THE FOUNDING FORTUNES: How The Wealthy Paid For and Profited From America’s Revolution by Tom Shachtman

The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid for and Profited from America's Revolution

In The Founding Fortunes, historian Tom Shachtman reveals the ways in which a dozen notable Revolutionaries deeply affected the finances and birth of the new country while making and losing their fortunes.

In times of war, the rich usually do get richer and the poor are still poor, yet free. Somewhat.  This well-researched telling of the well known and not so well known who put their money into biting the very hand that was feeding them. In order to have control over what they grew and who they sold to this young country and its leaders were far from perfect and often put their own interests above the country.

The British wanted total control and the John Hancocks and George Washingtons of the time wanted the opposite. To control their own taxes, representations, to settle their own disputes and have free trade. We also meet a lot of people who were less well-known but never the less played significant roles in this time period.

Several things struck me reading this book. One, these guys did not have, as a rule, long lives. So what they accomplished as very young men was astounding. They were determined to define their own destiny in this new world. They had left England for a reason and that was the freedom to determine their own fate.

Excellent research and a much-needed history lesson for the times!

NetGalley/ January 21st, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

The Murmur of Bees by Sophia Segovia

The Murmur of Bees

Translated by Simon Bruni

From a beguiling voice in Mexican fiction comes an astonishing novel—her first to be translated into English—about a mysterious child with the power to change a family’s history in a country on the verge of revolution.

The day Nana Reja found a tiny baby under a bridge, wrapped in a blanket of bees, life in their small village in Mexico changed. Baby Simonopio had been kissed by the devil some said. With his deformed mouth, there are some that believe he is the devil. But not the Morales family. They have adopted Nana Reja and Simonopio and love them both deeply.

As he grows he wanders the fields with his swarm of bees. Listening to what they tell him. It seems his purpose is to watch over the family and protect them with the visions he has.

In the middle of the Mexican Revolution and the 1918 flu outbreak, the Morales family survives and with the help of Simonopio, they thrive. Is it magic? Is it love and faith?

Whichever it is there is always someone waiting to destroy what they do not understand and this evil could destroy an entire family.

If this book was this beautiful and moving after the translation,  I can only imagine what it feels like in its native tongue.

It was a pleasure to read and I’m sure I will read it again!