Monday, March 19, 2012

Book Review: Washington's Crossing

Washington's CrossingWashington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars




"Washington came like the bad weather."




Why study history? What does it matter to me?  Because it shows the contingency in events that unfold in time and place.  The book explores the author's viewpoint on a contingency in history; "people making choices, and choices making a difference in the world."363.   The choices were made from what the participants felt about the events that were unfolding.   The Brits viewed the rebels as a bunch of yeoman farmers.  The Americans viewed the British as an enormous dinosaur that did not know its tail from its nose.  

Had Washington not been General? Had General Charles Lee not been captured? (Lee would have stalled Washington from crossing the river, as he was the typical overcautious general.) Had the Hessian Forces and Brits not been overconfident? Had a woman not kept the Hessian General at home, instead of in his key position on the battle front? Then the American Story would have been quit different.

The book was great in displaying the way that Washington's Story was told by different authors with different purposes.   He shows with honesty how the facts can be skewed to prove the point of any political platform.  Before reading this book I always believed that the Hessian Army was drunk when Washington attacked it.   From the facts assembled this has proven to be not true.  But somewhere the myth has replaced the facts.  We now believe that the Hessian Army was a bunch of drunken dolts.  

I loved this book.  I discovered a lot about this event that I did not know before.  He writes in a way that is truly a pleasure to read. 

The only draw back was that on my kindle the maps were hard to read.  But that is what they created magnifying glass for.


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