“People fall in private, long before they fall in public. The tree falls with a great crash, but the secret decay which accounts for it, is often not discovered until it is down on the ground.” — J. C. Ryle
“True education is not giving in the answer, it’s in showing them how to find it.” — Kelly Crawford
“Paul’s life was a prophetic book for Jews to read and see how to be saved, so our lives should be an easy to read book for the lost on how they can easily be saved.” — Ken Ham
“Music is a discipline, and a mistress of order and good manners, she makes the people milder and gentler, more moral and more reasonable.” — Martin Luther
“[T]he ministry of Satan is employed to instigate the reprobate, whenever the Lord, in the course of his providence, has any purpose to accomplish in them...” — John Calvin (Institutes 2.4.5)
“If you don’t fear God, you’ll fear everything.” — Dan Horn
“Man does not need to know exhaustively in order to know truly and certainly.” — Cornelius Van Til
“People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do.” — Thomas Sowell
“I’m not lost.” — Frank Churchill
“Heaven is eternity in the presence of God through a Mediator. Hell is eternity in the presence of God with no Mediator.” — Tony Reinke
“Some people get an education without going to college; the rest get it after they get out.” — Mark Twain
"When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians, the devil smiles. When he stops studying the Bible, the devil laughs. When he stops praying, the devil shouts for joy." — Corrie ten Boom
“My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“The very familiarity of blessings sometimes makes us insensible to their value."— J. C. Ryle
“Be as careful of the books you read as of the company you keep, for your habits and character will be as much influenced by the former as by the latter.” — Paxton Hood
“Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your own living room by people you wouldn’t have in your house.” — David Frost
“The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.” — La Rochefoucauld
“Drag and Drop for Windows users: DRAG your peecee off your desk, and DROP it in the trash.” — some forum member’s tagline
“The measure of a great teacher isn’t what he or she knows; it’s what the students know.” — John C. Maxwell
“Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.” — Elias Boudinot
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.” — St. Augustine
“Thanks, modest girls. Appreciated by a male whose time studying the ground is proportional to each degree of rising temperature.” — Unknown
“Dreams don’t work unless you do.” — John C. Maxwell
“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” — Sir Richard Steele
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” — Martin Luther
“I find television very educational. Every time someone turns it on, I go in the other room and read a book.” — Groucho Marx
“Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.” — George Washington
“I began my education at a very early age—in fact, right after I left college.” — Winston Churchill
“Non-Christian investigators of nature are as successful as they are because they work with stolen capital.” — Cornelius Van Til
“TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book.” — Unknown
“Even if you are on the right track, but just sit there, you will still get run over.” — Will Rogers
“When she married you, she gave you her life to spend. Are you spending your life wisely?” — Dan Horn
“A lot of men have a wishbone where they ought to have a backbone.” — Unknown
“Self-righteousness is being more aware of and irritated by the sins of others than you are conscious of and grieved by your own.” — Paul Tripp
“The cold water of persecution is often thrown on the church’s face to fetch her to herself when she is in a swoon of indolence or pride.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.” — Jackie Mason
“Luther once said, ‘The devil hates goose quills,’ and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage.” — C. H. Spurgeon
“A ship in the harbor is safe—but that is not what ships are built for.” — John Shedd
“[N]ot one particle remains to man as a ground of boasting. The whole is of God.” — John Calvin (Institutes 2.3.6)
“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” — C. S. Lewis
“What is the best safeguard against false doctrine? The Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.” — J. C. Ryle
“Question everything but Scripture.” — Geoff Botkin
“We should never do what we cannot pray God to bless.” — James Smith
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." — Edmund Burke
“People will not look forward to posterity who will not look backward to their ancestors.” — Edmund Burke
“One proud, surly, lordly word, one needless contention, one covetous action, may cut the throat of many a sermon. Take heed to yourselves, lest your example contradict your doctrine.” — Richard Baxter
“I will keep the ground that God has given me and perhaps in his grace, he will ignite me again. But ignite me or not, in his grace, in his power, I will hold the ground.” — John Knox
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they simply make the best of everything they have.” — Unknown
— April 2nd, 2012 —
“In 1770, the fuse of revolution is lit by a fateful command—“Fire!”—as England’s peacekeeping mission ignites into the Boston Massacre. The senseless killing of civilians leads to a tumultuous trial in which lawyer John Adams must defend the very enemy who has assaulted and abused the laws he holds sacred.
The taut courtroom drama soon broadens into a stunning epic of war as King George III leads a reckless and corrupt government in London toward the escalating abuse of his colonies. Outraged by the increasing loss of their liberties, an extraordinary gathering of America’s most inspiring characters confronts the British presence with the ideals that will change history….
More than a powerful portrait of the people and purpose of the Revolution, Rise to Rebellion is a vivid account of history’s most pivotal events. The Boston Tea Party, the battles of Concord and Bunker Hill—all are re-created with the kind of breathtaking detail only a master like Jeff Shaara can muster. His most impressive achievement, Rise to Rebellion reveals with new immediacy how philosophers became fighters, ideas their ammunition, and how a scattered group of colonies became the United States of America.” — from the inside flaps
Jeff Shaara writes historical fiction, and he’s good at it, too. Not only that, but his books are actually appropriate to read—and what’s more, he has an honest appreciation of history, and dislikes it when the revisionists try to throw mud on the truly great men of the past. For those reasons, he is, in my opinion, one of the best historical fiction writers alive today.
His main characters are real people: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Gage. As such, he realizes he has an enormous duty to be very careful with the words he puts in their mouths and the way he portrays them, and he accordingly spends a tremendous amount of time researching each character. I’m thankful for that. Mr. Shaara is a breath of fresh air in a world where the historical must be made the sensational, the salacious, the sacrilegious. Mr. Shaara has respect for the great characters in our history; and for that, I respect him.
As it’s the first book of two on the War for Independence, I prefer to think of Rise to Rebellion as an Act 1 rather than as a stand-alone book; for while very little major, explosive action happens here, the stage is set, the characters are introduced, and the conflict emerges. A good deal of the book is taken up in showing the rumblings of war, culminating in the historic events on July 2, 1776.
While we certainly see action in battle, discussion plays a key role in the book—just as discussion was key in the development of the conflict in real life. Nevertheless, Mr. Shaara has a peculiar ability, I think, to make such conversation interesting. While the great discussions of the Continental Congress develop the conflict, the small talk between great men develop their characters. I believe he does an excellent job of humanizing the giants of history.
Mr. Shaara writes for adults; and because of this, his books are on a bit more of a mature level, written for more mature readers, than G.A. Henty’s or Douglas Bond’s are. Regardless, even though he doesn’t write for young people, per se, this is a great book that I can comfortably recommend to that audience.
INDECENCY: Almost none. There are a couple of scenes in which Franklin is unclothed in his room with the window open, as this is a peculiar aspect of his philosophy of health; fortunately, his nudity is not the emphasis of either scene—it just happens to be the case, and is handled tactfully. (Again, I believe it’s the author’s attempts to be honest with the men of history—warts and all—that is responsible for it being in the book.)
LANGUAGE: In my opinion, it’s comparatively mild. Thankfully, Mr. Shaara uses discretion with the language, and it often depends on how profane any given character was in real life. That said, the Lord’s name is taken in vain from time to time; probably more common, however, are d*mn, hell, and, to a lesser degree, bl**dy. On a rare occasion some other word will show up; but overall, for having been written in modern times, the book is pretty good about language. NOTE: Washington takes the Lord’s name in vain twice (maybe three times) and uses the d-word. I highly doubt he would have done so in real life.
AGE RANGE: It always depends on the parent’s evaluation of the child’s maturity. I would say Mr. Shaara is a step above G. A. Henty; and with that in mind, I’d probably let my thirteen- or fourteen-year-old read it.