Books

American Rebels: How the Hancock, Adams, and Quincy Families Fanned the Flames of Revolution.

 

Goodreads named American Rebels one of “the most highly anticipated new and upcoming nonfiction… books readers can’t wait to crack open…”

Nina Sankovitch pens another tour de force as she dives into the tight-knit web of colonial families that propelled the American Revolution…hugely enjoyable … AMERICAN REBELS succeeds marvelously in putting human faces on the American Revolution and showing readers how seismic events rippled outward from door-to-door intimacy.” – Christian Science Monitor

“Best-selling author Nina Sankovitch has given us a magnificent, solid work on the life, times and people who helped guide the American colonies to freedom from English rule…. Sankovitch has combined detailed research and reporting and a critically straightforward conversational writing style that puts her readers in the hearts and minds of participants and, more important, offers us fresh perspective of the events leading to revolution here.” — The Martha’s Vineyard Times

“American Rebels  reminds us that as momentous events unfolded, the stuff of daily life carried on—courtships, marriages, family gatherings; houses were constructed, careers furthered, gout and consumption endured by some.”  — Wall Street Journal 

“Sankovitch has woven a compelling, potent chronicle … that will be valued by readers of American history at all levels.” — Starred review, Library Journal

“Historian Sankovitch explores… family connections and revolutionary politics … in this richly detailed and fluidly written account…Sankovitch leavens her deeply researched account with wit, and presents a persuasive and entertaining portrait of life in colonial Boston. Revolutionary War buffs will savor this thoughtful addition to popular histories of the period.” — Publishers Weekly

“Sankovitch lays out the evolution of eighteenth-century political thought and shows how it arose within these families and their interconnections. Students of American Revolution history will find a fresh perspective…” — Booklist

“American Rebels is a fascinating and richly detailed story of three New England families who emerged from their small world to change ours forever.”  — James Comey, former FBI director and author of A Higher Loyalty.

American Rebels “is certainly an eye-opener. And in this time of isolation, her work exploring another small New England town in an equally fraught time can help us better appreciate both place and time. Sankovitch traces the route by which loyal British subjects grew to oppose the king, fight for freedom and lead a fledgling country into existence. You may not know those patriots beyond names from history. But they were living, breathing men and women, with passion, pride, contradictions, foibles, strength, talent, worries and fears. The author brings them to life, explaining their relationships with each other and with the town that helped make them who they are.” — Dan Woog, Westport News

In American RebelsSankovitch follows the intertwined lives of John Hancock, John Adams, Josiah Quincy Junior, Abigail Smith Adams, and Dorothy Quincy Hancock, all of whom spent their childhoods in Braintree, Massachusetts. How it that such prominent leaders of the American revolution all came from a tiny village? The answer is fascinating, complex, inspiring, and largely unexplored — but now American Rebels tells this forgotten history of the American Revolution.

American Rebels: How the Hancock, Adams, and Quincy Families Fanned the Flames of Revolution, published by St. Martin’s Press in March of 2020, can be found at fine bookstores everywhere and ordered online.

To find out more about how and why Sankovitch wrote American Rebels, visit her blog on Medium.

The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family 

Critics hailed The Lowells of Massachusetts as “[A] stirring saga …Vivid and intimate, Ms. Sankovitch’s account entertains us with Puritans and preachers, Tories and rebels, abolitionists and industrialists, lecturers and poets … Ms. Sankovitch has made a compelling contribution to Massachusetts and American History.” ( The Wall Street Journal)

Meet American’s Most Extraordinary Family: the Lowells of Massachusetts,” said The Washington Post: “Sankovitch has searched out these letters to write the powerful story of one of America’s most extraordinary families, a family that helped shape the course of American history in dramatic and decisive ways…By the final pages of this volume, one feels deeply attached to the individual Lowells, while also exhilarated at having experienced this grand sweep of American history.“

“[Sankovitch’s] skillful blending of context and detail makes the vicissitudes of one family emblematic of a nation’s,” proclaimed The New Yorker.

The Connecticut Post called it, “an astonishingly compact 328 pages (considering how much family history it covers) and reads like a fine novel. You might be reminded of one of those deep digs into history and storytelling that James Michener used to do in his novels “Hawaii” and “Chesapeake.”

A fascinating collective biography … paying tribute to both worthy individuals and everyone else in this prominent, complicated family,” said Booklist.

The Library Journal also recommended The Lowells of Massachusetts“Sankovitch’s use of interpretative passages breathe color into descriptions of home life of various Lowells, adding an artistic dimension to the account. Her ability to switch the focus among the family members while keeping readers fully engaged in the narrative is a significant achievement.”

“A sturdy, busy multibiography of an eminent American family… Exhaustive work by a clear admirer and dogged researcher,” said Kirkus Reviews.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing

Sankovitch’s second book, titled Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing (published by Simon & Schuster) is a history of letter writing, written after she found a treasure of letters in the backyard of a decrepit brownstone on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Spanning forty years, from the 1890s through the 1930s, most of the letters were from a son to his mother, and included the daily notes he sent to her during his years at Princeton, from 1908 to 1912.

Oprah hailed Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing, as a book “every joy-seeking woman needs to read” and my second book also received celebratory reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Review, Library Journal, and Booklist.

Sankovitch followed publication of Signed, Sealed, Delivered with a TED talk about the joys of letter writing, which can be viewed below.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading 

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading  tells the story of how reading helped Sankovitch continue on in the world after her oldest sister died of cancer, and also relates the history of her family: her immigrant parents with their three girls, struggling and thriving in the Midwest after enduring tragedy and hardship during World War II.

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair was hailed as “an outstanding debut” by Kirkus Reviews and designated a “book to read now” by Oprah. It was widely hailed as an ode to the joys and comforts of reading, including by The Christian Science Monitor, The Los Angeles Times, Bookpage, Publishers’s Weekly, and Booklist.