New Views of the Revolutionary War
In a time of struggle, Patrick Henry once said: “ The distinction between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian – I declare as an American.” This a nation and in turn its people were born. But this momentous event takes place on page 124, well into the story; before this there is much to be revealed about the events leading up to America’s declaration of independence.
The Last Refuge of Scoundrels: A Revolutionary Novel” by Paul Lussier tells the story that has never been told before. It talks of war and revolution, of fighting, death and struggle – just like any good history book – but it also talks of brilliant men like George Washington and John Hancock, acting like children. While John Hancock apparently had a penchant for smashing expensive china to relieve stress and anger, and George Washington was actually not too bright and supposedly had to excuse himself often due to his small bladder.
Researching for ten years, Lussier has taken notes from disregarded oral histories, diaries and personal letters, weaving these unheard tales into the charging revolution for American independence. Lussier’s cast features a host of renowned names: Samuel Adams, John Hancock, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. There are also two lesser known figures: John Lawrence and Deborah Simpson, who play the main characters, controlling the revolution, making it run, orchestrating its major characters into making a country of sovereignty. Lussier delves into events like the Boston Massacre, with the “true” viewpoint of the event, being that of a silent affair; the Boston Tea Party, which is where one gets the first sense of an America; the Minute Men, “the youngest and strongest militia boys trained to be called out on a minute’s notice”; the beginning of the Revolutionary War on April 18 and 19, 1775; the Battle of Bunker Hill, which took place on Breed’s Hill nearby.
At certain pivotal points during the book, Lussier uses a method of relaying the historical knowledge of a specific event, and then revealing the actual circumstances that took place. This presents an interesting and often amusing insight into this period that is celebrated in the founding of this country.
On the whole, The Last Refuge of Scoundrels is a very entertaining read, for not only does it provide historical knowledge that we can all use, but it gives the reader little trinkets of detail that one could always find use for at some public event to enlighten the audience with.
If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.
Originally published on February 26 2001 ©Alex C. Telander.
Originally published in the Long Beach Union.