In July 1776, fifty-six men risked their lives and livelihood to defy the British and sign the most important document in the history of the United States and yet how many of them do we actually remember? Signing Their Lives Away introduces readers to the eclectic group of statesmen, soldiers, criminals, and crackpots who were chosen to sign this historic document and the many strange fates that awaited them. Some died from war-related injuries; others had their homes and farms seized by British soldiers; a few rose to the highest levels of U.S. government (ten signers were later elected to Congress). George Wythe was murdered by his nephew; Button Gwinnet was killed in a duel; and of course Sam Adams went on to fame and fortune as a patriot/brewer. Complete with a reversible parchment jacket (offering a facsimile of the Declaration on the reverse), Signing Their Lives Away provides an entertaining and enlightening narrative for history buffs of all ages.
Gr 5 Up-On that immortal "Second of July," in 1776, 56 men described by King George III as daring and desperate affixed their names to the most celebrated document in American history. Or did they? With this work, Kiernan and D'Agnese present readers with astonishing individual portraits of all the signers in an attempt both to dispel some of the mythology surrounding the document as well as to establish a place in the historical discourse for those men not named Jefferson, Hancock, Franklin, or Adams. The marvelously arranged work lends itself to either straightforward reading or skipping around. The table of contents, divided by state, sparks readers' interest from the very beginning with its "the Signer who." format, a feature that also allows great accessibility for reports and assignments. An entertaining and effective narrative of about three to five pages per individual is presented, and the full text of the document, a brief time line, and a section on the "Miscellany of Independence" are appended. Readers will delight as they discover just which signer "was the first to die," "slept in caves," "had the worst penmanship," and "went broke on shady land deals."-Brian Odom, Pelham Public Library, AL Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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June 02, 2009
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