When people think of Samuel Adams these days, the beer, and not the Revolutionary War hero, may come to mind first. But a new book from Ira Stoll—Samuel Adams: A Life—makes the case for bringing the cousin of John Adams out of "the attic of history." Michael Moynihan's review calls Stoll's book "a compelling portrait of an overlooked figure."
Moynihan calls Adams the "Zelig of independence" for turning up at so many key moments in America's founding. He agitated his fellow colonists against British taxation and guided the 1779 Massachusetts Constitution, an inspiration for the US Constitution, to its final form. He adds that while Adams was something of a "moral scold," he was also the "moral conscience of the American Revolution."