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Friends of Liberty: A Tale of Three Patriots, Two Revolutions, and the Betrayal that Divided a Nation: Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Agrippa Hull
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Friends of Liberty: A Tale of Three Patriots, Two Revolutions, and the Betrayal that Divided a Nation: Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Agrippa Hull

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Friends of Liberty tells the remarkable story of three men whose lives were braided together by issues of liberty and race that fueled revolutions across two continents. Thomas Jefferson wrote the founding documents of the United States. Thaddeus Kosciuszko was a hero of the American Revolution and later led a spectacular but failed uprising in Poland, his homeland. Agripp
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published March 25th 2008 by Basic Books (first published March 24th 2008)
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Maggie Conlon-Martin
One evening I decided to learn more about Tadeusz Kościuszko, the man the county I live in is named after, because I knew virtually nothing about him except that he was Polish. After reading what I could find online, I became absolutely fascinated with this incredible Revolutionary War hero and had to know more.

Kościuszko was a military engineer and revolutionary. He spent his entire life fighting to secure the unalienable rights of all people. He served for 7 years in the American revolution an
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
I really enjoyed this historical account of the intertwined lives of Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko, and Agrippa ("Grippy") Hull. Who Hull? you ask. Agrippa Hull was a Massachusetts freeman who joined the revolutionary army and became the personal orderly of Colonel Paterson and later to Thaddeus Kosciuszko.
Both were very fond of the young Hull, who brought an unfailing good cheer and humor to his job. The tale of Mr. Hull is remarkable as an example of what free blacks could have accomp
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
An easily-read book sketching some points about three different characters of the American Revolution. A few interesting facts but the connecting theme is a bit weak. There is not a whole lot of substance to this book.
A decent book that follows the lives of three Revolutionary War Era historical figures. The famous author and President Thomas Jefferson, the Polish revolutionary and adopted American hero Tadeusz Koscuszko, and the free black Massachusetts man Agrippa Hull. The main chronological story is solid and takes us through the war and history of slavery. I learned a lot about Koscuszko that I did not know, and the biggest positive I take from this book is my desire to read more about him. The Jefferson ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I found this book only okay. Agrippa Hull seemed like an afterthought. The authors' speculation about why Hull did the things he did, like buying a farm, expanding his freehold, etc. being tied to his exposure Lafayette's abolitionism rubbed me the wrong way. I'm sure Hull was capable of accomplishing what he did without getting the okay from others. There was far too much speculation about the interactions of the 3 men both among themselves and others in the entire book actually. It wasn't just ...more
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
(I copyedited this book.) A well-written historical account of three lives that influenced and were influenced by the Revolutionary War and the course of slavery in the United States. Fascinating stories you didn't hear in high school U.S. history classes. The portrait of Thomas Jefferson is particularly fascinating. His bizarre internal contradictions of deeply held racist beliefs and equally deeply held beliefs in freedom and equality are carefully brought to light and examined in the context ...more
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting exercise in Atlantic group biography, linking Thomas Jefferson, Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Kosciuszko's African-American military orderly Agrippa Hull. Hull, who left few written traces, has to be reconstructed through local memories from his little town in Mass., where he died in the 1840s a respected figure in the abolitionist community--his favorite Kosciuszko anecdote, being caught by the hugely amused officer while Hull and the other batmen wore their employers' dress uniforms and ...more
Keith McGowan
Aug 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This book has some interesting details about two relatively unknown historical figures. (One of them gets hauled around in a wheelbarrow.) The authors had an interesting take on contrasting three very different patriots. However, I did not find the writing inspiring, and I felt that the authors came down really hard on Jefferson (in typical politically correct fashion) without giving adequate consideration of the times and economic circumstances that he lived in.
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it
An interesting attempt to interweave the lives and attitudes of Thomas Jefferson, Polish Revolutionary war hero Tadeusz Kociussko, and Agrippa Hull, his African American orderly during the way. It's ultimately an examination of slavery, and the tension between the quest for liberty and the reality of race-based bondage.
Fredrick Danysh
Jul 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This is the story of three men who fought for freedom during the American Revolution. Vastly different their paths crossed to have an impact on all three. You have Thomas Jefferson, the aristocratic Virginian; Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the professional soldier from minor Polish nobility; and Agrippa, a free black from New England. This is a good historical read of men's views of what freedom is.
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Gary B. Nash received his B. A. from Princeton University in 1955 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1964. He earned the position of Director of the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught colonial and revolutionary American history since 1974. Nash has been the Director of the National Center for History in the Schools sinc 1994 and co ...more
More about Gary B. Nash...