History & Biography

Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking)

About the Book

Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick brings his prodigious talents to the story of the Boston battle that ignited the American Revolution.

Boston in 1775 is an island city occupied by British troops after a series of incendiary incidents by patriots who range from sober citizens to thuggish vigilantes. After the Boston Tea Party, British and American soldiers and Massachusetts residents have warily maneuvered around each other until April 19, when violence finally erupts at Lexington and Concord. In June, with the city cut off from supplies by a British blockade and Patriot militia poised in siege, skirmishes give way to outright war in the Battle of Bunker Hill. It would be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution to come, and the point of no return for the rebellious colonists.

Philbrick brings a fresh perspective to every aspect of the story. He finds new characters, and new facets to familiar ones: the 33-year-old physician Joseph Warren (who emerges as the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause), Paul Revere, the poet Mercy Scollay, a newly recruited George Washington, the reluctant British combatant General Thomas Gage and his successor William Howe, who presides over the claustrophobic cauldron of a city under siege as both sides play a nervy game of brinkmanship for control.

With passion and insight, Philbrick reconstructs the revolutionary landscape—geographic and ideological—in a mesmerizing narrative of the robust, messy, blisteringly real origins of America.

About the Author

Nathaniel Philbrick is The New York Times bestselling author of National Book Award winner In the Heart of the Sea, Pulitzer Prize finalist Mayflower, Sea of Glory, and The Last Stand. He is also the author of Why Read Moby-Dick? and Away Off Shore. He lives on Nantucket.

Visit Nathaniel Philbrick's Viking author page for more.

Jacket cover courtesy of Viking. Author photo: Ellen Warner.