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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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

“A good bit of adventure, audacity, and downright Yankee ingenuity”

When I was in Williamsburg last week, George Wildrick kindly alerted me to the fact that Muzzleloader magazine had reviewed The Road to Concord in its September-October 2016 issue.

So I really must share some choice extracts from Joshua Shepherd’s “For the Bookshelf” review:
One of the pleasant aspects of studying history is the realization that new discoveries can either challenge or further illuminate our understanding of the past. With the release of The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War, author J. L. Bell has chronicled a little-known episode in the turbulent months preceding the outbreak of colonial rebellion. . . .

For this volume, author J. L. Bell narrowly focuses his attention on the tense struggle for control of four particular pieces of artillery: specifically, four brass guns—state of the art weapon systems for the 18th century—which had previously been purchased by the Massachusetts legislature for the use of her militia. As both sides prepared for the possibility of armed confrontation, they scrambled to get control of all available armaments, and British General Thomas Gage anxiously placed the four Massachusetts guns under Redcoat guard. Boston Patriots, naturally, had other plans, and surreptitiously seized all four cannons, which were then smuggled out of town. The obscure story of the cannons’ “theft” is a suspenseful tale that treats readers to a good bit of adventure, audacity, and downright Yankee ingenuity. . . .

Few writers are as qualified to cover this topic as author J. L. Bell. A prolific researcher and author, Bell operates the historical blog [www.boston1775.net] and focuses his work on Massachusetts during the War for Independence. He’s a skilled historian with a deep command of his subject matter. The book was, at least for this reviewer, difficult to put down. This will likely be the experience of anyone with a serious interest in early America, the Revolutionary War, and the epic fight for Liberty that erupted on The Road to Concord.
Thanks to Mr. Shepherd, Mr. Wildrick, and Muzzleloader magazine!

(The same issue includes Vincent C. Spiotti’s article on how Sudbury celebrates its Revolutionary heritage with colonial reenactments and musters.)


alaskanaking said...

Any plans to release The Road to Concord as an audiobook?

Dick Wood said...

Any plans to release The Road to Concord as an audiobook?

J. L. Bell said...

We haven’t received inquiries from actual audio publishers, but we’re open to them.

The Road to Concord is now available as an ebook for both Kindle and Nook devices.