Why Longfellow Lied: The Truth About Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride

Charlesbridge. Aug. 2021. 160p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781580899338.
Gr 6 Up–A deeper look at Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1860 poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” that examines the narrative told by the poem and how it compares to the actual events of that fateful night in American history. The author’s approach to this historical comparison is especially accessible to high school students. Call-out boxes throughout provide readers with extra details related to the events of Revere’s 1775 ride as well as make the story richer and give readers a bevy of unique connections to the simpler history they likely learned in the classroom. Perhaps the most impactful part of this book is the situating of Longfellow’s work in the historical context as a call for national unity in the days leading up to the Civil War. As the author mentions, this important note of the poem has been lost in the decades immediately following its publication so this work serves a great purpose to remind readers of that. Overall, Lantos gives Longfellow a reprieve in his reimagining of Revere’s midnight ride due to the important message Longfellow was trying to relay to the American public.
VERDICT A well-done and easily approachable work for young people to learn not only about a piece of American Revolutionary history but how historical narratives can be used to shape future events.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing