My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I saw Dr. Joseph Warren’s name the first time, in October 2013, while taking a picture of the Massachusetts Gate at Bunker Hill. That initial meeting didn’t stick. In my defense there was a government shutdown at the time, and the monument was closed.
My second meeting took place in July 2016 when I began historical research for the novel I’m currently writing, which is set in and around Boston over the period January – June 1775. I fell in love with Joseph the moment I read his name and immediately elevated his character above all the others in the book, except the protagonist.
Among the hundreds of people and events of the period that I had to untangle and portray with accuracy, I began to research Joseph Warren outside of the writings of other nonfiction authors.
That’s how I found Dr. Samuel Forman on YouTube. The first video was Ronald Reagan inspired by Joseph Warren. Then, I watched Dr. Forman’s lectures, videos, and interviews on the subject many times. I understood that his interest in Warren came from a physician’s point of view as much as a scholarly one. I mention this to illustrate the very serious effort I made to determine where my definitive fictional portrayal of Joseph Warren would reside. I decided it would reside with Dr. Forman, so I bought this book. My husband commandeered it as soon as it arrived. I allowed it because I was entering my initial research on the Battle of Bunker Hill.
I finished reading the book on January 3, 2017. I cried through the foreword more than once. In Acknowledgements, Dr. Forman thanked his wife for accommodating his endeavor and living with a long-dead patriot as an ex officio member of his household for 6 years. Chapter 15 was especially fun!
I reached out to Dr. Forman because he wrote about reversing Warren’s obscurity through realistically fictionalized works. That’s what I’m striving to do.
Thank you, Dr. Forman, for writing a scientific, fair, and passionate book about Dr. Joseph Warren, a wonderful man who did so much good in his short life. Without it, I would not have “heard” his words as clearly. I promise I will be worthy of Joseph Warren in my own writings of him.