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Sunday, November 3, 2019

The British are coming - the war for America by Rick Atkinson

The British are coming war for America, Lexington to Princeton,1775-1777
Abraham Lincoln said "a house divided against itself cannot stand" he was correct though it stood just barely, leaving a trail of divided families, many dead or wounded along with mass destruction and the heritage of racism. Today, we may be facing the potential of something  similar in a  more modern world of sophisticated media and other technologies, as well as unsophisticated so-called "alternate facts."
None of the above has solely been created by the con artist, liar and dictator lover in the White House but he has enhanced, used and personally benefited from many of them. For many of us this has posed a real dilemma. It began  from the start of Trump's administration. I remember thinking his words and claims were untrue, even un presidential and couldn't get worse. It has of course, even to the point of abuse of office and selling out his countries safety, security and the Constitution of the United States for his personal and political benefit. Back in the day he would be identified as  a traitor.
What to do? I'd heard enough from the so-called panel experts on cable TV. It was time to go back to the first house divided. That is to say the American Revolution and the founding fathers, many of whom survived that colonial/Civil War for independence to write the blueprint for a new nation. It's    called the Constitution of the United States of America. As the impeachment process continues in the days ahead will be hearing much of the words and meaning of that document.
As luck would have it I had just noted one of my favorite American historians Rick Atkinson had just  published the first book in  a trilogy on the American Revolution. His writing is right up there at the very top of his profession. Think of authors like Stephen Ambrose, David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin and. Bruce Catton ......

.......... Rick Atkinson is an American historian who began his writing career as a highly successful newspaper reporter who later turned to writing mostly military history. . For those of you that slept through those boring history textbooks and lectures in high school the British Are Coming will bring it all to life as s only Atkinson can. For those of you that know the story because you liked history to begin with   this will not be the story that you thought you knew. I doesn't have the romantic of all those paintings and legends. For those of you that love historical fiction please be careful because this book feels like historical fiction but it isn't. It's based on  well documented research which you can check in the back of the book. All your senses will come alive as you read what really happened. The smell, sound  and scenes will come alive as you read and yes the emotions's as well.

Many historians guess that the American colonists were divided into about three equal groups You'll meet those who just wanted no part of this awful Civil War, and the Patriots will put everything on the line to create their own Republic, and the Tories who remained loyal to the king and Empire
This was indeed our first house divided. More people as a percentage of the total population died in this war than any other with the exception of the one Pres. Lincoln feared.
In summing up the this wonderful book I'm having a hard time choosing   appropriate  descriptions.  Perhaps masterpiece, classic, poetic, cinematic and God forbid prophetic. This divided people long ago in spite of almost impossible odds created a new nation based upon their acceptance of common goals and  a structure of government which divided power into three equal branches, to make sure that no single group or person  could be all powerful nor subservient to foreign interference and bribery. From The very beginning that Atkinson wrote so poignantly about, generations  kept the promise. Now it's our turn. To disagree without being disagreeable nor demeaning each other. Focus on our common goals which should allow us to do something we seem to have forgotten. Compromise. King George III might had tried that with better results.....

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@Barrie Summy


  1. This author and book seem just right for you.

  2. Thank you for another inspiring review. It will be on my bookshelf soon.

  3. I have been a life long Dem but I did not vote for Hilary as I lost respect for her many moons ago....when she stayed with Bill. Any woman that had that little self respect should never be put in a position of authority. No, I did not vote for Trump either but rather I wanted to vote for Bernie but they screwed him out of that too along with aiding and abetting the Trump victory...IMHO. I voted for The Green Party as a last resort.
    I'm not sure I can compromise with liars or people who deal in 'alternative facts'.....I will read that book though as I am broken hearted about our country. I have even shed tears over it as 'my fellow Americans' don't seem to be who I thought they were. I did get a hint several years back though when a psychologist friend of mine retired and told me "If people knew how much anger and hatred there is bottled up in people, they would be afraid to walk out their doors each morning". I have a feeling I am just now beginning to understand what she meant. Where did it all come from? I didn't have the easiest life but I am not filled with hatred or malice towards it this 'victim' mentality that has taken over? I will read that book...eventually. Books are pricey now especially when they first come out.
    BTW, I think of you often as I know you lost your wife this past summer. I lost my 2 canine companions of 14 years and my youngest son this summer. It's been a rough one....I hope you are coping okay.

  4. Will check it out Ray. We are surely in equally divided times these days and in my case, divided families. Not much fun and I sure hope we get a resolution soon and hope we don't have to wait till this time next year.

  5. Excellent thoughts. Sounds like a book well worth reading! Reading Jon Meacham's "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" allowed me to appreciate the severe disunity among the colony's residents and efforts of the those who set about establishing an independent democratic republic in 18th century America. The division and acrimony we have today benefits our enemies and is getting a helping hand from Putin who has long wished for the downfall of our democratic republic. One of the biggest hurdles today is that we do not share common facts and a civil debate (indeed no debate) can happen if we do not share the same set of facts.

  6. This is a rich and thought-provoking post, TB. I appreciate hearing about this book and being reminded that we have been divided before in our history. I truly miss the lively, yet civil discussions I used to have with people with varied viewpoints; I always learned something and could come to appreciate--if not some of the views I heard--the reasoning and priorities behind them. We would be richer and wiser if we could return to that kind of exchange of ideas. Thank you for your profound reflections.

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  8. I can see why you enjoyed this book, and I can only hope this nation will heal it's divide with a more progressive outcome. It's a shame the president won't read anything longer than a tweet since there is much to be learned from history.

  9. I have always loved history, and I'm sure I would enjoy reading this book. We live in perilous times, now, at least as far as our democratic institutions are involved. As Nancy Pelosi said recently, quoting Thomas Paine, "the times have found us." Whether we like it or not. Good review, Ray.

  10. I love that you returned to history to examine today's political crisis. This book sounds terrific. A writer who can bring history to life is a gem. Thank you for this thoughtful review.

  11. We are in some very dark times. The only up side is that I am much more interested and active in what is happening in my birth country. - Margy

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  13. Hi Ray - I certainly should get to grips with more about American history - I picked up a bit when I was over in Canada ... but not nearly enough! Cheers Hilary

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