps of knowledge that this account filled in.  What was it like at Lexington and Concord?  What was it like on Breed’s Hill?  What were the British thinking about the events?  This last part is the little studies side of our historical story.  While we often see the British as the pompous Lords trying to manipulate us in our freedom story, Philbrick reveals not only  arrogance, but their indifference and fear in dealing with the rebellion.


I also enjoyed the section on George Washington as he takes over what will become the Continental Army.  Washington is as human as the next person in this story – fighting his own pride in several instances, but also growing as he understands the army he’s inherited and what he must do to prepare them for this fight.


I love that this book is full of “real” history – quotations, annotations, references.  It is not a Hollywood version of our history, but instead the real thing – eyewitness accounts, letters and other historical documents.  The author does not imagine what the characters feel – he reads their own words.


This book will rock your history perceptions on the American Revolution.


Recommend for:  History lovers and students of the American Revolution.


Note:  I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.