THE INFAMOUS BOSTON MASSACRE by Robert Smith

THE INFAMOUS BOSTON MASSACRE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What occurred in Boston on March 5, 1770 was hardly a massacre, since the victims were not altogether (or all) innocent, the British soldiers not altogether (or all) adjudged culpable; neither was it a landmark in American history except as a sign of the times. But the series of fracases arising from resentment at British troops being quartered in the city, and from the soldiers' resentment at being badly treated, have a dramatic punch in Mr. Smith's on-the-spot account, and so does the convergence of brawlers and bystanders on the King Street Custom House, the taunting of the sentry, the arrival of a relief party, and the melee that ensued. Following the incident past the removal of the troops to Boston harbor (and Sam Adams' role) to the trial of the British (and John Adams' role), the author weighs conflicting evidence and, more importantly, the responsibility of those involved, arriving at a controversial assessment of Crispus Attucks: that his actions were inflammatory, his intentions clear and pure--to oppose tyranny. One may argue with the attribution of taxation solely to cupidity but in regard to the massacre Mr. Smith does not dissemble: he provides sufficient information for the reader to judge for himself--if he cares to become involved with a relatively minor matter.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Crowell-Collier