Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation
by Kenneth C. Davis
Best-selling author Davis (Don’t Know Much About History) here treats the “human factor” in American history, an ingredient often ignored by survey texts that stress dates, battles, and court decisions. With coverage from the 1519 arrival of the Spanish in the New World to George Washington’s 1789 presidential inauguration, its central themes are the acquisition of wealth and land, the retention of political power, and the overarching force of religious fanaticism and its resulting conflict. Davis examines how the backfiring of a British plot to assassinate rebel leaders John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Joseph Warren perhaps saved the American Revolution’s core leadership; how the Revolution’s most successful officer, Benedict Arnold, came to be this nation’s most despised traitor; and how Shays’s Rebellion in January 1787 set the scene for the constitutional convention that met in Philadelphia that spring. With his witty and irreverent view of this country’s Colonial and revolutionary past, he ably shows that the success or failure of isolated events can have national and international consequences. May we expect a sequel to this delightful effort? Recommended for Colonial and American Revolution collections in all libraries.