Daughan provides a patriot-centric view, emphasizing bravery among the colonial militia and the British redcoats' brutality. British soldiers bayoneted a number of patriots, including the wounded, but the rebels treated captured British stragglers well. The maps are useful but could have been more detailed ... Overall, this sound, accessible history is geared toward general audiences, but it will also appeal to military historians and Revolutionary War enthusiasts.
Daughan’s thesis that the colonists feared being reduced to poverty through taxation is not especially well developed. But he does thoroughly catalog the ineptitude and hubris of His Majesty’s government in its drive to secure Massachusetts. This is a strong feature of the book, as is the author’s play-by-play description of the battle. Lexington and Concord is a worthy resource for history buffs seeking a closer look at what drove the start of the American Revolution and 'the battle heard round the world.' A fine addition to American-history collections and perfect for displays about that essential time.
Like Eric Hinderaker’s Boston’s Massacre (2017) and Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill (2013), Mr. Daughan’s book sets its topic in historical context, giving the events leading up to April 19, 1775, as much attention as the battle itself. Another asset of this book—not to be undervalued—is its readability. Brief chapters of short paragraphs, several only a sentence long, move the action forward as in a fast-paced novel. With pages that are free of jargon and footnotes, there are few reminders to the reader that historical sources lurk behind the narrative ... Mr. Daughan illuminates the widening gulf between how things were seen by men on opposite sides of the Atlantic ... Mr. Daughan is at his most original when conveying military maneuvers and assessing strategies. A noted naval historian...he reminds us of the importance of sea power to the American Revolutionary era ... This good book is not without its shortcomings ... Some may find Mr. Daughan’s narrative too synthetic or even derivative. Primary sources are often quoted from others’ monographs, on which the author at times leans heavily ... For readers who desire to know those people’s lives better, Mr. [Robert A.] Gross’s Minutemen may still be the place to start.
This is hardly a new story, but Daughan...imbues it with added nuances of character and motivation ... As Daughan clearly shows, there were many errors of judgment in Boston, perhaps due to [Gen. Thomas] Gage’s fury at being ignored; his heart was not in a fight that he knew he would lose ... a wonderful addition to the literature on the American Revolution, full of enlightening facts and figures.