Saturday, December 04, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide: Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation by Harlow Giles Unger

Reading Lion of Liberty (Da Capo) changed my mind about political biographies. I’ve always enjoyed them: some (like my wife) would even say I’ve collected them over the years. But Harlow Giles Unger’s biography of Patrick Henry gave me a taste of what it’s really all about: finding the massive score. The book that will change your mind, change your view and introduce you to a whole gang of players you’ve never considered before. That, is what Lion of Liberty did for me.

I had never given much thought to Patrick “Give me liberty or give me death” Henry: lawyer, one time governor of Virginia who turned down many offers of political office in favor of campaigning for the rights of all Americans. “As quick with a rifle as he was with his tongue,” the passion of Henry’s convictions was apparent in his most famous words as well as the way he lived his life and the sacrifices he made for his country.

Lion of Liberty
is a lucid portrait of this important patriot. It’s sure to be a hit with the reader in your life who enjoys political biography. (And the brisk sales of good books in this niche indicate that it’s a pretty big demographic.) ◊

Aaron Blanton is a contributing editor to January Magazine. He’s currently working on a book based on his experiences as an American living abroad.

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