Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In The World of Samuel Adams, Donald Barr Chidsey has fashioned both a biography and a historical account. The work is about Samuel Adams, but it is also about the American colonies and their struggle for independence from Great Britain. Chidsey presents a chronological record of events that led to the American revolutionary war. The biography centers on Adams as an outstanding leader, a Boston politician, and an American patriot. Chidsey states that Adams can rightfully be called the grandfather of his country; he was the one who laid the foundation.

In chapters 1 and 2, Chidsey portrays Adams as an ordinary man of Puritan disposition and provides background information concerning the Adams family. Samuel’s father was known as Deacon Adams, and he became involved in many business ventures. When Samuel was eighteen and a student at Harvard College, Deacon Adams lost a considerable amount of money in a land bank failure. The British closed the bank and declared it illegal, which caused Samuel Adams to become very angry at the British government. He resented their exercises of power over the colonists. Adams spent the rest of his life in the political arena and worked to free the colonies from British rule and control.

In chapters 3 through 27, Chidsey profiles the public life and world of Adams. He does not concentrate on depicting Adams as a many-sided individual; instead, he writes about Adams’ outer life and social roles....

(The entire section is 416 words.)