Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clear Winner, and Valuable Learning, November 11, 2010
This review is from: Valley Forge: George Washington and the Crucible of Victory (Hardcover)
A second book in what promises to be a fine series about the American War of Independence, and perhaps a message to Americans about the sacrifice necessary to protect our freedoms. The book is not preachy nor political, but factual in discussing what it took to make a nation, and if readers recognize underlying political issues (such as a completely dysfunctional Congress), then what they see is that not much has changed over the last 200 plus years and that solutions lie in leadership rather than intrigue.
What is remarkable, and especially attractive about this book is that our most famous enigma, George Washington, is actually developed as a character rather than a caricature. Readers get to start seeing how honor, stoicism, and character matter. Washington is shown as seeking right over expediency, accepting the difficulties of his situation with strength and dignity, and using the circumstances and challenges to, in the context of team, build the vehicle for not only victory, but for a sustainable Republic. Washington was the antithesis of what we sometimes see in narcissistic politicians who live in the world of a vertical pronoun, and he clearly understood history and how power concentrated in an individual would lead to tyranny, while accepting that individual acts and contributions were the foundation for national greatness.
On top of the story of Washington and the trials at Valley Forge readers get an accurate historical portrayal of various other players on both the British and American sides of the conflict, and their roles are presented with just the right amount of information to make side visits to other research sources to learn more about them about the only distraction strong enough to put the book down for brief stops.
This book is enjoyable, educational, and even given the difficulties of the historical circumstances, uplifting.
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C. Paul
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Location: Tulsa, OK USA

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