I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3.5 Stars
I was super excited to be approved for this one, because it had been on my NetGalley Wish List for ages, and I have never gotten a 'Wish Granted' before. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I was expecting/hoping to. I don't know what my deal has been lately with the Revolutionary War and its aftermath, but I have struggled with a lot of books on this and related subjects for a few months. It has always been a period that has interested me, but maybe I have just read too many in too short amount of time. Back to Medieval England I go.
I don't want to say that the book was boring, because that is not the right word. There are PLENTY of shenanigans to keep one's head spinning, but perhaps that is exactly what I was frustrated about. Frustrating is a far better word, and much more accurate. I was not frustrated by the author and his writing, but the content itself and all these guys who could not get their acts together. There was this grand plan for a beautiful and functional capital city to properly represent our fledgling country...and all the garbage one would expect when it came to implementing such a grand vision as the one that Washington had for the city that would be named for him. There were several stumbling blocks, the main one being the new government itself, which will come as no surprise to any American who is constantly asking themselves wtf is going on in our country today. During Washington's administration, then followed up by Adams', they had little money to work with to even get the plans implemented, nor did it seem that anyone was actually sure of just how much authority the administrations had to do literally anything. It was almost comical at times, until one remembers that this actually happened and is not just some made up stories about a bunch of guys who fought for the freedom from the tyrannical rule of George III, only to find they did not know what to do with the freedom when they actually had it. Harnessing the energy of the revolution was a tricky thing to do, especially when the competing parties that Washington warned everyone about started, well, competing. Jefferson and his posse managed to withhold funds that would have gone toward supporting any project that was not related to the government itself. It would take another decade to pass before the politicians really began working together in order to make our capital one that our young nation deserved.
Recommended for those who enjoy US history and politics, and biographies of cities.
I've just discovered your blog and am enjoying reading your reviews. I am also interested in the American Revolution, and have been feeling frustrated lately - like I have read it all before; I keep looking for books that approach from a different perspective, but so often they end up covering the same ground. One of your comments above stood out to me: about how these are not just some made up stories about a bunch of guys who fought for their freedom, only to find they didn't know what to do with it when they actually had it.ReplyDelete
We were taught (I went to school in the 70's) about these heroic men (and of course, no women) who did this magical thing; now it is interesting to learn of their humanity.
I would like to recommend some books for you that might provide interest from different perspectives: Arundel by Kenneth Roberts, about Arnold's foray to conquer Canada; The Fort by Bernard Cornwell, about a garrison in Penobscot Bay - an event I had never heard of, and which provides a new look at Paul Revere; and Defiant Brides, by Nancy Rubin Stuart, about Peggy Shippen and Lucy Knox. Another good one is The Men who Lost America, by Andrew O'Shaughnessy, about the British leaders. I have a few others you might be interested in.
Now back to searching through your posts for other good books to read!
Welcome, Donna! I am so glad that you are finding books of interest to you. I apologize for my absence lately, the past week was hectic at school with parent-teacher conferences, but now I am on spring break and feeling quite rested. I am really interested in many of the books you listed above, I am especially interested in Paul Revere because he is an interesting figure. I have one on his court-martial somewhere but have not read it yet. I think it is related to The Fort, as it is about the same topic.Delete
Thank you for taking the time to read through my blog, I greatly appreciate it!