I just finished reading Ira Stoll's biography of Samuel Adams, and here's my review in the Register. I found it fascinating. I've always had the impression Samuel, John's older cousin, was a key figure, maybe even central, in the American revolutionary period. But there's been the impression that he was a bit too much of a firebrand, maybe not quite respectable, perhaps a bit fringey compared to some of the now-better-known founders. He did come early to a conviction that independence was the necessary step, but aside from not being rich, as many of the founders wwre, he was viewed as a solid citizen, being elected and reelected to positions of responsibility, fromn the Boston Meeting to the Massacusetts legislature to the Continental Congress to lt. gov. and gov. of Massachusetts. I also hadn't known how deeply religious he was -- the last of the Puritans perhaps, embodying the best of that tradition, which was fading during his lifetime.
I noticed that the book was on sale at my local Costco for about ten bucks. Highly recommended.