Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution

Just wanted to write a quick post about this book that I read while I was sick.
I enjoyed it.
Nathaniel Philbrick did a good job of bringing the historical figures to life.
He also did a good job of depicting some of the subtlety and nuance of the political climate as the American colonists struggled their way toward a war of independence.  (In addition to the fact that many loyalists continued to support the British government entirely in the run up to the revolution, even those in the burgeoning patriot movement were initially interested only in gaining a greater degree of liberty while ultimately remaining loyal to the king.  The problem was not with King George III, the misguided theory went, but with a corrupt Parliament which refused to share the King's empathy, wisdom, and respect for his colonial subjects.)
At any rate, Philbrick paints the British Governors, generals, and leaders in an almost sympathetic light, suggesting that the shifting, and sometimes unreasonable, demands of the patriots were almost impossible to satisfy, especially given the fact that, in the end, conflict- of one fashion or another- was what many of the patriot leaders truly desired.
Incessant correspondence on the part of the various historical figures helps to flesh them out as characters, and lends veracity to Philbrick's depictions of character.
At any rate, I enjoyed it.  It took events that I had (scarcely) learned about in a dry, historical context and brought them to life.


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