The History Book Club discussion

Washington: A Life
This topic is about Washington
44 views
PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > WEEK FIVE - SPOTLIGHT - Presidential Series - WASHINGTON, A LIFE - October 24th - October 30th - Chapters TWENTY-FOUR through Chapters TWENTY-NINE - 285 - 357 - No Spoilers, Please

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Hello Everyone,

For the week of October 24th - October 30th, we are reading the Chapters Twenty-Four through Twenty-Nine of Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow.

The fifth week's reading assignment is:

Week Five - October 24th - October 30th
Chapter Twenty-Four - Twenty-Nine - (pages 285 - 357)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book is being kicked off on September 26th.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, local bookstore or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up October 24th.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be moderating this discussion and Assisting Moderators Teri, Jill, and Samanta will be backups.

Welcome,

~Bentley

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Also the citation thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction Thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please. We will be adding to this thread as we read along.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - SPOILER THREAD

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow


message 2: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Everyone, for the week of October 24th - October 30th, we are reading the Chapter(s) 24 - 29 of Washington: A Life

The fifth week's reading assignment is:

Week Five - October 24th - October 30th
Chapter(s) Twenty-Four - Twenty-Nine - pages 285 - 357

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 24: The Busy Scenes of a Camp
Washington and his troops spent the winter in Morristown. Washington continues to battle Congress and turns his attention to creating a spy ring and his own group of aids that included Captain Alexander Hamilton and the Marquis de Lafayette.

Chapter 25: Darkness Visible
The British make a move toward Philadelphia. Washington moves his army into the city and takes up a defense near Brandywine Creek. Washington is pushed out of Philadelphia. Washington marches his men back toward Germantown. Washington eventually pushes his men forward, but confusion causes the retreat of most of his men in the defeat.

Chapter 26: Rapping a Demigod over the Knuckles
Washington becomes the victim of distrust within the Congress, leading to insubordination among his generals and rumors of conspiracies to replace him as leader of the Continental Army.

Chapter 27: A Dreary Kind of Place
Washington and his army settle in Valley Forge where they lack food and clothing. Benjamin Franklin negotiates treaties with France.

Chapter 28: The Long Retreat
General William Howe is replaced by General Henry Clinton. The British retreat out of Philadelphia, allowing the Continental Army to cross the Delaware. At the Battle of Monmouth, General Charles Lee attacks Clinton and Cornwallis. Washington marches his own troops into Lee's men. The British slip away in the night and both sides claimed victory. Lee to be court-martialed for his actions.

Chapter 29: Pests of Society
After the Battle of Monmouth French reinforcements arrive. Washington's ships remain in the Caribbean.


Savannah Jordan | 94 comments I knew that the conditions under which these soldiers had to live was horrendous, I just did not realize how horrendous until I read this book. Additionally, I was not fully aware of how uncooperative the states were in donating money and men to the cause. What an extraordinary human being was Washington. To have been able to do so much with so little.


Helga Cohen (hcohen) | 591 comments So true. I completely agree. This book really shows how extraordinary Washington was.


Pamela (winkpc) | 621 comments Every time I read about Valley Forge and what those men went through, it makes me cry. At least that small core of the Army must have felt very strongly about what they were doing in order to go through all of that suffering.


Harmke What a charismatic person George Washington must have been. To be able to send an army in retreat back into fight.


Glynn | 216 comments As I was reading the chapter on the Busy Scenes in a Camp, I was struck by the description of Washington not wanting to jinx his recent run of victiories where he thanked the Penn Council of Safety for alerting him to the solar eclipse happening on Jan. 9th, 1777. Chernow writes "in an age alive to portents, Washington feared that his soldiers might interpret a solar eclipse as a sign of providential displeasure." (pg 286.) I'm interested in astronomy so I looked that one up. It was an annular solar eclipse, where the sun is blocked out by the moon leaving only a ring of fire in the sky. I think Washington was prudent and that really would have spooked the troops if they weren't forewarned about it!


message 8: by Glynn (last edited Nov 09, 2016 02:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Glynn | 216 comments I like the depiction of the various battles in Chapter 25. I found a 4 part video on YouTube depicting the Battle of Brandywine. I posted this in the glossary as well: The Road to Brandywine


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments still trying to catch up - these notes are only on Chapter 24 - busy scenes at camp
Pamela mentions Valley Forge - this chapter is the winter of 76/77 and it is in Morristown - I would note that the camp ground is now a park (I forget if it is a National or State Park) - with reconstructed soldier cabins - officer cabins etc - if you are near Morristown, NJ

Pg 286 - GW insists on respect for private property - even loyalists - maybe an image of fairness to all "Americans" in this tense post election time.

Pg 288 GW begins a spy network - for a farmer part time soldier very impressive

Pg 290 - GW with his young aids - his mid-afternoon dinners must have been so inclusive to his fellows - I guess he must have been link a "rock star" to these young guys. -(It makes me wonder how a man whose management experience was over enslaved people with overseers could have developed this talent)

Some years ago I bought a book on GW and leadership at a book discussion and it has sat on my book shelf for those years and I guess I will soon try to read it if HBC gives me enough of a break.

Pg 290 - Alexander Hamilton a 22 year old "boy wonder" - what a strong guy he must have been.

Pg 297 - and Lafayette - this young Frenchman was only 20 years old (born 1757) - I wonder how his being a Mason (mentioned by Chernow) might have facilitated his relationship with GW - GW had been a Mason since 1752 - I know that today this is a link to common values among people (I am not a Mason)

George Washington on Leadership by Richard Brookhiser Richard Brookhiser Richard Brookhiser


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments So finally this section is really eye opening - agreeing with the above comments about Valley Forge and the hardships faced - looking at the support of Von Steuben - the considerations of usage of negro soldiers and the difference between northern and southern views - the French - their arrival and their ambitions towards Quebec?
The evolving and growing GW - maybe just showing it more but I think this was certainly a time for him to expand his views and thoughts. GW's finalization of the Charles Lee problem - & the consistent support of Greene and others.
Also not to be overlooked is the addition I have made of A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution by Craig Symonds which has made it much easier for me to understand the battles. - Part of the reason for my long delay here is that I had to catch up on all the previous maps/battles. I was also out of the country for about two weeks and did not carry the two books with - though time was lacking anyway

A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution by Craig L. Symonds Craig L. Symonds Craig L. Symonds


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Vince - Happy Holidays - thank you for adding the reference book. No problem - it is never too late to get caught up.


back to top