Keskustelu75 Books Challenge for 2024

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helmikuu 4, 8:03 pm

Depiction of Paul Revere's midnight ride to warn that "the British are coming!"

helmikuu 4, 8:08 pm

The American War of Independence
or the American Revolutionary War took place officially from 19 April 1775 to 1783 and resulted in the twelve colonies being recognized by Great Britain as the independent United States in the Treaty of Paris.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 4, 8:11 pm

What will I be reading?

Well I don't have a huge stockpile of books on the subject but I have already made inroads on The British Are Coming! by Rick Atkinson which covers the initial part of the war.

I will also go to the tried and trusted Bernard Cornwell and read his Redcoat

helmikuu 4, 8:19 pm

My thoughts on Killing England, which I finished yesterday: Aside from the ridiculous title (England is obviously not dead), this is a pretty good read - it is nonfiction that reads like fiction and goes by pretty quickly. However, there is a disturbing lack of depth here and there are no sources cited. There are footnotes throughout the book, but they are more by way of explanation than anything else. As an "introductory" book to the American Revolution it is pretty good - the authors took the time to detail what the major players discussed in the book did after the war - but I would not recommend it as anything more than that.

I will (hopefully) also be getting to Unlikely Allies by Joel Richard Paul some time this month as well.

helmikuu 4, 8:19 pm

>3 PaulCranswick: I don't have very many books on my shelves for this month either.

I did get Washington's Gay General: The Legends and Loves of Baron von Steuben from the library. It's a graphic non-fiction book (fancy way of saying non-fiction comic book) about a Prussian general who was hired to whip the American forces into shape. It would have been better if the author had stuck to the Baron and not kept interrupting the narrative with his personal commentary, but it's a decent introduction to an important figure in American history.

helmikuu 4, 8:31 pm

I am planning to read Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara. I believe it is historical fiction.

helmikuu 4, 9:01 pm

I pulled 1776 by David McCullough off the shelves but then had another look at my catalogue on LT and might read The Other New York: The American Revolution beyond New York City, 1763-1787 instead.

helmikuu 4, 10:15 pm

I've read a number of books about & surrounding the Founding era. I decided on The Cause by Joseph Ellis, as it looks to have a novel approach to the subject.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 12:27 am

Hmm, scanning through, thinking I'd like to read something for this month's War Room. I loved Jeff Shaara's works on the American Civil War. Maybe I'll join Kristel with Rise to Rebellion. Or Redcoat; I've never read any Cornwell.

ETA: The library has a copy of the Shaara, not the Cornwell, so I'll likely go that direction.

helmikuu 5, 5:37 am

I'll be reading a YA book, Susanna's Midnight Ride. I've still got my January book to read so don't want to be too ambitious with this month's reading.

helmikuu 5, 10:24 am

I made a start on Russell Shorto’s Revolution Song. Found it in my library, in Dutch. He writes the story of a number of people living through it. One of them George Washington. Up till now I am liking it, it’s a good way to give some more background of what the time was like.
It is a chunkster again. Hope I can finish it.

helmikuu 5, 10:50 am

Like it! I think I will take a few days to consider which book to read, but Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation has been waiting for me since the spousal unit finished it (more than a decade ago). But ideally I'd like something more about battles, strategy, or something about the Washington encampment during the winter at Jockey Hollow, NJ (1779-1780). So I'm going to look around a little first before committing. I'm definitely looking at others' reads!!

helmikuu 5, 1:51 pm

>2 PaulCranswick: Too bad both sides were slavers...

helmikuu 5, 2:07 pm

I read The Bastard: Volume One Of The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes. Historical Fiction. Good explanation of the leading days of the Revolution.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 7:22 am

>4 alcottacre: I have read several of O'Reilly's books and it did disturb me that there were no sources.'s written as fiction! It's not written as history. I saw an interview with him where he explained that he and his co-author did not want to write a piece of history, but just tell a story, so hence, it's classified as fiction; although very deeply rooted in history.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 7:20 am

I the only things I have on my shelf (and that's my goal this year--off the shelf only!) areTo Try Men's Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom by New Gingrich. Not a fan of Gingrich, but this book was a gift, so I'll read it! I also have Hero of Two Worlds about the Marquis de Lafayette by Mike Duncan. Somewhere I believe I have something about Washington crossing the Delaware.....but it's not listed on I only imagining it?

I also have Northern Armageddon: The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution by P. Mcleod. This is part of the French-Indian War which led directly to the Revolution; sort of a pre-cursor. I will include this one only if I have time. Connected with that I have Pontiac's War which followed the Battle for the Plains of Abraham and fed right into the Revolutionary War. Yes, even the Native Americans were dissatisfied with British rule!

helmikuu 6, 7:22 am

>14 hredwards: Oh, I love that series. It's been 30 years......perhaps time for a re-read!

helmikuu 6, 9:56 am

>15 Tess_W: Well, my local library has it classified as nonfiction - and LT echoes that - so if they want the books classified as fiction they are not being treated so. I appreciate the info, Tess, and that certainly makes sense to me after having read Killing England.

helmikuu 6, 11:35 am

>17 Tess_W: I had read it around the time it first came out, and the country was celebrating the 200th birthday. I was pretty young then so all I really remembered was first being embarrassed by the sex scenes and interested by the historical figures.

I really enjoyed the book this time around, still think the sex scenes were a bit much, but the history was good, I liked the way it presented the background for the Revolution and it's ideology.

I haven't read any of the others in this series and may have to visit them.

helmikuu 6, 11:36 am

I have a singular book on wars, i dont remember the name though.

helmikuu 6, 2:51 pm

>14 hredwards: I read that series back in the day & enjoyed it quite a bit.

helmikuu 6, 2:55 pm

>18 alcottacre: Very odd! I will say this interview took place before his first book, Killing Lincoln was coming out. He was questioned about the lack of foot notes, etc. and his reply was "it's not a piece of history, it's a story telling that is fairly accurate." They were discussing the pros and cons of rating it as fiction, and I came away with that it was going to be fiction! Either I misunderstood (likely as I don't pay attention to the TV at all!) or the plans were changed. I have read many of them and tend to like them. However, in the Killing Patton books I had several "hmmm's"

helmikuu 6, 4:57 pm

After scanning my shelves, I've decided to read 1776 for this challenge. It seems to fit best of what I have that is unread. I've got a lot of biographies of the founders that I have yet to get to as well as other related books, but this one seems like the best choice.

helmikuu 6, 5:53 pm

>16 Tess_W: This may be an odd decision-making rubric but since Lafayette was one of my favorite characters in "Hamilton," I'm going to see if I can find a copy of Hero of Two Worlds. I'd like to learn more about him.

helmikuu 6, 6:30 pm

helmikuu 7, 11:11 am

I've landed on The Struggle for Sea Power by Sam Willis, in Audible format, for this challenge. I'm just in the first chapter but already enjoying the perspective in addition to the information. I might still squeeze Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation in if I can before the end of the month.

helmikuu 8, 3:24 pm

I finished Susanna's Midnight Ride by Libby Varty McNamee. A children's novel based on Susanna Bolling's historic night ride from her home in Hopewell to Half-Way House where General Lafayette was staying. The sudden arrival of General Cornwallis to her plantation home with a large contingent of troops and hearing the officers' talk at the dinner table of capturing Lafayette in an early dawn raid means there is no time to lose and the news must get to Lafayette.
The early part of the book focuses on the plight of the womenfolk who must keep their farms running and spin flax to make uniforms. How the tobacco warehouses are burnt and crops ruined by the British. The melting of all the lead and pewter in the homes to make into bullets. The agony of the casualty lists and seeing the injured young men around the town who have had their lives ruined by war. The spy, James Armisted Lafayette plays an early part in the story too.
In the book is says that Bolling's ancestor was Pocahontas and a quick look at wikipedia does confirm that the Bollings of Hopewell were descendants.
I saw this book in the giftshop of one of the museums in Yorktown, VA. We walked around all the sites of significance last September on a visit to the town.

There's another famous ride, 'Betsy Dowdy's Ride', I saw the sign when driving from Kittyhawk, NC back to Williamsburg, VA. There's a picturebook about this ride, Ride: The Legend of Betsy Dowdy.

helmikuu 8, 6:12 pm

>22 Tess_W: My local library shows Killing Lincoln categorized as nonfiction too, so I am guessing that the entire series is.

helmikuu 8, 6:13 pm

>25 labfs39: I would definitely recommend the McCullough book, which I read several years ago. I might go with the Tuchman as well although I have not read it - just based on the author's reputation.

helmikuu 9, 12:51 am

>25 labfs39: My two cents worth is that Washington's Spies sounds interesting. I'd go with that one.

helmikuu 9, 7:59 am

Oops, this is where I should have posted the fact that I finished Israel Potter. The Battle of Bunker Hill is the only look-in to the actual war, but Benjamin Franklin, Ethan Allen, and John Paul Jones all show up later in the novel, the last involved in several naval encounters including the one in which he did or did not declare “I have not yet begun to fight.”

helmikuu 9, 8:02 am

Jumping ahead to WW II to read The Broda Salt Cabin given to me by the author, a former colleague. Want to give her my comments in a timely fashion.

helmikuu 9, 10:54 am

I finished The Cause by Joseph Ellis, a historian who wrote numerous books on the founding era (including Founding Brothers ). The title is derived from what he said was the most common term for the struggle against England by the American people. It was usefully vague, since there was much the Americans did not agree on & allowed plenty of room for interpretation. Ellis has a highly readable style - I've also read a few of his other books. Recommended.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 9, 10:58 pm

>33 ChrisG1: I read Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis last year, and I agree that he has a very readable style. I have several others by him that I haven't read yet, but unfortunately don't have The Cause on my shelves, or I may have chosen that one to read for this challenge. The ones I've got are more biographical, or broader than just the Revolution. But he is a good author to read for information around the founding era.

helmikuu 9, 8:51 pm

>25 labfs39: I've read Washington's Spies and I liked it! I've not read the one you mentioned by Tuchman, but have read that author and also liked her--but it was very tedious and detailed oriented.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 12, 10:48 am

Have begun The Book of Negroes. I note that it was published under a different title in the US and in Australia and New Zealand. A few years after it was published Hill apparently received an email from a Dutch man who said he planned to burn a copy of the book because of its title, leading to a public discussion on the subject of censorship which Hill wrote about in Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book.

helmikuu 13, 7:14 am

Finished Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara. It is historical fiction but a great review of what led up to the Declaration of Independence.

helmikuu 13, 8:32 am

I'm half way through To Try Men's Souls by Newt Gingrich and I am loving it! I'm pleasantly surprised as I wasn't a fan of Newt's, but the book is great! Thomas Paine plays a major role and I knew next to nothing about him. Like it so much I may go off to find Gingrich's Valley Forge.

helmikuu 13, 9:00 am

>33 ChrisG1: As long as we don't confuse it with The Lost Cause.

helmikuu 13, 10:18 pm

I pulled 1776 by David McCullough off my shelves for this challenge. I was surprised at what an easy read this was. A lot of times, I didn't want to set it down. McCullough tells the story of the American army at the start of the Revolution, starting from the last quarter of 1775 through the end of 1776 (plus the Battle of Princeton at the beginning of 1777). His description of the events during this time is extremely detailed, but it is never dry. He includes details from the British side although the main focus is the Continental Army. We see Washington's inexperience and several blunders that he makes, but also his ability to redeem the mistakes as well as his perseverance and the leadership that inspired his men. The book is obviously extremely well researched, and includes quotes and observations from many participants at all levels, from leaders on both sides all the way down to privates and civilians. There are copious footnotes and an extensive bibliography. I loved it. Another 4.5 star read for me.

helmikuu 14, 7:06 pm

>40 atozgrl: Love McCullough! I'm putting this one on my TBR. I've read his The Johnstown Flood, The Pioneers, and The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris; all of which were excellent!

helmikuu 14, 10:48 pm

>41 Tess_W: Hi, Tess! kac522 mentioned The Johnstown Flood on my thread, and I had seen he had written a book on that subject. I'll have to add it to my TBR list. I'll check out the other two books you mentioned as well. I've got both of his Pulitzer prize winning biographies sitting on my shelves, as yet unread. Looks like I may be reading a lot more McCullough in the weeks and years to come.

helmikuu 15, 10:31 am

>42 atozgrl: His book Truman was very good, but of course I live in Independence Missouri so I may be partial.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 16, 8:45 am

I completed To Try Men's Souls by Newt Gingrich. This was a book that explored four main facets of American's War for Independence: 1) Washington Crossing the Delaware 2) Thomas Paine's contributions 3) Brutal conditions suffered by American Troops 4) Hessian involvement. If you are wanting blow by blow battle scenes, this book is not for you. There are few battles. The book focuses more on the conditions under which America's troops labored; and they were brutal, more so than I had realized. I was leery of reading this book because I had to read some of the author's position papers for a class I took, and I was not a fan! That being said, this book is top notch, IMHO. I'm going to seek out his next, Valley Forge: George Washington and the Crucible of Victory. 345 pages 5 stars

helmikuu 16, 10:54 am

The narrator of The Book of Negroes has survived the Atlantic crossing and made it to a slave market in South Carolina. The American Revolution is still a long way off. This is the second book I have read (the other was The Underground Railroad) written by a Black man with a formerly enslaved Black woman as narrator. Is it too uncomfortable to voice the feelings of a violated and degraded man? The only book I know of with an enslaved Black narrator is The Confessions of Nat Turner, written by a white author, but perhaps there are others.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 16, 10:27 pm

>46 m.belljackson: No, although I have heard of it. Presumably this is a work of non-fiction. I know that a number of authentic slave memoirs exist, authored by both men and women. My comment concerned works of fiction.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 17, 1:20 pm

Struggle for Sea Power: A Naval History of the American Revolution, Sam Willis. Audible: 15h,50m (hardcover = 608 pages)

An absolutely fabulous, well-written, well-documented argument that totally changed my perspective on the American Revolution. LOVED it, and will most likely invest in purchasing the hardbound version for future referral (it's currently included with an Audible membership). I'm likely to go seek out other books by Sam Willis as well - this book was so clearly written it was total listening pleasure. Fascinating perspective well argued: that the Am Rev was won or lost by Sea Power. From the sales pitch description:
In The Struggle for Sea Power, Sam Willis traces every key military event in the path to American independence from a naval perspective, and he also brings this important viewpoint to bear on economic, political, and social developments that were fundamental to the success of the Revolution. In doing so Willis offers valuable new insights into American, British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Russian history.
Very grateful to this challenge group for encouraging me to explore this topic and stumble across this excellent book.

helmikuu 17, 4:28 pm

>48 PocheFamily: Thanks for the book bullet.

I'm still part way through my own (first) read for this month's challenge, with more on hand if I'm sufficiently enthusiastic.

helmikuu 18, 3:03 pm

I thought for a moment that my only foray into this month's topic might be my trip to NYC to see Hamilton last weekend--but of course that led me to books. Now I'm reading and enjoying Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell. I hope to have time for Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff. And maybe a reread of Johnny Tremain.

I'm going to look out for The Struggle for Sea Power--book bullet there.

I've read and loved Ron Chernow's biographies of Washington and Hamilton, and David McCullough's biography of John Adams, each of which is a substantial time commitment but highly recommended.

helmikuu 19, 9:22 am

George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger

Interesting historical book on the American Revolution. I never thought about the individual people who were involved in the war, the common everyday people.
This helped bring out the individual people and the risks they took to give us our basic freedoms.
Good, quick read.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 20, 2:46 pm

Have got to the point in The Book of Negroes where the British have issued the Philipsburg Proclamation (1779) offering freedom to “every Negro who shall desert the Rebel Standard.” Needless to say Manhattan, held at the time by the British, was subsequently flooded with escaped slaves.

helmikuu 21, 11:37 am

>52 booksaplenty1949: That was also touched upon in my read. I won't spoil it for you ... it's an interesting part of the American Revolution's legacy.

helmikuu 21, 5:07 pm

>53 PocheFamily: I did know that descendants of Black Loyalists formed the nucleus of Nova Scotia’s Black community, the oldest in Canada, but I was not aware that a significant number of those who had previously arrived in Canada sailed on to Sierra Leone in 1792.

helmikuu 21, 5:28 pm

Finished The Book of Negroes. The departure of 3,000 Black Loyalists for Nova Scotia in 1783 is of course a sidebar to the American Revolution, but a reminder that the truth held to be “self-evident”—-that all men are created equal—-wasn’t as self-evident as the Founding Fathers imagined.

helmikuu 21, 6:25 pm

>54 booksaplenty1949: I remember reading a play, Rough Crossings by Caryl Phillips, about the subject; apparently the play is based on a book of the same name by Simon Schama.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 22, 6:42 am

>56 amanda4242: I see you gave the play two thumbs down. The LT description of the book on which it is based implies that it maintains Black Loyalists were involuntarily shipped off to Sierra Leone but that is not the take of The Book of Negroes although certainly the situation in Nova Scotia was not as welcoming as the Black Loyalists had been led to believe.

helmikuu 21, 9:16 pm

>57 booksaplenty1949: I haven't read Schama's book, but I do know it's non-fiction and that the author is a well-respected historian. The Book of Negroes is historical fiction, correct?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 22, 8:36 am

>58 amanda4242: Yes, but the edition I read had about twenty pages of commentary by Hill on the research he had done on the subject, along with a bibliography. About two-thirds of the Black Loyalists remained in Nova Scotia. Wikipedia articles which mention those who emigrated to Sierra Leone note that the Brits did not allow any further emigration there from NS because the settlers had “American” ideas about democracy. After the War of 1812 former slaves who supported the British/Canadian side were resettled in Nova Scotia but none were allowed to emigrate to Sierra Leone.
In fairness to Schama, whose book I haven’t read, reviews I have looked at do not say that he maintains that those who left for Sierra Leone did so involuntarily. This was something implied in the description on Library Thing.

helmikuu 22, 12:41 pm

>59 booksaplenty1949: I've always found LT descriptions unhelpful and often wildly inaccurate.

helmikuu 22, 1:13 pm

I should be finishing up Unlikely Allies tonight. I think that the subtitle might be a little much, but the importance of Silas Deane, of whom I had never heard before, cannot be stressed enough. It has been a good read and I am glad that after something like 15 years of owning it, I finally got around to reading the book!

helmikuu 22, 4:52 pm

>60 amanda4242: Well, I’ve earned a gold star for flagging 4,005 LT descriptions as “wrong or imperfect” so I guess I would have to agree.

helmikuu 24, 5:30 am

>61 alcottacre: As someone prone to anthropomorphise inanimate objects I always feel happy for a book that has finally been read after languishing for years—sometimes decades—-on my shelf.

helmikuu 24, 9:38 am

I read The Cause: The American Revolution and its Discontents, 1773-1783 for this challenge and found the book well-researched and absorbing.

helmikuu 24, 3:28 pm

>38 Tess_W: Tom Paine is as much a hero of mine as Gingrich is a villain! So I may look for a library copy of that book....

>61 alcottacre: That was a deeply fascinating book!!

Late to this challenge, but I'll try to find something I can squeeze into what's left of the month.

helmikuu 24, 4:02 pm

>63 booksaplenty1949: I tend to anthropomorphise everything, lol

>65 Chatterbox: I picked up the book based on your recommendation a mere 14 years ago, Suzanne :) See, books do eventually emerge from the BlackHole!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 9:30 am

Off-topic, but after reading two fictional slave narratives written by (Black) men from a woman’s POV—-The Underground Railroad and The Book of Negroes I have decided to follow up with a fictional slave narrative—-The Confessions of Nat Turner—-written (by a white man) from a man’s POV.

helmikuu 28, 11:01 pm

Just checking in to mention that I finished reading Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger tonight for a completely different challenge. If you are looking for a book to read regarding WWI, I highly recommend this one.

helmikuu 29, 9:58 am

I read Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich. It was well written and not difficult to engage. I had also read Rise to Rebellion and the information from both meshed well.

helmikuu 29, 2:25 pm

I read Washington and Caesar by Christian Cameron for the February installment of the War Room challenge, even though I'd originally planned to restrict myself to non-fiction for this challenge.

This is a historical novel set in the American Revolutionary War, featuring a slave owned by George Washington, who escaped and became a Loyalist soldier. (The British had promised freedom to slaves of rebels who joined them to work against the rebellion.) It also features his ex-master, and other characters on both sides of the war.

It's a decent book. The author is a historical re-enactor trained as a historian. He's also got significant experience in the United States Navy. I therefore expected his portrayal to be much more accurate than is usual with historical novels. The book also includes a historical note and a selected bibliography; the latter described as being in part for readers who feel their knowledge of history has been challenged.

For the record, he's also acquainted with my sister, who is mentioned in the book's acknowledgements section. I therefore know a bit about him that isn't mentioned in either the book itself or the author's wikipedia article.

This story contains a lot about the experience of being black in that time and place. There's a slave taker turned rebel soldier turned intelligence officer who functions as an ongoing adversary, until finally killed near the end of the story.. Several free blacks are enslaved or re-enslaved, and one is intentionally shot while trying to surrender. White people vary a lot in their attitude to black people; black loyalists are often treated worse than white ones, even of equivalent social class - but not always. (Sometimes they are only limited by class.)

I don't know how accurate this is, whether it was on toned down from what's on record to avoid shocked incredulity, or for that matter enhanced to provide an ongoing adversary other than the Rebel forces. But I'm inclined to trust this author to be fairly accurate within the limits of writing a story.

I think this was the author's first solo novel. There are some slightly rough edges, which kept me from rating it 4, but I'm inclined to try some of the author's later works, with hopes they'll be even better.

helmikuu 29, 11:30 pm

I wanted a better idea of how the revolution played out in New York State. I read The Other New York: The American Revolution beyond New York City, 1763 – 1787 which was a series of essays about the various counties in the state. The areas covered varied widely in population, length they had been settled and support for the Patriot and Loyalist sides. It was well researched with extensive notes at the end of each chapter. No wonder I picked this book up to further my family history research. I came to this research late because I had no idea that I had men who fought for the Patriot side in my ancestry. There was no mention of it in family lore.

maaliskuu 1, 1:04 pm

>71 Familyhistorian: Are those the official terms—-Patriot and Loyalist?

maaliskuu 1, 8:08 pm

The March War Room Challenge thread is up for The War of the Roses:

maaliskuu 2, 12:11 am

>72 booksaplenty1949: I don't know if the terms Patriot and Loyalist are official but they are often given and even now can be used as terms that designate which side the person spoken about fought on. In Canada there is an association for United Empire Loyalists.

maaliskuu 2, 7:56 am

Yes, Loyalist seems to be widely used, and conveys the idea of sticking with the existing arrangement. I was just not familiar with Patriot. But I see that the scholars of Wikipedia use the term to designate the revolutionaries.

maaliskuu 2, 4:45 pm

While in Burlington Vermont I picked up Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution for a local version of events. I didn't finish it in February but will finish it soon--I'm greatly enjoying it.

maaliskuu 19, 3:35 pm

Hi Paul - there is some mention of Slavery here - want to add that The Northern United States

abolished Slavery in 1804,

while Britain abolished Slavery in 1834.

Both ended The Slave Trade around the same time.

maaliskuu 25, 12:21 pm

I have now very much belatedly finished The glorious cause : the American Revolution 1763-1789 by Robert Middlekauff

I borrowed this book for the February round of the War Room challenge, and read it in March. It took me a while, at 736 pages. I consider it a decent and fairly comprehensive description of the events of the American Revolution, starting before the trouble began, and ending with the replacement constitution of 1787.

I'd intended to just glance at it before returning it to the library, since I'd already satisfied the February challenge, and it was time to move on to the Wars of the Roses. I was sucked in by the description of British opinion about the American colonies, and the British political situation, shortly before the trouble began. So this book didn't go back to the library with all the others I'd borrowed for the February challenge but had not yet started.

It's basically a text book, in that it covers everything an American college student ought to know about the topic, and never explicitly violates American orthodoxy. (The Revolution is "glorious"; those participating are "patriots", etc. etc.) On the other hand, it describes enough bad and questionable behaviour from those patriots that I wasn't too sure the author personally subscribed to those orthodox beliefs, and even suspected him of possibly being British rather than American himself. (He turned out to have been American.) Perhaps no one can fully subscribe to a simplistic mythology in an area where they have in depth knowledge.

I like that this book shows a lot about how the sausage was made, not just glorious stages in its preparation. I like that it starts by setting the scene, particularly the scene in Britain, rather than diving straight into the action. But I now know more about this revolution than I really care about, and I personally would probably have preferred a book with some kind of non mainstream theme.