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Paul Revere's Ride

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,301 Ratings  ·  194 Reviews
Paul Revere's midnight ride is a legendary event in American history - yet it has been largely ignored by scholars, and left to patriotic writers and debunkers. Now one of the foremost American historians offers the first serious study of this event - what led to it, what really happened, what followed - uncovering a truth more remarkable than the many myths it has inspire ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 19th 1995 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1994)
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Joshua Sander I read this book this semester for one of my university classes. It's been a couple months since I finished it, so I can't remember everything in it…moreI read this book this semester for one of my university classes. It's been a couple months since I finished it, so I can't remember everything in it (in other words, forgive me if I miss something in my assessment), but I don't remember much in particular as being inappropriate. I believe at one point it mentions that 1/3 of young women in New England at the time were pregnant on their wedding day, but it's a passing remark, and it doesn't go into detail on what that means. The only other thing I would note is that it mentions the injuries sustained by some, including a British soldier who was mauled/hatcheted by American militiamen. In addition, there might be some mild swearing here and there in the quotes from people at the time, but (if there was any) there wasn't enough that I took notice of it. But on the merits of the book, I would say that it is an excellent book for anyone who is interested in the American Revolution or in Paul Revere. If you choose to read it to him, I think he'll enjoy it, and I know he'll learn a lot from it. I hope this helps!(less)

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Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
Fischer describes how ordinary citizens rose up against the British army to begin the American Revolution. Paul Revere, a Boston silversmith, was one of many who served as messengers to warn the people of the royal army’s movement enabling the colonists to secure their weapons and organize resistance. General Thomas Gage, the British forces Commander in Chief and Royal Governor of Massachusetts, wanted to avoid conflict, but could not tolerate the defiance of his authority. He recognized many of ...more
Lora Innes
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I wish that David Hackett Fisher wrote a book about every subject I was interested in. He writes the way my mind works--following every rabbit down its hole and yet finds a way of not loosing track of what he's talking about in the midst of all that exploration. He flushes out his subjects and events so completely that you can see them from angles you've never looked at them before, which makes his approach holistic in a way very few history books are.

Paul Revere's Ride is no exception to this a
Mark Mortensen
This book provides a rock solid biography of Paul Revere focused around his famous “Midnight Ride” that set the stage for America’s Revolutionary War. Author David Hackett Fischer provides a vivid historical account that deviates from simplistic popular myth and his story grasps ones attention just as much. Revere did not possess the power of Santa Claus to touch every home and community northwest of Boston in areas such as Carlisle, Acton and Wayland. Rather the heroic messenger for freedom had ...more
Elizabeth K.
Jul 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Melissa
Shelves: 2008-new-reads
I love it when a book is well-organized. This one started with some brief background on Paul Revere and General Gage, and then went through an extremely detailed (yet not at all tiresome) play-by-play of the ride of April 18, 1775. Then, an interlude for some information about the state of the militias at that time, followed by another extensive outline, this time of the Lexington and Concord battles, and retreat to Boston on April 19. You get a great sense of Paul Revere's personality: the man ...more
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
David Hackett Fischer strips myth from history in Paul Revere's Ride. All sorts of fables, poems, and stories have been written about the event, which has become embedded in American culture. Any school child can tell at least something of the midnight ride and the lanterns. Fischer's book is the first scholarly treatment in two hundred years. He has discovered all sorts of information that make Revere a much more seminal participant in the Revolution than had previously been suspected.

One reaso
I read this book in graduate school quite some time ago, but I still remember it as being one that I was fascinated with. It is amazing how little we actually know about Paul Revere. His importance to the Revolution goes far beyond the Midnight Ride. He was a major player in the Boston rebellion and one of the great organizers of the Committees of Correspondence. This book details Revere's life and also goes into the specifics of the Midnight Ride and the entire events around Lexington and Conco ...more
David Nichols
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful, lavishly detailed, and very deeply researched book that performs several functions. It's a halfway-decent biography of Revere himself, and of his principal adversary, Thomas Gage. More importantly, the author maps out the network of Revolutionary societies to which Revere belonged, and which helped sustain the imperial resistance movement in Boston. Fischer also describes the system of communications and alarms which connected the rebels in occupied Boston to the rebel-controlled t ...more
Bliss Tew
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this book at a time that I had time to enjoy it as I was home on doctor's orders in 1999. This is a scholarly work that delves into the opinions, thinking, historical documents, actions, etc. of the American people and leaders during the build up towards war with Great Britain, what became a war for independence. The book isn't just a stiring account of Paul Revere's ride, but so much more. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking better understanding of the forces and heroic people ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History and Revolutionary War fans
I am a huge fan of American Revolutionary War history and particularly Boston's role. Maybe I am a little biased living in Lexington and having lived in Boston and all. :) This book does a good job of setting the record straight about a lot of the events that led up to the revolution. I had no idea that Lexington and Concord almost happened a few months early in Marblehead and Salem. I never truly understood why Paul Revere was so celebrated even though he never alerted Concord of the Regulars. ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good, short overview of the lead up to the battles of Lexington and Concord, the battles themselves, and their significance in beginning the war of revolution against British rule. For a person like me whose knowledge of The Revolution is poor, this book serves as a decent primer.

As to Paul Revere's role in all of this: I had heard a lot of revisionist history lately about how Paul Revere never made his famous ride. But as this book makes clear, this bit of revisionism is only partially true,
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David Hackett Fischer is University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History at Brandeis University. His major works have tackled everything from large macroeconomic and cultural trends (Albion's Seed, The Great Wave) to narrative histories of significant events (Paul Revere's Ride, Washington's Crossing) to explorations of historiography (Historians' Fallacies, in which he coined the term H ...more
More about David Hackett Fischer...
“New England farmers did not think of war as a game, or a feudal ritual, or an instrument of state power, or a bloodsport for bored country gentlemen. They did not regard the pursuit of arms as a noble profession. In 1775, many men of Massachusetts had been to war. They knew its horrors from personal experience. With a few exceptions, they thought of fighting as a dirty business that had to be done from time to time if good men were to survive in a world of evil. The New England colonies were among the first states in the world to recognize the right of conscientous objection to military service, and among the few to respect that right even in moments of mortal peril. But most New Englanders were not pacifists themselves. Once committed to what they regarded as a just and necessary war, these sons of Puritans hardened their hearts and became the most implacable of foes. Their many enemies who lived by a warrior-ethic always underestimated them, as a long parade of Indian braves, French aristocrats, British Regulars, Southern planters, German fascists, Japanese militarists, Marxist ideologues, and Arab adventurers have invariably discovered to their heavy cost.” 4 likes
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