Public Program: Nathaniel Philbrick Takes a Fresh Look at Bunker Hill

This Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m., Nathaniel Philbrick will deliver a lecture titled “Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution,” based on his new book of the same name. We’re particularly excited to have Mr. Philbrick here this week as the book’s release date is today, making his visit to AAS one of the first stops on his promotional tour! No doubt Antiquarian Hall will be full of energy and historical enthusiasm.

The award-winning and bestselling author’s latest book brings him back to Massachusetts and takes a fresh look at one of Boston’s most well-known events, the Battle of Bunker Hill. In this new examination of the beginnings of what would become the American Revolution, Philbrick weaves a tale with a vibrant cast of characters, some still famous for their parts in the Revolution, others long-forgotten heroes that reemerge here in their rightful places. Among the revived is Joseph Warren, a thirty-three-year-old physician who became the on-the-ground leader of the Patriot cause. Warren gave William Dawes and Paul Revere the orders to send out the alarm that British troops were headed to Concord; Warren remained in the city until the last possible moment, and was then elected President of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress even as he supervised the organization of the nascent Continental Army. Clearly the credit for choreographing the Revolution doesn’t belong solely to the likes of John and Sam Adams, John Hancock, and George Washington.

Philbrick’s story embroils us in the fabric of pre-Revolutionary Boston—a city of 15,000 inhabitants packed onto a land-connected island of just 1.2 square miles. The narrative includes the larger-than-life personalities and soon-to-be heroes, but it also gets down into the interplay of ideologies and personalities that provoked a group of merchants, farmers, artisans, and sailors to take up arms against their own country – no small stakes, indeed.

If you loved In the Heart of the Sea, Mayflower, or any of his other narratives, this is sure to be a wonderful introduction to the new book given by the man himself. We hope to see you there, as well as at our other public programs this spring!

Published by

Kayla Haveles

Outreach Coordinator, American Antiquarian Society

2 thoughts on “Public Program: Nathaniel Philbrick Takes a Fresh Look at Bunker Hill”

  1. I look forward to reading Mr. Philbrick’s new book, but I have a question. I have discovered that a letter in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical Society written by Peter Brown is quoted several times. I have been researching his origins and believe him to have been Scotch-Irish. He later married Olive Dunsmoor of Lancaster, Mass. and settled in Lunenburg, Mass. where I now live. I am a great++granddaughter of Peter and am also researching the town’s early settlers and history. I wonder if Mr. Philbrick discovered anything about Peter Brown’s own history during his work on \Bunker Hill.\
    Thank you,
    Eileen O’Brien

    1. It’s sounds like you’ve done quite a bit of research yourself! Unfortunately I can’t help answer whether he was able to discover any details about Peter Brown. Have you tried contacting the Massachusetts Historical Society? Since they own the letter perhaps they have some biographical information available on him.

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