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The Birth of a New Nation - an Editorial Review of "The Men Who Choose Liberty"

Book Blurb:

In "Men Who Choose Liberty," Handaside debunks the education system's history of America. Using creative non-fiction as his vehicle, he unwinds the myths of America's founding to reveal that history doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes. The present often breaks into fragments of antique myths. Lying and backstabbing in politicians' quest for power is as old as our ancestors first walking the earth. This creative nonfiction novel about the founding of the American experiment follows six founding fathers from their youth to the summer of 1775: Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and James Wilkinson. The colonists plowed the ground for rebellion, the field of liberty needing cultivation. These six grabbed hold of the words of liberty and delved into an uncertain future, finding holes and secrets within themselves and each other. These stories are grounded in historical fact and a decade of research.

Author Bio:

Growing up in Putnam County in the town of Putnam Valley, Seth Irving Handaside explored the hills and valleys that American rebels tread. An 11th-grade teacher's question triggered his interest in the founding of America. What he would have done when the head of the state, King George III of England, ignored his rights and the rule of law? Would he have marched to the tune of the revolution and been in a regiment commanded by General Putnam, or sided with the loyalists? Fascinated by American history since elementary school, politics runs in his veins. He has spent the last decade researching the founding fathers in preparation for his "Men Who Choose Liberty" series.

Book Trailer:

Editorial Review:

The Men Who Choose Liberty by Seth Irving Handaside takes a creative look at several of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. These men are those that are well-known by most Americans such as Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Aaron Burr. These men and their accomplishments have become almost mythological lore in United States history. Handaside creatively brings these men to life in a new way for readers. From their childhoods to adulthood, he paints a picture of men that are flawed and relatable allowing readers to see them in a whole new realistic light. The weaving of fiction and reality makes the storytelling irresistible and highly engaging. It is one of the most enlightening and creative books about the Founding Fathers and it blends history and fiction together beautifully.

“​​Years later, according to Thomas Jefferson, the seed of his intellect sprouted, and the man who “gave the first impulse to the ball of the revolution,” mounted his learnin’.”

One of the most unique things about The Men Who Choose Liberty is that the author recreates the childhood stories of a variety of famous historical figures. Many historical fiction novels do not contain such a large number of well-known figures. Each chapter is devoted to a different one of the Founding Fathers and the chapters combine together to tell the story of each of their lives and how they all ended up intertwined together in their roles to help establish the United States of America as adults. Each of the characters is well-developed and their inherent flaws are incorporated into their stories to provide a more realistic view of each man. Their stories are completely engrossing and readers will find themselves unable to put The Men Who Choose Liberty down.

The real gem of The Men Who Choose Liberty is the author’s writing style. Handaside’s attention to detail is incredible. He also writes his dialogues and characters in a fashion that is historically accurate while also allowing readers to relate to the story and the characters. Beautiful imagery and excellent character-related descriptions allow the reader to feel as if he or she were right there growing, learning, and maturing right along with the young Founding Fathers. The author also has a clear talent for developing and describing emotions and feelings in teh characters as individuals and towards each other. This gives them the perfect human attributes for their character.

Tossing his head and sending a flurry of red hair flying, the two-year-old Thomas Jefferson, managed in the hands of a slave, turned with warmth and love to his father.”

It is clear that the author has done extensive research on a wide variety of topics relating to the lives and accomplishments of the Founding Fathers. The research is first evidenced by each Founding Father’s childhood story. The author incorporates well-known facts about each man’s childhood into their stories as well as real stories from their adulthood. Using fiction to tell their true stories is such a creative approach. It makes learning about the Founding Fathers and early America a treat rather than the chore that some nonfiction books can make it. The author’s research is also evident in the historically accurate settings that he describes throughout the book. The settings range from a variety of towns, places, colleges, and even ships. It is obvious that Handaside clearly understands the time period about which he is writing in a variety of historical settings. These key details and historically accurate descriptions are something that will really draw readers in to enjoy The Men Who Choose Liberty.

Alexander realized the millions of ideas that flooded his mind came from her encouraging him to read the many books she possessed. And the more he read, the fuller his mind and facts and fantasies became the calories of his life.”

The manuscript of the novel is extremely clean and well-proofread. There seem to be no grammatical, mechanical, or spelling errors throughout the book. It is well-formatted as well creating a book that is pleasing to read and flows well from chapter to chapter. Readers will find the book easy to follow and they will find that each Founding Father’s story progresses in a natural way that brings them together as adults. All of the stories come together in a way that is clear and wraps up each character's individual stories in the end.

His beliefs centered on John Locke’s social contract. He feared the aristocracy wanted to tip this delicate balance between the prince, nobility, and the representatives of the people, too far in their favor. George’s education was classically Lockean.”

The intended audience for The Men Who Choose Liberty is readers who have a strong interest in early American history and the Founding Fathers. Readers who also enjoy dramatized childhoods and the experiences of famous figures will also find this book particularly enjoyable. For those who have an interest in American history but have never dipped their toes into the world of historical fiction, this is a fantastic book to start with. It blends fiction with reality perfectly and helps readers to really understand and relate to the Founding Fathers of America.

Be assured that Dickinson contributed the bold and quotable words, ‘Our cause is just. Our union is perfect. Our internal resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is attainable’ that appear at the close of the Declaration and not those of Mr. Je$erson.”

An incredibly unique and creative approach to telling the stories of the Founding Fathers combined with outstanding historical research and great writing earns The Men Who Choose Liberty by Seth Irving Handaside a five out of five-star rating. It is imaginative and highly engaging readers that general fiction readers and strong historical fiction fans alike with adore. Readers will appreciate the historical details, the relatable representation of almost mythological figures, and the phenomenal writing.


“The Men Who Choose Liberty” by Seth Irving Handaside receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company




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