Sunday, February 24, 2008


I just finished David McCullough's "1776; The illustrated Edition," my book club selection for February. I am no fan of historical non fiction and was not looking forward to reading this book. I got the illustrated edition as I felt the pictures would make the journey more interesting to me. What an unexpected treat. This book uniquely features not only pertinent paintings and illustrations of this historic year in U.S history, but has bound-in envelope packets containing reproductions of original maps, letters, and documents of the year. these are placed throughout the book as the story unfolds. From Richard III's proclamations, through Abigail Adams personal correspondence, to a battle map of Boston;, these reproductions enliven the whole story enough to make this account fascinating even to the reluctant. The most interesting part for me was the way McCollough personifies the notable "players," with insights as to their individual personalities. Like General Putnam "Puts" asking one of his soldiers to remove a rock in the road , getting the response, "Sir, I'm a corporal". "Well, in that case...," said Putnam; who then got out of his carriage and removed the rock himself. This is a colorful and a rare book that brings history to life.

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