The Minutemen and Their World is a brilliant, award winning, non-fiction novel written by Robert A. Gross which was originally published in 1976. This modern novel reconstructs the events of Concord, a Massachusetts town, in the wake of the American Revolution and the impact the war had on Concord’s economic, political, agricultural and social status.
The author is a professor at the University of Connecticut and specializes in social and cultural historical issues and components in America. This interest drove him to write about the seven year American War of independence that took place from 1776 to 1783. Personally, I find this novel to be very much deserving of the high praise and the awards it receives for the way in which Gross effectively uses historical documents and records to reflect on the life and story of the minutemen, the civilians, and the effects that Concord felt within this time. The initial idea for writing the book stems from many factors and experiences that Gross discusses in the afterword of the book. His interests begin with his “ambition to recover the lives of those ordinary people living in Concord” (197). His curiosity of these ordinary lives led him to the location of “the shot heard ’round the world”.
Gross’ inquiries of who was there that spring day on the Old North Bridge (and who wasn’t there), was especially intriguing to him as well. His trip to Concord was helpful in his writing process. The history within the city drew Gross there for his initial visit. These factors discussed contribute in shaping the way in which Gross organizes his thoughts and content in The Minutemen and their World.
The author’s written sequence of events creates a clear and concise story. The introduction to the people of Concord from the very beginning is a refreshing and clean slate to the readers’ eye. It is commonly believed that the idea to rebel against England during the time of the American Revolution was unanimous, but this is not true.