Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review: 1776

Maybe all you Americans learn this stuff in school while we Canadians are learning about fur trappers and maple syrup production, but I wasn't familiar with a lot of the details of the American Revolution. Certainly not the details of the tumultuous year of 1776, portrayed in nail-biting detail in David McCullough's book.

Not being familiar with the details of Washington's first year of the revolution, I had no idea just how precariously close the American's came to losing. The fact that they survived the year to go on fighting the British was a combination of several strokes of brilliant strategy, blind luck, and severe underestimation on the part of their enemy.

There are many lessons about leadership (good and bad) to be taken from both sides, but the main thing you'll get out of the book is a vivid sense of just how difficult the logistics must have been and how hard the conditions under which they fought. (e.g. To think that ten thousand men, stationed only a few hundred yards from their enemy, could in the course of one night pack up and sneak off without detection, boggles the mind)

If you like military history and stories of epic struggle, 1776 definitely meets the bill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

not when everyone is in the colonel's tent watching powerpoint presentations on 'next steps' :)