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Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer
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's review
Apr 13, 09

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in March, 2009

This non-fiction book won the Pulitzer Prize for history and I can see why. He recounts the early days of the Revolutionary War where the Union army suffered so many defeats until Washington had led his troops back across the Delaware and began fighting the war offensively.

Fischer had many good insights about what changed the momentum of the War, including many little known things such as a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine at the lowest point. The character and philosophies of the Nation was still evolving, and Fischer concludes with some very interesting observations about the enduring policies and philosophies that influence us even today. The Americans invented a new way of conducting war, through necessity, which prevails to this day and has proven to be very effective. Americans value human life, and this leads to a policy of combining boldness with prudence. Americans also adopted a policy of humanity to their prisoners, in stark contrast to their treatment by the English and Hessian forces. It remains one of our policies today.

Washington also put together a new style of democratic leadership that is still apparent in the relationship between Congress and the military today. Fischer also notes the deep and abiding religious faith that sustained them through hard times. They felt that Providence was on their side and would sustain them. He notes that there is strength in being on the higher moral ground.

It was a good read that strengthens your appreciation for the USA and the sacrifices that were made to establish the Nation.
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