I enjoyed 1776 by David McCullough and would encourage any reader to pick it up. It is a narrative of the fateful year when the rebellion against the authority of the British Crown was gathering steam and blew out into full blown war. I was not aware of just how precarious the short term military situation was: At several moments in the fall of 1776 a few different decisions and Washington could have been decisively defeated and Philadelphia captured. McCullough mentions, in the right ways, the contradictions of Virginia planters fighting for liberty while owning slaves. His focus is no on the ideology, but rather the particular military maneuvers and strategies adopted.
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