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Revolutionary

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  550 ratings  ·  128 reviews
"Myers presents an incredibly complex protagonist in Deborah, whose gender identity is not taken as a given." - Lambda Book Report

“A novel of the American Revolution by a writer who is himself a true American revolutionary.” —Mark Edmundson, author of Why Teach?

In 1782, during the final clashes of the Revolutionary War, one of our young nation’s most valiant and beloved so
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Simon Schuster (first published January 1st 2014)
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Al From the time the question was asked, no. But now, in 2017...still no. 'Revolutionary' is his only novel.

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3.70  · 
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 ·  550 ratings  ·  128 reviews


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Rick Riordan
Nov 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I picked this up after reading an article about the author in the Boston Globe. Alex Myers, a transgender man, explores the American Revolution through the eyes of one of his distant ancestors, Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man to fight in the war. That premise grabbed me right away, and I was happy to find that the execution of the novel was just as interesting. Deborah's story is told with empathy and clarity. She escapes the horrors of one life, hoping for the sort of freedom on ...more
Orsolya
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although the US Military accepts women in its ranks; many view it as a man’s world. Imagine how much of a man’s world it was in 1782 during the last leg of the Revolutionary War. Deborah Samson, a 22-year old female, wanted a life of adventure versus that of an indentured servant. Wearing men’s clothing and calling herself Robert Shurtliff; she enlisted in the Continental Army. Alex Myers, a descendant of Samson and a Transgender who understands female-to-male roles; opens up Deborah/Robert’s st ...more
Laila (BigReadingLife)
3.5 stars. Moving and detailed historical fiction about a real life woman who served as a man in the Revolutionary War. A book I never would have read had it not been my book group's pick.
Erin Lindsay McCabe
When I learned that this debut novel was being released just a week before my own (which also features a woman disguising as a man to fight in the army-- though in the Civil War, not the Revolutionary war), I was both intrigued (how would Myers treat the subject? what experiences would his character have? how would Myers' life inform his writing?) and worried (what if my book wasn't as good? What if people read this one and decided not to read mine?). That said, I'm so glad to have read this boo ...more
Paul Pessolano
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
“Revolutionary” by Alex Myers, published by Simon & Schuster.

Category – Historical Fiction Publication Date – January 14, 2014

Deborah Samson, in 1782, may have been the first woman to take the cause of women’s rights. She abhorred the manner in which women were treated, basically slaves with no rights. She wanted more out of life and was determined to find a way to improve her situation, a heady proposition for a woman at this time.

Deborah felt that her only chance was to disguise herself as
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I'm woefully behind on this review -- I inhaled this one back in January, the first full length novel I read after giving birth to Unabridged Baby in November. It was a wonderful return to reading.

I'd been dying to get my hands on this one since it's original release; between the setting -- Revolutionary War -- and the premise -- a woman who passes as a man -- I was immediately intrigued. My eagerness was well placed as this is a wonderfully engrossing read that is impossible to shake.

Set in 178
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Ambrosia Sullivan
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First written for Fire & Ice

Those who know me well know how much of a fan of the revolution I am. In turn they also know how picky I can be about books set in the era and how I often lament the lack of good, readable and accurate books that take place during this nations forming. After reading Revolutionary by Alex Myers, I am no longer lamenting. This book was simply put one of the finest historical fictions on the Revolutionary war I have ever read.

The story of Deborah Samson may not be kn
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Ann
I remember being intrigued by Deborah Samson after reading a book about her as a kid, but I'd completely forgotten about that until I came across the part in this book when she digs a bullet out of her own leg to avoid being revealed as a woman. It's a shame that she isn't more widely known! Alex Myers brings a fascinating angle to her story through his experiences as a transgendered man. In most "woman disguises herself as a man" tales, they are just that - disguises. But here, Deborah plans to ...more
Patricia Lothrop
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Clear your calendar before opening this un-put-downable novel. War, disguise, change, love, identity: these themes and more mark Myers’ fast-paced account of a woman who defies societal and physical limits to live and fight as a man. The confident handling of narrative and vivid description belie the depth of research behind this first novel. Revolutionary is a page-turner that engages readers with perennial questions: What does identity mean? How can we earn the acceptance of others? What are t ...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
**3.5**

I love books with strong female protagonists, so this book caught my attention from the start. And the story of Deborah, who disguises herself as a man (Robert Shurtliff) to fight in the Revolutionary War, provided just such a formidable character. What’s maybe even more interesting is that the author is a descendant of the true-life character of Deborah Samson, upon whom this novel is based.

Who better to write this story? And, in another fascinating twist the author, on his website, tal
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Gerard J.  Medvec
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
A quick-paced, clear and heart-felt historical novel, "Revolutionary" is a wild mix. Start with it based on the tale of a real woman who shucked the confines of accepted social injustices, and joined the Continental Army as a foot soldier. Stir in the fact that the author, Alex Myers, is an actual descendent of this heroine. Top it all with Myers himself being a woman-to-man transsexual. If it sounds like an unpalatable mess, it is not. Each of these components serves the next, revealing a perso ...more
Nicole
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this down! It's a very quick read. I particularly enjoyed the focus on all of the little ways women were dissimilar to men in the 18th century. It wasn't just dress - it was attitude, bearing, relationships. Myers really pulled that in. The only awkward part was the switch from Deborah to Robert in the beginning of the book. The switch back was fine - it was just the first switch that was too intermixed and drawn out. Definitely recommend this to any history buffs!
Donna Thorland
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books this year ❤ ...more
Keagan Nicol
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alex Myers "Revolutionary" was a very good book. I do highly recommend reading this informational text about the Revolutionary War. I had never read one of Myers books and I have to say I was very impressed. I do not know if there is a movie based on this book. He structured this book so it was easy to follow by only following the point of view of the main character.
The genre of this book is adventure. The adventure starts as the main character struggles with the issue of equality rights. The
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Legolas Devildog
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Written to be posted on my blog Stories from the Trees

This book was borrowed to me because the owner thought I would enjoy it, she was right. I plan purchasing a copy for myself for re-reading, just as a general note there. Now onto the nuts and bolts of my review.

I have done living history events for both the revolution and the civil war and I enjoy reading books that are set in the era. The down side is more often then not historical fictions tend to make the wars romantic. War is not romanti
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Gwen
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book at first seemed like a solid young adult historical novel, but it quickly evolved into something much more nuanced than YA novels typically are (and there are a few scenes that are not YA at all -- it's definitely an adult novel). The internal dialogue was strong, which was good because it was critical to the story to witness the juxtaposition between what Deborah was thinking and what she was saying or doing as she operated in the world as Robert. But it's not all internal (not at all ...more
Nicole
I’ll preface this review by saying I read an Advanced Reader Copy so tweaks could certainly be made for the final version.

I found this book to be a bit confused. The story is of Deborah Sampson, a woman who chafed against the restraints placed on women in the Colonial period, so she disguised herself as a man to join the Continental Army. In the year she spent as a soldier she found the freedom and respect she was never able to muster as a woman.

While I imagine it would be confusing to act in t
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Eliana
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, new-york, favorites
I've loved learning about the Revolutionary War ever since first grade when I started watching the TV show Liberty's Kids, and more recently, I've enjoyed reading young adult books with LGBTQ characters. As you might expect from a book that combines two of my favorite things, I loved Revolutionary.

I think one of the things that made this book so good was that the author is trans, as opposed to a lot of other young adult books with trans characters but cis authors (note: cis=someone who's gender
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Ms.Patterson
Grown up book: I loved this historical fiction novel -- I found myself totally engaged and immersed from the outset. This story of Deborah Sampson had so many levels of interest, from the nitty gritty of just how a woman might pass as a soldier for so long, the details of life in military camp at that time, to the real philosophical ponderings of equity, of perception, and of gender. It is feminist and humanist, and leaves me still thinking of what might have been true then and what is still tru ...more
Bzbick
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction isn't always at the top of my reading list, but Myers' story Revolutionary is rich and satisfying. I found myself drawn to the protagonist's dilemma, despite the difference between her time and my place. Deborah is literally a revolutionary war soldier, and her disguise provides Myers the opportunity to describe in vivid detail the day to day life in and around the battlefield. And of course Deborah is a woman in a man's world, a situation that many readers may recognize. In D ...more
Q2
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing, well-written, and thrilling. This is a brilliant fictionalized account of Deborah Sampson, a real American woman who, disguised as a man, became a soldier in the Revolutionary War. From the start, the reader is rooting for Deborah--she doesn't fit in among her peers and rails against the misogynist conventions of the late 1700s. It's a fantastic, absorbing read that transports you to a different time and place but has a main character that is relevant and relatable today.
Becca
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don't write reviews very often but this book made me feel I needed to. This book is beautifully written. It is a wonderful piece of history brought to life. Deborah/Robert is a wonderfully brave soldier fighting not only in the Revolutionary war but against traditional gender roles as well. I loved this book from beginning to end and I was left wanting more.
Jennifer
Hooray for historical fiction! Hooray for empowered women! Hooray for Revolutionary!

I had a great time reading this book. It's based on a true story and those books are always a treat for me. In this case you could feel the love that the author had for the subject.

Revolutionary is a well-written labor of love about a fascinating woman. You can't go wrong with this one.
Sarah
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: queerio, fiction
Oh boy, how to review this book. I’m not really a fan, and looking at the reviews here it seems like people have issues with the fact that it’s a trans story and that is somehow confusing. Unironic allusions to the author having some kind of agenda is really not where we need to go in 2018, ok? Jesus. I think the way the author showed the main character dealing with their (gonna just use the neutral pronoun, as it’s a bit awkward to use s/he his/her everywhere) gender and other aspects of their ...more
Jaclynn
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars-I like that the author used the true to life historical tale of a distant ancestor, the Revolutionary War figure Deborah Sampson, who disguised herself as a man and served in the Continental Army during the war for independence, as the backdrop for a work of historical fiction. I understand the liberties taken with the actual story and that's alright by me. What an amazing woman and what a life she led!
That said, I did find this I found this book to be a bit confused. The story is of
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Yasmin
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked it well enough, but this book isn't a straight forward account of a woman that dressed as a man and went to war. As if that does sounds straight forward, it isn't, but this book isn't what you think it is. The fundamental question is what makes a woman a woman? Is it her body of breasts, vagina, a womb, ovaries and a face that never grow hair? Or is it simply a dress, polite and restrained conduct and long hair? Where would this place lesbians, tomboys and non-feminine women/girls? In th ...more
Kimberly Mccune
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
So. Good.
Crymsyn Hart
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book and a good look into history.
Trish
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book. I’d say make it into a movie, but I don’t think anyone could do it justice. The story was compelling. It grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go until the last page before the Epilogue. Alex Myers’ descriptions were original and fresh. His writing crisp. Every word had a purpose and every word was just the right word. I cared about Deborah. I felt her pain, rode her emotional roller coaster, worried about her as she soldiered, experienced her heart ache and reveled in her cour ...more
Skye
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book-- one that I couldn't put down and which will stay with me for a long time. I heard about this book because Myers spoke at an event at Beaver Country Day School where my friend works, and gave a presentation on the history of Deborah Samson and explained his writing process. He was a dynamic speaker and he read an excerpt that left me wanting more. I should also mention the embarrassing truth that this is the first book I have ever read by a transgender author, and it go ...more
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Bryn Mawr School ...: Revolutionary 1 1 Jul 02, 2018 01:45PM  
A Mysery set in the American Revolution 1 1 Feb 03, 2017 09:13AM  

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Born and raised in western Maine, Alex left his home state to attend Phillips Exeter Academy and went on from there to earn degrees from Harvard and Brown, where he studied Ancient Judaism.

Alex has taught high school English for over a decade and during this time earned an MFA in writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts. It was in this program that he started work on his debut novel, Revolutionary
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