Even his friends agreed that "there was nothing special about Patrick Henry as a boy." But despite the gimmicky emphasis on the 29th of May--the day Henry's "bawling out" of King George reached treasonable proportions--this life is far from dull. In fact it conveys a sense of the great orator's character that's absent in more sedate, older biographies: a boy who always wore clean underwear beneath his shabby clothes; an eighteen-year-old whose "storekeeping was a failure, but his courting. . . a success" (he married into wealth, 300 acres and six slaves); and, finally, the popular speaker and somewhat vain landowner ("knee-deep in dogs and children") whom the brainier Jefferson described as "all tongue." Along the way Fritz introduces some memorable historical asides--one learns that Henry seems to have picked up his talent from a speechmaking uncle named Langloo Winston; and that there was a celebration after the Battle of Saratoga when one Walter Lenox "imagined he was a cannon. Boom-booming and bang-banging all night. . . ." Margot Tomes makes the most of Henry's theatrical posturing and altogether this spunky, irreverent performance captures the essence of the celebrated "Patrick flash.