The birth of American democracy was attended by an extraordinary cast of characters, drawn from every level of colonial society. They brought to the cause of independence a dazzling array of talents and genius -- and an equally noteworthy range of personality flaws and defects. Sam Adams was a rumpled, pugnacious man who failed at a variety of professions, before finding his niche as a revolutionary with a knack for inciting mob violence. John Hancock, a wealthy, aristocratic merchant, was also a known wine-smuggler with a major economic stake in breaking away from Britain. But the unique chemistry of this political "odd couple" would prove pivotal, combining to spark the fires of resentment which until then had been merely smoldering within the colonies.moreless
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