In July 1776, fifty-six men risked their lives and livelihood to defy the British and sign the most important document in the history of the United States and yet how many of them do we actually remember? Signing Their Lives Away introduces readers to the eclectic group of statesmen, soldiers, criminals, and crackpots who were chosen to sign this historic document and the many strange fates that awaited them. Some died from war-related injuries; others had their homes and farms seized by British soldiers; a few rose to the highest levels of U.S. government (ten signers were later elected to Congress). George Wythe was murdered by his nephew; Button Gwinnet was killed in a duel; and of course Sam Adams went on to fame and fortune as a patriot/brewer. Complete with a reversible parchment jacket (offering a facsimile of the Declaration on the reverse), Signing Their Lives Away provides an entertaining and enlightening narrative for history buffs of all ages.
Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Wired, Discover, and other national publications. D’Agnese’s work has twice been included in the anthology “Best American Science Writing.” Both are winners of Educational Press Association awards. They live in North Carolina.
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