J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, October 05, 2014

Colonial Brickwork

Growing up in Boston exposes people to an above-average amount of Revolutionary history, and that can come out in many ways.

For Brendan Powell Smith, a native of Norwood and graduate of Boston University, one outlet is the Revolution!: The Brick Chronicle of the American Revolution and the Inspiring Fight for Liberty and Equality That Shook the World.

This book consists of scenes from the American and French Revolutions recreated with LEGO blocks. The B.U. alumni magazine explains:
Brendan Powell Smith pulls back his curly shoulder-length hair and scans the bins filled with tiny plastic heads, capes, wigs, limbs, glasses, animals, and guns that surround him. He knows that what he really needs to build the base of a convincing guillotine is his container of brown LEGO bricks.

The chopping block is needed for a pivotal scene in his new book, Revolution!: The Brick Chronicle of the American Revolution and the Inspiring Fight for Liberty and Equality That Shook the World, to be published next month [i.e., October] and illustrated with full-page photographs of scenes constructed entirely with LEGO. Half of the book tells the story of the American Revolution; half is dedicated to the French Revolution.
This book follows Smith’s recreations of the Bible and famous American assassinations in the same artistic medium.

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