Sample Book Review on The Minutemen and Their World

In “The Minutemen and Their World” Gross (n.p.) focuses on the American revolution. He offers the reader a look at the people living in Concord, Massachusetts at the time. Drawing from interpretations of diaries, records of colonies, court records, genealogical records, and private papers. Gross describes the society before the revolution, during the revolution, and after the revolution.  The book, as a result, emerges as an easy to read and understand historical masterpiece. Further, Gross delves deeper and offers the reader an understanding of life during the revolution. From the book, various aspects of the Concord people are considered beyond the revolution in search of independence. Social, religious, and agricultural issues are reported by Gross.

The reasons that motivated compiling this book can be derived from the content it presents. Gross certainly intended to document and report the day to day events that unfolded during the period of revolution. While a majority of document recordings focuses primarily on the activities related to the revolution, Gross offers a holistic perspective by presenting the lives of the people beyond those that are related to the revolution (Gross 21). Through this, he intends to tell the readers that although there was a revolution at the time, there was life beyond the revolution.  He further provides a perspective of how the revolution impacted on the people’s day to day life.

The author presents the society of concord as a typical, well developed local society. He highlights how the challenges arising from the revolution impacted the way of life of the people of Concord. For instance, Gross cites the deteriorating relationship between parents and children, extensive use of land, the widening generational gap, and holding of positions of leadership by the few elites. He notes that some of these aspects impacted on the revolution. However, he emphasizes that despite the barriers imposed by the day to day issues in the lives of the people of concord, the revolution moved on, thanks to the strong will of the people of concord.

Indeed, the author offers a different approach to history. In this context, the author highlights the importance of considering history from all perspectives of life, rather than piecewise. Further, by drawing from varied sources that document the life experiences of the non-elites, the author places people’s day to day life at the epicenter of the revolution rather than the typical point of view of the elites that historians have often taken. The presentation by Gross helps readers to understand how people are politicized by experience and gets inspired to revolt (Gross 28). He dissociates himself from the path that many writers of the revolution take by writing solely on the happenings on revolution, he narrates of the happenings away from the revolution that is either as a result of the revolution or has an impact on the revolution.

The intended audience is diverse. It stretches from interested historians, inhabitants, and academicians. More importantly, it specifically targets those that are interested in understanding American civilization and the factors that led to the buildup of the American revolution. The story achieves this by describing the months that preceded the revolution noting that they largely differed from the norm. he notes that at the time, the politics of the town were out of normal and rather than focus on local issues within the community, focused more on intercolonial issues. He goes further to note that before the revolution, immense power was held by the local government. In the immediate period before the revolution, the perception of the Concordian’s largely changed as they sought to be involved more in the running of the government and the local affairs. It highlights the tough conditions imposed on the concord society, especially the high tax burden and the rapidly declining economy as factors that inspired the revolution. Gross also notes that the population boom, the resulting food shortage and a series of disease outbreaks also served as an eye-opener to the population on the need for a change.  Additionally, Gross provides detailed information about colonial life and how it impacted on Concordia. The arguments presented by Gross are shaky in some instances. Some experts have argued that Gross attempts to discredit the impact that the revolution had instead attributed the changes recorded to events before the revolution. This differs largely from the perspective that others hold concerning the revolution and its impacts.  Additionally, Gross includes many names and characters in his discussion to such an extent that it draws attention away from the character of the revolution.

In general, in his work, Gross takes an approach that largely differs from that many writers of the American revolution take. He presents himself as part of the community through the infinitesimal details that he provides in his writings. He shuns offering insights into how the elites faired rather focuses on the community at large. He brings together the people’s perspective of the change and the changes that came about. According to him, the revolution was just one of the means that the people used to usher in a change that was already in progress. Heavy taxation and scarcity to land, according to Gross, were the main drivers of the quest for change that culminated in a revolution.


Work Cited

Gross, Robert A. The Minutemen and Their World. Distributed by Amazon Digital Services, 2011.