Cover: King Hancock: The Radical Influence of a Moderate Founding Father, from Harvard University PressCover: King Hancock in HARDCOVER

King Hancock

The Radical Influence of a Moderate Founding Father

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$29.95 • £26.95 • €27.95

ISBN 9780674271777

Publication Date: 10/10/2023


320 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

21 photos


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[An] approachable biography… American history buffs will enjoy the immersive portrait of Boston’s Revolutionary era.Publishers Weekly

A terrific book. Barbier’s meticulous research sheds light on how one of the wealthiest men of his time made himself into a man of the people—a politician whose genuine capacity for sensing the popular mood commanded fierce loyalty, even as he clashed with both Loyalists and radical Patriots. John Hancock was an important figure, and this biography helps restore him to his proper place.—Robert J. Allison, author of The American Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

Barbier has written a fine biography, carefully guiding readers through Hancock’s life, his political career, and the world around him. In our politically polarized times, this founding father’s legacy of political moderation is sure to resonate.—Benjamin L. Carp, author of The Great New York Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution

In this lively and insightful biography, Barbier illuminates John Hancock’s mastery of popular politics in an age of revolution. Drawing on a rich and profound knowledge of eighteenth-century Boston, she recovers the social world of a leader whose skills extended far beyond his celebrated penmanship.—Alan Taylor, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750–1804

An exuberant biography, well told and spirited. As we follow John Hancock through the turmoil that led to the Revolution, we see a man guided more by a desire to charm, entertain, and curry favor with both elites and ordinary people than by a rigid commitment to a specific politics or ideology. In Barbier’s hands Hancock’s life unfolds as dramatic theater.—Sharon V. Salinger, author of Taverns and Drinking in Early America

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