Belmont Public Library has announced that Nathaniel Philbrick’s best selling history, Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution has been selected as the featured title for One Book One Belmont 2014, the library’s fifth town-wide reading program.
The library and a dozen co-sponsoring community groups invite residents to read the book and participate in book discussions and other activities from April through early May.
Philbrick is scheduled to speak in Belmont on Tuesday evening, May 6.
The winner of the 2013 New England Book Award for nonfiction, Bunker Hill has been optioned for film by Ben Affleck and a movie is now in development.
The One Book One Belmont (OBOB) Planning Committee, made up of representatives of the library and various town departments and commissions, selected the book after reviewing suggestions from library patrons and staff.
“Philbrick is a great storyteller,” said library director Maureen Conners. “Our patrons have enjoyed reading about local history in past One Book One Belmont programs, so we believe the community will enjoy his ability to bring Revolutionary-era Boston and its citizens to life.”
In this best-selling history, Philbrick, the author of Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea, tells the story of the first, and perhaps bloodiest, major battle of the Revolutionary War. According to Publisher’s Weekly, “No one has told the tale better.”
Philbrick focuses on Boston, where vigilantes filled the streets with a sinister and frightening violence even as calmer patriots negotiated with the British. The book tracks in detail the 18 months following the Boston Tea Party in Dec. 1773, as Boston turned from the center of patriot defiance to a British-occupied city under siege.
Through storied events such as the skirmishes at Lexington and Concord, Philbrick builds to the extraordinary moment in American history when a group of ordinary citizens – including man in the surrounding area – stood up to several regiments of British regulars in the vicious engagement. Although the patriots ultimately were routed, it was at great cost to the British, for nearly half their troops were killed or wounded.
Philbrick’s irreverent take on familiar characters like George Washington should have widespread appeal. He also paints vivid portraits of unsung heroes like Joseph Warren, the charismatic 33-year-old physician who organized revolutionary action in Boston while more well-known figures like John Adams, Sam Adams, and John Hancock were far away attending the Continental Congress.
Residents can borrow Bunker Hill from the library in many different formats: print, large print, book on CD, downloadable ebook (from the Overdrive catalog), Playaway (an MP3 player loaded with just this book), or on the library's circulating Kindles.
To place a request, please go to http://library.minlib.net/search/ or call 617-993-2870.
To find out more about the book, the OBOB co-sponsors, and the exciting walk, lectures, youth program and discussions planned throughout April and into early May, visit onebookonebelmont.com