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Book Review: Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard R. Beeman

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own]

Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard Beeman is the tale of the First and Second Continental Congresses from the opening of the First until the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776. It was serendipitous that I received this book from the publisher when I did because the events leading to and surrounding the Declaration of Independence have recently become an area of interest of mine.

The book is 418 pages of text separated into 25 chapters with two appendices, and index, and extensive notes. The prose is clear, well written, and even entertaining at times. The narrative covers the events in the first two Continental Congresses from the first meeting to the Declaration of Independence and a little beyond. This is not meant to be the story of the revolution and military events are only mentioned in the context of how they impacted the deliberations of the Congress. This is the story of how the English colonies went from being loyal subjects of the crown to 56 of the most prominent men in America signing a document sundering that relationship forever.

Before reading this book I had what I hope was an average understanding of the issues surrounding the months and years leading up to the Declaration of Independence. After reading this volume I had a much clearer understanding of not only the issues that cause the break between the colonies and England but also the different tensions between the colonies themselves. Too often the history of the drive for independence presents the colonies as a monolithic bloc, which as Dr. Beeman makes clear was anything but the case. Independence was not the goal of the majority of delegates to the First Continental Congress and it was only a combination of colonial reasonableness and British intransigence and insensitivity to colonial aspirations that led to the ultimate break.

It is fascinating to read of the maneuvering that went on in the Congress and how it was not until the last minute that it was clear that Independence would happen. Another interesting aspect is pricking the inflated bubble surrounding the role John Adams played in the Congress and the realization that Thomas Jefferson may have written the Declaration of Independence but he was a late comer to the Congress itself. Perhaps the most interesting appreciation one gains from reading this book is realizing the reluctance with which most colonists took the ultimate step of declaring Independence.

This is an outstanding work that I highly recommend to anyone who wants to truly understand how and why America got to revolting against the authority of the English crown. In fact, this book should be required reading in every college survey course on American History as it presents a clear and well explained rationale for Independence. It is also suitable for 11th or 12th grade high school students. This is 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.

Support the Syrian Rebels?: How stupid can the West be?

 Video shows Islamist rebels executing 11 Syrian soldiers:  Yet for some unfathomable reason the Administration is talking about providing support to the rebel groups in Syria.  The video is below (Warning, it is graphic).

After watching just contemplate that these are the folks some in the West want us to help.  How they differ from the regime thugs I have no idea.

Compare the picture in the linked article with the video.  Notice there is no mention of the cries of Allahu Akbar in the article although they do mention in passing that the group is Islamist.  Now also remember the constant refrain about Islam being a Religion of Peace, which Muslim’s give the lie to almost every day by their barbarities and savageries.

Comments?

Blueprint North Carolina or, How should treason really be defined?

I just wanted to add this because I think everybody should read this document.  I ran across a mention of it yesterday while perusing some political sites and then had to find the originally posted document and read it myself at first because I could not believe the inflammatory stuff in the piece about it.  It turns out that the entire document is actually worse than I originally thought.  It is literally a blueprint for how the Blueprint folks (a Dem/Progressive organization) can paralyze state government in NC and do it while blaming the Republican admin of the state for the paralysis.

After reading it there should be no questions as to why government is at a virtual standstill in America.  Although this document comes from a Democrat/Progressive group I also have no doubt that there are Republican/Conservative groups engaged in the same kind of thing.  The politics of poison indeed.

Blueprint NC Secret Memo by LaborUnionReport

Link to downloadable version:  Blueprint-NC-Secret-Memo