Monday, July 18, 2016

Review: Patrick Henry's Comments on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness selected, arranged, and annotated by Michael Jesse Bennett

Synopsis: Bennett is a professional actor. He has appeared in over fifty films and 500 radio and TV commercials. His theatre work has taken him to twenty-one states and the District of Columbia. Although well respected for his acting skills in ensemble pieces, Mr. Bennett is best known for his one-man shows, and the most particularly for his Patrick Henry, which he wrote in 1986 for the Bicentennial of the Constitution. Since then he has given approximately 250 performances of the show, including more than 100 in public schools in seven states for over 30,000 children. This intense focus on the life of one of our greatest patriots has been the major impetus to the creation of this little book. Mr. Bennett’s shows always conclude with question-and-answer session with the audience, and the resulting discussions indicated to him a need for such an informal and easy-to-use reference source. Having lived with (and, as actors do, become) Patrick Henry so many times Mr. Bennett has often been heard to say to an audience, “Patrick Henry – I have come to love that extraordinary man!” (from the back of the book)

Review: The concept for this book was good, but the execution was not. Disjointed, jumbled, and repetitious, the book doesn't do justice to Henry's works. Bennett's has a clear command and love for Henry as a person, but he isn't a writer. Sadly, there are other, better works about Patrick Henry, although I doubt you can find one done with more enthusiasm.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

Year Published: 1991
Date Finished: 7-8-2016
Pages: 65

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