The Boston Massacre: A Family History

Houghton Harcourt. Feb. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780544911154. $30. HIST
Focusing on the years leading up to the Boston Massacre, Zabin (Dangerous Economies) reveals an intermingling between the inhabitants of Boston and the soldiers stationed there to protect the government from riots as tensions increased. Soldiers were housed right in town, in close proximity to residents who considered them an occupying force. Families were stationed with the soldiers, and many soldiers married into Boston families during the occupation. This intermingling created a charged situation leading up to the massacre, pitting soldiers and family members against one other. Zabin spends little time dissecting the massacre itself, which has been studied in detail by other scholars. Instead, the author focuses on the personal lives of those who contributed to the tensions between soldiers and citizens.
VERDICT Zabin has done extensive research into the public records of several Revolutionary era archives and has compiled a compelling history of the Boston Massacre, weaving personal stories together to present a comprehensive view of this turning point incident.

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