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With Fire and Sword: The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution
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With Fire and Sword: The Battle of Bunker Hill and the Beginning of the American Revolution

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  13 reviews
On June 17, 1775, the entire dynamic of the newborn American Revolution was changed. If the Battle of Lexington and Concord was, in the immortal words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, the “shot heard round the world,” Bunker Hill was the volley that rocked Britain’s Parliament and the ministry of King George III to its core. The Battle of Bunker Hill was the first hostile engagemen ...more
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Absolutely one of the clearest reads of any of the history books I have read in the past twenty years. Nelson's writing made me feel as if I were there watching the battle unfold. Just be aware though that the title does contain the phrase "and the Beginning of the American Revolution". Only toward the end of the book does the account of Breed's Hill occur. I also thought that the two maps included in the book were top-shelf and found them very useful. This was a perfect read before our trip out ...more
I am certain there was a lot of research put into this book. It was not a bad book at all. However, as I mentioned in another review, it is hard for me to compare this to Decisive Day by Richard Ketchum. I will admit I am very biased to that book.

I was disappointed in the fact that this book spent so much time leading up to Bunker Hill and that time frame. More than half the book was about the time leading up to Bunker Hill. I guess that is in the title but I was expecting the book to focus more
A very engaging read. Wonderful treatment of the beginnings of resistance in Massachusetts to the Battle of Bunker Hill. Of particular significance is the information about the orgins and development of the American army between April and June, 1775, which I have not encountered in other works. And we are presented with a new set of American heros; Joseph Warren, Israel Putnam, and William Prescott, who seem to have been largely ignored in more conventional histories.
A good book from my friend Greg McEathron. Great to know the details that no one had time for in high school! The old story about the battle of Bunker Hill actually being on Breed's Hill is actually not true. The bump on Bunker Hill where the action took place took on the name Breed's Hill well after the actual battle. The author does a good job of blending local details and 'the big picture' of the evenets at the start of the American Revolution.
Well worth a read. Nelson does a good job of fleshing out the human nature of the main personalities involved in the what/why/how questions involved in any historically significant event. This author puts a lot of thought into it, as well as researching it from original source material, and then tieing it all together into a very readable atory.
Glenn Robinson
Excellent account of the Battle of Bunker Hill. The book actually starts with the account of Boston of the ten years leading up to the battle and the role of the leaders, mainly Joseph Warren and Israel Putnam on the American side and Generals Gage, Howe, Clinton and Burgoyne on the British side.

Very well researched and well worth the time.
Evan G
This was a great book summarizing the events before and during the battle of Bunker Hill.
It also talked a lot about somebody I'd never heard of, Dr. Joseph Warren.
This book is good for those who would like a greater understanding of the events that occurred during Revolutionary War.
I really enjoyed this book on the events leading up to, and the event of the battle of Bunker Hill. It's a fascinating period of our nation's history, and Nelson has a writing style that keeps you engaged for the entire book. I recommend it!!
This was a very detailed history. I was able to write an effective study of mission command using background information from this book. All pertinent information on the battle is here in a very clear and easy to read voice that kept my attention.
John Nellis
Very good book on the battle of Bunker Hill. The book tells of all the events leading to rebellion, and the battle itself. I found it very informative. It had lots of first person accounts, and help put many events in perspective.
Brian Lee
I loved Nelson's maritime adventure novels so I thought I would give some of his non-fiction work a try. This was a good start. Learned a lot about old colonial Boston and the beginning of the Revolutionary war.
Clearly told history with details I had not been aware of. The author's use of correspondence from the participants added flavor and authenticity.
Richie Moran
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James L. Nelson (1962-) is an American historical nautical novelist. He was born in Lewiston, Maine. In 1980, Nelson graduated from Lewiston High School. Nelson attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for two years, and then transferred to UCLA, with the ambition of becoming a film director. Nelson, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter Betsy lived for two years in Steubenville, Ohio, while ...more
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