Books by P.M. Zall

Released: June 1, 1993

``I am glad my brother made an essay for a postscript to your letter. I must get him to read it to me...because I don't understand his writing. I observe that he is Mamma's `Ducky Darling.''' A score of teenaged voices—tart, concerned for family and friends, anguished or detached—bring the revolutionary era uniquely to life. Zall has drawn these letters and diary extracts from some notably obscure sources (all cited), modernizing their spelling and linking them with a historical overview and explanatory introductions. He has chosen well: life in the colonies emerges clearly from 14-year-old Solomon Drowne's account of a 1767 outing to Newport; the courtroom testimony of ``Slave Andrew'' paints a heterodox picture of the Boston Massacre; Samuel Welch, 19, vividly recalls the horrors of Bunker Hill; Betsy Ambler, 16, daughter of a government official, the terrors of staying one step ahead of British raiders. Not everyone is directly affected by the war: Virginia deb Lucinda Lee lives in a postwar whirl of parties; John Quincy Adams plays pranks at Harvard; and Martha Jefferson records her impressions of Paris. An illuminating portrait of a generation both like and unlike ours. Illustrations not seen. (Nonfiction. 11+) Read full book review >