The tale of one of the forgotten figures of the American Revolution—Dr. Joseph Warren, who, before being killed at Bunker Hill in 1775 was involved in almost every major insurrectionary act in the Boston area for a decade, from the Stamp Act protests to the Boston Massacre to the Boston Tea Party.
In Founding Martyr, Christian Di Spigna has produced a gripping biography of one of the American Revolution’s earliest activists. This is no whitewashed version of the Founding. Mr. Di Spigna’s Boston is a rough place, with violence on all sides and a growing suspicion of British rule ... Mr. Di Spigna is especially good at illuminating the importance of Warren’s association with the Masons...as well as his religious congregation and more formal groups such as the Committee of Safety, which coordinated colonial protests ... He came to the cause, Mr. Di Spigna convincingly argues, through a combination of moral conviction and personal motivation ... Founding Martyr helps restore to their proper place Joseph Warren’s important contributions to our nation’s prehistory.
Di Spigna, a Colonial Williamsburg volunteer and enthusiast of the era, sometimes borders on hagiography with an overt mission of boosting Warren's historical prominence ... Still, this concise and accessible primer on a significant but mostly forgotten figure offers a great read for those interested in early American history beyond the usual names.
In this unabashedly admiring biography, Di Spigna strives to restore Warren’s fame ... While Di Spigna’s account verges on hagiography, readers may sense that Warren was a romantic adventurer who preferred fighting to the pursuits of healing and family life. This is a valuable reminder that it takes all types to make a revolution.