Patrick Henry: Champion of Liberty
In this lively biography, Kukla (Mr. Jefferson's Women), former director of Red Hill Patrick Henry National Memorial, recovers Patrick Henry's foundational role in shaping the American independence movement and, ultimately, the young republic itself. Henry is best known today as an impassioned orator, but Kukla looks beyond the speeches to develop a fuller portrait of Henry as an attorney, statesman, landowner, and society man, highlighting his contributions to key debates around such issues as the Stamp Act and westward expansion. In the book's descriptions of Henry, including those of his early eloquence in the courtroom, his work on the Declaration of Rights, and his later service as the governor of Virginia, he emerges as a passionate and civic-minded thinker who remained attuned to the needs and concerns of everyday people throughout his career. Drawing on commentary from such contemporaries as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, Kukla depicts Henry against the backdrop of 18th-century American life, addressing Henry's views on slavery, emergent Southern identity, and international trade as well as his resistance toward British rule. Kukla's fluid prose and careful attention to detail ensure that this biography will appeal to both general readers interested in the founding fathers and scholars interested in learning more about the development of the early republic.
- Stephen Hanselman, LevelFiveMedia. (July 2017)