Minds and Hearts is the dual biography of these remarkable siblings, placing James and Mercy in the spotlight together for the first time, amid the rush of events, competing ideologies, and changing social conditions of eighteenth-century America. Jeffrey H. Hacker crafts a compelling narrative that focuses on the Otises’ unique and dramatic relationship and traces their impact on the Revolutionary movement in Massachusetts. If the real American Revolution took place “in the minds and hearts of the people,” as John Adams claimed, then the Otises were among the nation’s true patriots.
“Beautifully written and thoroughly researched . . . Hacker interweaves the story of Otis and Warren, crafting a seamless narrative and analyzing their common lives, careers, and growing animosity toward Great Britain. As a result, abstract political ideas take on personal significance.”—Rosemarie Zagarri, author of A Woman’s Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution
“The dual biography of various ‘founders’ has become a familiar genre, but this approach only works if the relationship between protagonists reveals insights that a standard solo biography might ignore or downplay. Hacker’s insightful work clears this hurdle.”—Ray Raphael, author of A People’s History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence