Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Book Recommendation

Today I am recommending David Hackett Fischer's Washington's Crossing an incredibly readable and inspiring account of the Winter campaigns of 1776. Perhaps we all think that we know what happened in this period, Washington crossed the Delaware, beat some drunken Hessians at Trenton and then surprised the British at Princeton before retreating to winter quarters, achieving symbolic but largely superficial victories. Wrong! In this book you learn the facts, the beautifully heroic story of men trudging through ten miles of snow to fight crack troops who were totally sober and some of the best troops in the world. The transformation in General Washington's leadership style and his awe inspiring presence among his men is also chronicled here in vivid detail. Dr. Fischer does all of this and more, including beautifully destroying those who would insult the famous painting that graces the cover of his book, as ahistorical and unrealistic. An excellent read and a great piece of history.

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