A portrait of the Revolutionary War as a family spat that got out of hand.
In a savvy effort to make the war more accessible to young audiences, Krull begins by characterizing it as a “blowup between a parent figure and unruly children.” She then goes on to trace its course from the Stamp Act to the Treaty of Paris. Glib and readable as her overall account may be, though, it’s so frequently interrupted by discursive anecdotes and “Wise Words” from both participants and such modern savants as Hillary Clinton and Lin-Manual Miranda (the latter in an amusingly bowdlerized quote) that it’s often hard to keep track of events. More problematically, her language is afflicted with a pervasive parochialism that comes out both in her repeated use of the term “slaves” and, notwithstanding a proper acknowledgement of the influence of the Iroquois Confederacy on the political thinking of the Declaration’s drafters, several references to Native peoples as generic “Indians.” She does remember the ladies as well as African-Americans who fought on both sides, and she closes with an inspiring appreciation of the ways ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence have gone on to affect the histories of this and many other countries. In her line drawings DiVito adds tongue-in-cheek notes, portraying George Washington as Captain America, for instance, and tucking a few extra heads among those on Mount Rushmore.
A patchy, unusually wrong-footed outing from the deservedly esteemed historian. (maps, index, source list) (History. 10-13)