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Stan Mack – Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels

July 4, 2016

Mack, Stan - Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels - 40024. Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels: A History in Comics of the American Revolution by Stan Mack (2012)

Length: 176 pages
Genre: Non-fiction

Started/Finished: 15 June 2016

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Random browsing my library’s graphic novel section, combined with my newfound interest in the American Revolution (due to Turn and Hamilton).

Some 2D people
rebelling against the King.
Yay America!

Summary: This book is pretty much what it says on the cover: a history of the American Revolution in comics. It starts with the growing colonial unrest in the 1760s, and the causes behind that, moves through the fighting in the 1770s, and then looks at the aftermath of the war and the founding of the new country.

Review: This book isn’t exactly a graphic novel. (Well, it’s non-fiction, so definitely not a novel, but it’s not even the same as most other non-fiction comics I’ve read.) It’s actually more like an extensively illustrated book: there’s a fair amount of (hand-lettered, not typeset) text on each page, each sentence accompanied by an panel or two of illustration with maybe a little bit of dialogue. However, all of the narrative is coming from the text, not from the artwork or the characters. This was actually probably pretty helpful, since the artwork is not super detailed, and the characters are more caricatures than realistic, which occasionally made them hard to tell apart. The main thing that this book does well is presenting the reader with a concise and chronological summary of the major events leading up to (and following) the Revolutionary War. However, the very conciseness of it made it difficult for me to really get a big-picture feeling for the whole thing. I also appreciated that Mack tried to incorporate a variety of perspectives on things, not just the “famous rich white men” angle, but again, a lot of the nuance was lost due to the short format. And, while I recognize that this is an personal bias and also unfair given the publication date… there’s not nearly enough Hamilton! 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Good as a quick refresher for those of us for whom history class was a long time ago, but I didn’t think it brought enough of a unique perspective to really recommend seeking it out.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Couldn’t find any. Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Welcome to the conflicts, follies, perils, and triumphs of the Revolutionary era.

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