Charter Books will host Pulitzer Prize-winner Stacy Schiff on November 4 at 12 pm for a discussion on her new biography The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams.
In this thrilling new work, Schiff uses her trademark talent for unorthodox historical narrative to tell the largely unknown story of Samuel Adams. His contemporaries agreed he was the most essential architect of the American Revolution (Paul Revere’s ride was a mission to warn Adams personally), but today he’s mostly known for seasonal beers. Schiff is the perfect biographer for the subject, and even Revolution buffs will come away with revelations and new perspectives.
This event is free and open to all, but Charter Books asks that those planning to attend to RSVP on their website so that they can plan accordingly.
More On The Book & Author
Hailed as “the hottest biographer on the block” by Vanity Fair, Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff makes a glorious return this fall with THE REVOLUTIONARY: SAMUEL ADAMS. As she did with her critically acclaimed, bestselling The Witches (David McCullough: “brilliant from start to finish”) and Cleopatra (Simon Winchester: “destined to become a classic”), she dazzles us again, this time with the forgotten story of an American original. In her distinctive voice, Schiff restores Samuel Adams to the pantheon of the most influential Founding Fathers on the 300th anniversary of his birth—and at a time when democracy appears especially fragile.
Thomas Jefferson once asserted that if there was one leader of the Revolution, “Samuel Adams was the man.” Without him, his cousin John said, “the true history of the American Revolution can never be written.” A humble hero, a man of sterling integrity and deep faith yet a failed businessman who was adrift for the first act of his life, Samuel Adams stands among the most successful revolutionaries of all time. But despite his celebrated status among his contemporaries, he has largely vanished from the record. Convinced that liberty and self-determination were essential rights, he led an ingenious, egalitarian campaign of civil resistance against England. Organizing boycotts and massaging the news, churning out propaganda under an army of pseudonyms—some of them newly uncovered by Schiff—Adams arguably did more to bring about independence than any other Founder.
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Stacy Schiff, one of the few—and most prominent—women writing American history, is primed for the task of bringing Adams’s story to life. According to Ron Chernow, Schiff is “incapable of writing a dull page.” She is at her best in her account of Adams’s transformation from aimless son of a wealthy family into the tireless revolutionary who rallied the likes of John Hancock and John Adams in the contest against Great Britain. A singular figure at a singular moment, Adams packaged and amplified the Boston Massacre. He helped to mastermind the Boston Tea Party. He outwitted royal governors to draw the colonies together, employing every tool in an innovative arsenal to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him. For his efforts he proved the most wanted man in America.
As in her previous books, Stacy Schiff helps us find important parallels between past events and our world today. She gives us Adams in the round, a brilliant pioneer of political communication and a master of public opinion who combined high-minded ideals with earthier tactics. Schiff raises essential questions with which we still grapple: What turns an individual into a revolutionary? When does a distant idea mutate into a sea-change? How does distrust in institutions upend government? When does a government tip over into tyranny, and when is it proper to resist?
Providing “a cinematic portrait” and an immersive, “enthralling” reading experience (New York Times), Schiff’s award-winning books have long been reader favorites. In April, Schiff was featured in Ken Burns’ Benjamin Franklin on PBS, and viewers will get to see Schiff’s biography A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America brought to life in a new Apple TV series, starring Michael Douglas, set to debut next fall. Without a doubt, THE REVOLUTIONARY: SAMUEL ADAMS will grip readers tightly.