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Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation Hardcover – October 26, 2010
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Kirkus Reviews, 9/1/10
“A veteran biographer specializing in the Founding Fathers offers a short, sharp life of the Virginia patriot…A fine appreciation—and explanation—of freedom’s champion.”
Asbury Park Press, 9/19
The Oklahoman, 10/31/10
“Unger shows how down-to-earth Henry was and how connected he was to regular people… [A] great book about one of our nation's founders.”
New York Journal of Books, 10/26/10
“Harlow Giles Unger does a remarkable job of putting together the life and times of this most noted but little known Founder. Unger provides a startling history of the man who, though never in combat, remains one of the great patriots of his new country…Unger is not only a superior storyteller, he is also a gifted researcher; he sweeps the reader into the story, also enveloping us in the times…The book brings fresh insights to the process of building a nation with little direction from which to work…If you want to know what the Founders meant while deliberating the creation of the Confederation and the Constitution, and if you wish to understand why they made the decisions they did, read Lion of Liberty.”
The Federal Lawyer, November/December 2010
Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/14/10
The Lone Star, November 2010
“This excellent book should be read by all Americans.”
San Francisco Book Review, 4/5/11, and Sacramento Book Review, 4/8/11
“Lion of Liberty, a book by Harlow G. Unger, is in many ways like Patrick Henry. Both don’t seem special from the outside, and both seem modest and homely at first glance. Yet, inside these two ordinary objects is a fire that excels on natural talent. a marvelous biography and has a different take on revolutionary heroes. Remember that they were mortal men.”
“A light and refreshing read of Henry’s life…This biography is history at its best, telling a story both human and philosophical. As Unger points out, Henry’s words continue to echo across America and inspire millions to fight government intrusion in their daily lives.”
“A popular biography of the public and private life of Patrick Henry…A compelling story that illustrates Henry's beliefs by centering on his actions and the events of his life.”
“A highly readable account of the life of one of our most prominent revolutionaries.”
“Unger brings Colonial Williamsburg to life.”
“An engaging account of Patrick Henry’s lifelong quest to promote individual liberties and fight against government interference.”
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One of the most impressive features of this work is the dynamic presentation of Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, located on pages 97-99. Reading it as though I was listening to it, I finished with the feeling that I had actually heard a sample of his style and dramatic talent. I felt that I had been present at the very historical moment. I found myself awed at Henry's oratorical talents. As a retired Baptist pastor, I found myself wishing that I had been able to move a congregation with the same power that Henry moved his audience. On finishing the book, I found myself wishing I could go back in time and be the proverbial "fly on the wall" when he addressed his audiences, both political and legal.
Harlow Giles Unger has left me with a strong understanding of who Patrick Henry was, how he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish, and how and why he failed on the few instances when he did not succeed.
I am indebted to Mr. Unger for his excellent presentation of this great American to whom we owe such a debt of gratitude. His excellent writing has led me to buy two more of his works, one on John Hancock and the other entitled "Improbable Patriot" which I am reading now.
Five very satisfied stars.
Henry described the type of Government that should be present in the colonies. And remember that initially he wasn't pushing for separation from the crown. He simply wanted the right to govern the colony through a representative form of government that Britain would recognize and accept. And there was no room for any type of taxation upon the colonies whether it was through import duties or outright taxation. The cry of no taxation without representation was heard often. And the colonist in time declared independence and made the sacrifice for what became better known as "the cause."
Navigation Act, Sugar Act, and Stamp Acts all fed the fire of independence. And when Patrick Henry said "Liberty or Death", he was speaking for most people in all thirteen colonies. The American Revolution was borne!d
This solid biography by Harlow Giles Unger ( who specializes in the Founders) tells Henry's tale from his early hard scrabble days on the Virginia frontier to his resistance against the Constitutional Convention in 1787.( When asked to attend the Constitutional Convention he responded"I smell a rat") Henry was a early opponent to England' s power and it is all here from the Parson's Cause to his "If this be Treason" speech to the speech that everyone knows which ends with the responding cry "Give me Liberty or Give me Death".
This is more then just a political biography it also delves into Henry's personal life including his tragic first marriage.It can be argued who were the revolutions greatest leaders but it can not be argued that Patrick Henry was a radical firebrand whose oratorical gifts helped push often reluctant people toward revolution. He deserves to be remembered for more then one speech and this biography does him justice. He was not a believer in a strong central government like Washington he envisioned a republic where the individual states held sway but his actions and leadership helped bring about American freedom and this study brings him to life.