Unlike Jean Fritz' jaunty ride, Why Don't You Get A Horse, Sam Adams?, this comes close -- as close as the subtitle suggests -- to the old tradition of the illustrated boys' life. Sam's dedication to liberty and equality is traced right back to his childhood conversations with ""mechanicks"" (laborers) about King George -- ""Does he really sit on a throne, Bill? Sure and he eats roast beef and gravy and I have to work hard all day and go home and eat corn bread. That did not seem fair."" Nor is there any more debunking of Sam's role in the Boston massacre case. Yet the flag-waving style is somehow appropriate to the single-minded career of Adams and Richardson does make the essential point about Adams that more subtle books sometimes miss -- that he identified the cause of American independence with the working class and held the ""haughty families"" including many of his fellow founding fathers in lifelong disdain.