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The Boston Massacre by Hiller B. Zobel - A Book Report

Updated on November 15, 2012

The Boston Massacre study

The Boston Massacre by Hiller B. Zobel is a reasoned, historical research that makes a bold attempt to chase away one of the great myths associated with the commencement of the American Revolution. Zobel attempts to slowly take away the stories and myths related to the infamous affair of 5 March 1770, so that the readers are able to judge the entire events without any bias. What really happened was something that is completely dissimilar to the popularly known story. Zobel explain the original events that resulted in the King Street Violence and help the readers become familiar with the key players who influenced the whole show. The book gets in to the details of the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, and Customs Duties and other crucial events that aroused anger, resentment and problems in Boston. Author further explain the violence and fight initiated by Boston's radical elements in order to fight against these acts. Author goes into the details of the reason why British soldiers landed in Boston initially. The Massachusetts Colony did not had their own civil police force. As the civilians resorted to violence and became a threat to the law, order and peace Boston, military action was the only possible legal recourse. The mob violently protested against the Stamp Act and Custom Duties and became a threat to the peace of the town.

The story of Boston Massacre

The story of Boston Massacre that is explained in The Boston Massacre is not the story of the cruel massacre done by British soldiers who unsympathetically fired the silent crowd that gathered for a peaceful purpose. Readers who have completely swallowed the old Boston Massacre legend would wonder as the go through the revealing of Hiller B. Zobel. Author tells the helplessness of a confused and frightened military troop who were compelled to resort to violence by a dangerous provocative crowd that have already committed violence. The troop fired the mob not because of any order but because of confusion. The story (the story of righteous citizens killed by ruthless soldiers) became known to the whole world as a result of the convincing power of Samuel Adams who interpreted the story in a different way (compared to what explained in The Boston Massacre). Author attends all the small and big events of the massacre and also explains the aftermath, particularly the plight of the troop that dared to fire at the angry mob.

The Boston Massacre Review

Hiller B. Zobel, the Associate Professor of Law at Boston College Law School is qualified and experienced enough to dissect the Boston drama and did a great job in exploring the truth of this highly misunderstood event. He explained it clearly and concisely and almost succeeded in convincing the crowd the innocence and helplessness of the troop. The book is well researched with excellent bibliography. Author also succeeded in maintaining the readers’ interest till the end even though he used long explanations and passages in the book. The book is indeed a recommended read for anyone who is so keen about the stories of America's late colonial period and revolution. However the book will be boring a dry for the readers who possess little knowledge about the pre-Revolutionary Boston politics.

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