CHARGE (What was the author trying to say?): To show how history is made up of background stories.
FACTS: Though I am not a fan of short stories or essays, I found these very compelling. The essays explain how courage played a role in the lives of great figures of the 19th Century and how courage allowed them to accomplish extraordinary things. From Harriet Beecher Stow to Simon Willard, figures known and unknown, we have an opportunity to go behind the pages of history and get a glimpse into fear, desire, motivations, and moral resolve. There is a common thread running though each of these vignettes. They all led lives of active discovery and their work was truly inspiring. Success was achieved through their attitudes – something worth pondering.
VERDICT (Was the author successful?): Guilty, as charged.