“LION OF LIBERTY” Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation
Harlow Giles Unger
Da Capo Press-2010
In this magnificent book Harlow Unger paints a portrait of Patrick Henry that will inspire, recharge and get us excited; if not passionate; about what freedom is and why we as Americans strive, desire and covet that ideal.
Harlow Unger, I have to admit is one of my favorite authors. He combines true story telling mixed with sound academic research and writing that leaves nothing out. Each chapter referenced is Healy laden with reference notes (18 pages), which include writings from Henry himself to letters of others, firsthand account documents, Court records, Church records and more. This serves in giving you, not only personal insight on his views, but a complete portrait of how others viewed him at the time.
The opening leaves you in suspense as the young Henry makes his first appearance in a courtroom, seemingly not sure what to do. The Judge was on the verge of throwing out the case and awarding the other party the victory. We find out later that Henry, a master of the courtroom stage was more than ready to argue almost any point. We see his love of family, love of country and love of law shine through.
In this work we see how Patrick Henry developed his skills in the backwoods. We see who his first audience (the animals) was and how he crafted his art and performance. As the book progresses we see his genius from soon to be peers to taking on challenges of the mother country in respects to the legal standings. These accounts you will just have to read for yourself, and I will say it is well worth the read.
This book sounds the cry of freedom and political statement s that are as relevant today as they were then. “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” may be Henry’s legacy to our Nation, but what you will find is that he left so much more. This Masterpiece and Portrait of Patrick Henry is something every American should read, regardless of your viewpoints; left or right. To continue on as a nation we have to have an understanding of who we are and the other viewpoints of the opposition, then we can grow. As much as Van Buran brought us party politics, Henry brought us the will and the determination to speak out, stand up and demand to be heard.
Our History Project, Inc.