Ira Stoll's Samuel Adams: A Life

748 Words3 Pages
In Samuel Adams: A Life, author Ira Stoll begins Adams’s biography with a prelude explaining the purpose of his book: to describe Samuel Adams, tell why history has largely forgotten him, and serve as a reminder for why we should remember him. On the whole, Stoll is true to his promise; he writes of Adams’s life, pulling accounts from Adams’s contemporaries as well as using excerpts of Adams’s personal correspondence and his numerous newspaper publications. Stoll’s research is evident in that he includes the opinions and research of other historians and Samuel Adams biographers. Stoll’s biography follows Samuel Adams from childhood to death, and thus essentially tells of the origins and formation of the United States. The biography is compelling,…show more content…
Stoll includes correspondence between Adams and his colleagues and uses contemporary’s personal accounts of Adams to highlight how others perceived him. Stoll’s utilization of a vast array of sources helps further develop Adams’s character. However, Stoll’s devotion to Samuel Adams is also noticeable in the sense that he glosses over some of Adams’s more distasteful actions and will sometimes go out of his way to show Adams in a positive light, writing long-winded paragraphs in his defense, a kindness not afforded to Adams’s opponents. Stoll consistently reminds the reader of the context behind Adam’s actions that by modern standards would be seen as religiously fanatic and often casts shadows of doubt on accusations of Adams’s role in violent situations. Stoll’s biography intends to not only educate about Samuel Adams’s life, but to remind the reader why we should not forget Adams. In his urgency to argue how important he is, Stoll takes it upon himself to redeem Adams in every possible way. In doing this, Stoll does not fully acknowledge accusations of Adams’s roles in inciting mob violence and manipulating the masses with false propaganda. There has always been debate on Samuel Adams’s character and intentions, and Stoll consistently asserts that Samuel Adams is more innocent than guilty. While Stoll is effective in prompting a newfound sense
Open Document