In The Price of Independence, Broadus Mitchell incorporates a single unifying thesis: the real story behind the American Revolution , not just the battles and the combatants, but how they actually were fought and the terrible hardships and pain that accom-panied the long marches in brutally harsh weather with little food.
Broadus Mitchell is one of the few authors who has dared to unveil the dark side, the realistic view of the American Revolution, often lacking in high school textbooks. I was extremely amazed and at times horrified by the events I encountered in The Price of Independence. Out of 3500 American doctors, only 200 had medical degrees; thus the medical treatment of the injured was horrendous. Often the dead lay alongside the living as infection ran rampant throughout the "hospitals." I could not believe that Benjamin Franklin offered the idea of using bows and arrows instead of muskets since few worked correctly and gun powder and ammunition were rare commodities.
The author believes that few Americans supported the war and many opposed Washington's leadership. One can infer that Mitchell wrote the book in response to the idealistic and fairy-tale view of the famous painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware. Mitchell is extremely persuasive , each succeeding chapter filled me with more awe and incredulity; but the author constantly backed up his facts with statistics, quotes, and other convincing information. Most of the events I read were completely new to me , few books have dared to go where Mitchell has gone.
I will never look at the American Revolution in the same way again; the book is just too shocking to be forgotten. It seems that Broadus Mitchell set out on a mission to expose the real side of the Revolution and he succeeded.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.