It measures 12 feet long … the shelf, that is. Every book on that shelf – and they are stacked at the ends, so maybe 14 feet of books – are about American Indian history. And, that’s not counting my books about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, which constitute another 4′ alone. I have tons of books on all sorts of phases of American history, from the pre-exploration days through about 1890 [Wounded Knee] … books on the colonies, westward expansion, books on the Civil War, the Alamo, books on the Founding Fathers. And, of course, books on the American Revolution. I should say “used to have”. I still have many, but quite a few … maybe more than half are now MIA due to my somewhat nomadic life the past 11 years … anyway … boy, I’m long-winded. All of that to say, I was really looking forward to The History Channel’s 3-part mini-series, Sons of Liberty!
Well, so Sam Adams was a bit of a pretty boy, Joseph Warren more like “Davy” Crockett … and events happened in ways they really didn’t … and so what if the Sons of Liberty often communicated with a light, almost comedic, wink and a nod glance … this show was produced, most definitely, with the young pop-culture audience in mind. There is so much that is historically inaccurate in this mini-series – and I’m not one to fret over a misplaced uniform button – that even the History Channel asks the viewer to check their web-site to learn what really happened. It was, in some ways, a fantasy. Historical fiction for sure.
All is not lost … visually it was pleasing, Hans Zimmer did his usual outstanding job on the musical score, John Hancock, Ben Franklin, relatively acceptable impersonations. But in the end, it was the essence … the essence of the series was true to what Sam Adams was in real life … a partisan … a much needed partisan to incite a conflicted & apathetic public. Damn the facts!
I recall, as a youth, having my imagination stirred, my passions aroused, by some of the most ahistorical “historical” films ever made … stuff like Errol Flynn in “They Died With Their Boots On” and John Wayne in “The Alamo.” So, there is hope that sitting out there watching this show were some innocent, eager young kids – and maybe some adults, as well – just waiting for their history to be served up in a palpable manner. It was, after all, fun to watch … if not frustrating for me at times … VERY frustrating at others!! 🙂
And that is how I learned to love the history of my Country. Some long ago events occurred and were recreated on film. I watched. Wanted more & read & read & read. I went to visit as many of the actual sites where real life events took place as I could. Then, I read some more. That is how I came to have a 14 foot long row of books on just one aspect of that history. And they are just a fraction of the books I have owned & read.
So, view and enjoy. Learn to love your Country by the great moments in her History. You’ll be a better American for it.
For a better understanding of the depicted events, be sure to visit:
Boston National Historical Park – http://www.nps.gov/bost/index.htm
Minute Man National Historical Park – http://www.nps.gov/mima/index.htm
Independence National Historical Park – http://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm