This is the story of how Adam Cooper, fifteen years old, grew to man's estate in the passage of a few hours. The year was 1775-April- in Lexington, Massachusetts. And Adam, with a boy's enthusiasm and curiosity, was determined to sign the muster roll. From that point on, as the farmers and townspeople gathered, the story is one we all knew in childhood, but as told here, shorn of the glamor of remembered verse, realistic, unlovely, a sudden awakening for men and boys of the horror and meaninglessness and confusion of war. And yet, working below the terror and panic -- the resistance to thought of violent death, one senses a ferment, a slow awakening to an understanding as the men of Lexington, though they ran away at first onslaught, came back to the determination to hold fast what they had built and made their own. Superbly told, through the half-vision of a boy, this has a compassionate quality of stark simplicity that makes memorable reading for all ages. Those who liked William Diamond's Drum in 1959 (Doubleday) will find this fictional recreation absorbing.