A couple of months ago, I recommended the book Portraits of Integrity by Marilyn Boyer and Grace Tumas. Marilyn read my review and stuck a copy of the next book in the series, Profiles of Valor, in the mail for us!
(I don’t do paid reviews, because I want to be able to recommend a book honestly with no conflict of interest, but I am always thrilled with the opportunity to read another gem “just because!” Thank you for this gift, Marilyn; it was enjoyed by us all!)
Profiles of Valor was an interesting book to read as a Canadian, still part of the British Commonwealth that the Founding Fathers fought for freedom from when it was ruled by King George III.
It chronologically follows the events that happened during the War of Independence (also known as the Revolutionary War) from 1775-1783, with a particular focus on the character qualities and the important contributions that 40 brave men and women made.
The authors did a wonderful job at avoiding two extremes: one that idolizes American nationalism, and the other that cancels all good American achievements that have been tainted by human error.
Most modern retellings of the Revolutionary War strip down the desire for independence to objections over British taxation policies, and lack of colonial representation in rulings made across the pond, but Profiles of Valor reveals so much more than that.
It does not portray people like George and Martha Washington, John and Samuel Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin (and many others), as Americans and patriots first and foremost, but as people who believed that civil government was an institution ordained by God which required rebellion against tyrants in order to submit to their one, true King. This was the fundamental reason they were willing to defend liberty with their lives.
In their escape from British rule, we meet ordinary people who did extraordinary things. They were often called to suffer greatly, sometimes physically, and many times through unimaginable hardships. Many faced incredible pressure when they were required to take decisive action that would either bring great tragedy, or great victory.
In the latter part of the book, we get a small glimpse of the mental turmoil that the delegates of the Constitutional Convention felt as they agonized over the wording of the Bill of Rights, understanding that it would affect the lives of all Americans for generations to come.
Story after story, we read about the humility, determination, perseverance, wisdom, compassion, persistence, and bravery that was crucial to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….” (James Madison)
I think one of the reasons few people today recognize tyranny when they see it, is because we don’t know history like we should. Reading Profiles of Valor in 2021 was an eye-opening déjà vu.
Canadian, American, or anywhere else in the world where men love darkness rather than light (that’s all of us by nature), this book is filled with lessons to learn from, examples to aspire to, and stories to encourage you with God’s sovereignty over all things.
I’d recommend it as a family read aloud, or for anyone ages 10 and up.
You can purchase this hardcover family treasury, Profiles of Valor, here.