Archive for December 16th, 2014

Revolutionary Summer The Birth of American Independence


While the book is titled “Revolutionary Summer” early in the book the author makes it clear that this is a history book on the latter half of 1776 in Colonial America and the pursuit for American Independence.  The author noted that often books on the War of Independence would focus either on the political aspect of things or the military side with the war but for the founding fathers these two were intertwined and were part of any founding father’s holistic experience.  The book covers various figures in the colonies such as George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson while also exploring important figures from the British side notably the Howe brothers and General Clinton who led the military campaign against the Continental army.  I learned quite a bit from the book such as how George Washington lost New York to the British and also how among the thirteen colonies New York probably had more British sympathizers.  I also learned how the British could have crushed the Continental Army but both Howe brothers wanted to pursue a path of reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pursue a victory that is purely military.  The Howe brothers explained that the reason was to avoid unnecessary bloodshed—but it was also because of their desire to seek future political opportunities as diplomats for the British government.  It is easy to see things in hindsight but the book makes you feel the tension and uncertainty during the summer of 1776 when the colonies took the course that would change world history by seeking independence.  This book also explains the difficulties George Washington and his army faced with bad supplies and always short of soldiers.  An excellent read.

What’s In It for the Christian:

I think history is a great opportunity to see the Providence of God.  While George Washington was defeated in New York, fortunately there was a deep fog that allowed him and his army to escape New York without the British being aware which years later many in the Continental Army saw as a providence of God.  I think it is the providential working of God.  The book also reveal how it is not by might or by wit that history is shaped–that wise men can err and strong figures may not be as strong as one think.  This reminds us that we are not as in control of our paths as we may think (I like the book’s discussion of Thomas Jefferson getting upset that the Declaration of Independence was being changed by others).


Purchase: Amazon

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