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The Court-Martial of Paul Revere
A Son of Liberty and America's Forgotten Military Disaster
Michael M. Greenburg

2014 • 304 pp. 23 illus. 6 x 9"
American Revolutionary War / Historical Biography / New England History

$24.95 Paperback, 978-1-61168-858-0
$35.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-535-0

$17.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-650-0

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“Author Michael M. Greenburg offers both an insightful biography of Revere and a colorful description of the ‘worst American naval disaster prior to Pearl Harbor’ in this well-crafted history of a dark episode of the American Revolution.”—Military Officer

The riveting chronicle of Paul Revere’s only military service during the Revolution—a major but disastrous episode in his life

At the height of the American Revolution in 1779, Massachusetts launched the Penobscot Expedition, a massive military and naval undertaking designed to force the British from the strategically important coast of Maine. What should have been an easy victory for the larger American force quickly descended into a quagmire of arguing, disobedience, and failed strategy. In the end, not only did the British retain their stronghold, but the entire flotilla of American vessels was lost in what became the worst American naval disaster prior to Pearl Harbor.

In the inevitable finger-pointing that followed the debacle, the already-famous Lieutenant Colonel Paul Revere, commissioned as the expedition’s artillery commander, was shockingly charged by fellow officers with neglect of duty, disobeying orders, and cowardice. Though he was not formally condemned by the court of inquiry, rumors still swirled around Boston concerning his role in the disaster, and so the fiery Revere spent the next several years of his life actively pursuing a court-martial, in an effort to resuscitate the one thing he valued above all—his reputation.

The single event defining Revere to this day is his ride from Charlestown to Lexington on the night of April 18, 1775, made famous by Longfellow’s poem of 1860. Greenburg’s is the first book to give a full account of Revere’s conduct before, during, and after the disastrous Penobscot Expedition, and of his questionable reputation at the time, which only Longfellow’s poem eighty years later could rehabilitate. Thanks to extensive research and a riveting narrative that brings the battles and courtroom drama to life, The Court-Martial of Paul Revere strips away the myths that surround the Sons of Liberty and reveals the humanity beneath. It is a must-read for anyone who yearns to understand the early days of our country.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“It is fair to say that Revere’s military and legal troubles are not secrets; if you know to look at Revere’s biography beyond his midnight ride, you can find them. Greenburg’s book, however, is possibly the best documented account, giving us a fuller picture of a human, not saintly, patriot.”—The Dispatch (Columbus, MS)

"Four years after the ride that has defined Paul Revere for well over two centuries, he faced a bruising ordeal in the court of public opinion. It arose from the failure of the Penobscot Expedition to force the British from the coast of Maine. America’s entire naval fleet of 40 vessels was lost and at least 150 American men were killed or wounded during the battle. Michael M. Greenburg tells the story of this little-known chapter of US history in The Court-Martial of Paul Revere: A Son of Liberty and America’s Forgotten Military Disaster. —Boston Globe

"Readers interested in a realist school of history will find Greenburg’s effort enlightening.” —Publishers Weekly

“A fine writer, Greenburg incorporates plenty of historic detail and atmosphere about Revere’s life and times into his 282-page book but never bogs it down with academic arcana. . . . Breaking new ground, [Greenburg] presents Revere as a "man of contrasts’’ struggling to reestablish himself in war and peace in a new country that he helped make. For all his faults, virtues and a refusal to have his honor and service besmirched, Greenburg’s Revere comes alive as a recognizable man of flesh and blood, more human than the literary legend children learn about from a catchy poem.”—
MetroWest Daily News

“Greenburg’s analysis of the legislature’s investigation and the court-martial of Revere adds significantly to previous studies of the expedition. . . . This thoroughly researched and insightful account of what is wrongly dismissed as a minor military campaign.”—
The International Journal of Maritime History

This book is well researched and thoroughly explores the times and travails of Paul Revere. It is a superb review and a great story about this important figure and his role in the early days of the Republic.”—Naval Historical Foundation

The Court-Martial of Paul Revere is the most fascinating book that I have read in a long while. This is not the Paul Revere that you thought you knew. This Revere is pugnacious, snarky, maybe underhanded, and despite the verdict in his court-martial a poor military officer. I heartily recommend this engagingly written book to anyone who wishes to know more about Revere and the War of Independence.”—John Ferling, author of Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation

“Michael M. Greenburg’s deeply researched, riveting account of the Battle of Penobscot Bay is hard to put down. It sheds important new light on a little understood episode of the American Revolution, and on the character of Paul Revere, one of America’s more complex, iconic heroes.”—George C. Daughan, author of 1812: The Navy’s War and The Shining Sea

“A fascinating look into the life of an American legend, and a good reminder that even the greatest among us are subject to human foibles and failings.”—Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., chief of staff of the United States Army (ret.)

“Michael Greenburg’s account of Paul Revere’s entanglement with the Penobscot Expedition is brilliant! Beautifully written, exhaustively researched, and judiciously fair, the book is an impressive and indispensable addition to literature on the American Revolution.”—Bernard Cornwell, author of The Fort


2015 American Revolution Round Table of Richmond Book Award Commendation

MICHAEL M. GREENBURG is the author of Peaches and Daddy: A Story of the Roaring 20s, the Birth of Tabloid Media, and the Courtship That Captured the Heart and Imagination of the American Public, and The Mad Bomber of New York: The Extraordinary True Story of the Manhunt That Paralyzed a City. He lives outside Boston.

Mon, 4 Feb 2019 13:46:22 -0500