I recently finished reading Russell Bourne’s excellent non-fiction work, Cradle of Violence: How Boston’s Waterfront Mobs Ignited The American Revolution. The premise is that the waterfront rowdies and bottom-rung laborers of Boston acted as the tinder and spark which ignited the American Revolution. The commonly accepted rabblerousers such as Sam Adams, John Adams, and John Hancock were more the tenders of the fire, rather than the fuel. They were the users, guiding and cajoling and coercing hard drinking ruffians like Ebenezer Mackintosh into doing “the dirty work.” And well they might, for these tough guys of Boston had more than a century of experience exercising their combined muscle to get what they wanted. But now, more than 200 years later, who remembers Ebenezer Mackintosh? Who knows the names of those hooligans who tossed tea into Boston Harbor? And while the names of the “victims” of the Boston Massacre may be better known, how many people know who those men really were, what they did in their lives before becoming American martyrs? Russell Bourne knows. And his book is not only a fascinating history lesson, it is a very apt and timely modern lesson as well; don’t forget who does the real work, the dirty work, the dangerous work. It’s the little guy.