Rating – 4/5
Set in Boston and London and spanning sixteen years, True Freedom: How America came to fight Britain for its Independence by Michael Dean chronicles the events that led to the American Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783). Focusing on a few prominent characters, Dean provides the readers with an insider’s view into what shaped the revolution.
Close to three hundred pages, the book provides a fictionalized account of the American Revolutionary War. It features several key characters like Thomas Hutchinson (Governor of Massachusetts from 1758 to 1774), Samuel Adams (the charismatic leader of the revolution), Thomas Young (follower of Samuel Adams and a key organizer of the Boston Tea Party), General Gage (British commander-in-chief in the early days of the American Revolution), his wife Margaret Gage (a Patriot sympathizer), and the Pownall brothers, Thomas and John, and examines (and sometimes, imagines) their activities in details.
It also shows glimpses of several other notable figures such as John Hancock, John Wilkes, Lord North, King George III, Benjamin Franklin, Major John Pitcairn, Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith, Paul Revere, and the Sons of Liberty.
Dean deftly blends fiction with historical facts to create a highly entertaining as well as an educational read. He is a gifted storyteller and efficiently exploits the tensions between as different characters as chalk and cheese such as the aristocratic and opulent Thomas Hutchinson and his adversary, Samuel Adams and the Pownall brothers, Thomas and John who had starkly opposite views on America.
Exploration of these characters adds further depth to this book and thus, it reads more like a novel than a non-fiction book. Dean has done exhaustive research on the subject which is well-reflected from the verse. Further, producing sixteen years’ worth of events in a span of three hundred highly readable pages is no mean feat. Dean needs to be applauded for this achievement.
For a non-American like me, True Freedom acquainted me with a part of American history about which I had little knowledge. The book stops right before the start of the American Revolutionary War which prompted me to read more about it. I will highly recommend this book to Americans and non-Americans alike. For the Americans, this book will serve as an invitation to revisit their past. For others, it will act as an invitation to learn about another country’s past.
I received a free digital copy of the book from the publisher. I opted to provide my honest opinion.
e-book, 281 pages, Published June 12th 2019 by Holland Park Press