Book Review of “Igniting the American Revolution”

April 25th, 2020 On Our Shelves

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter

Derek Beck has produced a highly readable and meticulously researched account of the incipient stages of the Revolution, beginning with the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 and culminating with the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775.

The extent of his scholarly investigation into this subject is reflected by the almost 200 pages in this volume devoted to appendices, notes, and bibliographic references.

His prose is taut, his sources many, and his portrayal of the relevant events vivid and comprehensive.

Beck’s narrative is replete with all the details that one would expect in a work of this nature but is still fast-paced enough to keep the reader’s attention and convey an air of anticipation around the chain of events that moved the colonies along the path to a decisive break with the royal authority.

In short, this is a commendable addition to the voluminous literature on our quest for national independence. It should prove a satisfying read for any Rev War buff and a worthy addition to that individual’s library.