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The odds were heavily stacked against the Americans no colonial rebellion had ever succeeded in casting off imperial shackles But as Voltaire had observed history is filled with the sound of silken slippers oing downstairs and wooden shoes coming up Whenever I read about the Amercian Revolution I m always struck by the enormity of the task our founding fathers were facing They were not prepared for war not in the least They had no navy no standing army very few officers with military experience a slipshod overnment and they lacked any kind of plan as to how the war was to be won And yet somehow despite the odds they prevailed But I m etting ahead of myself I Decade of Despair guess it isn t a spoiler to say that the rebels do win the war but with this first of three volumes Rick Atkinson is only covering 1775 1777 and believe me these were dire years fraught with disaster Atkinson s description of the Battle of Lexington and Concord is perhaps one of the best and most vivid I ve ever read He has this wonderful knack of putting in details that other historians would have never discovered or would have felt were too insignificant to include in the text With their wet shoes suelching at than a hundred steps per minute their pace approached four miles an hour Past apple and plum orchard they tramped past smokehouses and cider mills and obliue driftways that led into cow pastures The heavy footfall rattled pewter dishes on dressers and in cupboards and an eight year old boy awake when he should have been sleeping later recalled a wondrous sight on the road outside his window a long bobbing column of red like a flowing river sweeping northwest beneath theibbous moon What Atkinson does here with this wonderful piece of writing is put the reader on that road with the redcoats in the mud and then he pulls back in a 3D panorama and shares with us this evocative What Was Lost gobsmacked observation by this 8 year old boy The thought of the thunderous sound of a river of red sends shivers down my spine I can only imagine the courage it took for those colonial men to stand out there on that villagereen facing this lobsterbacked behemoth of professional soldiers who not only outnumbered them but were better trained and better armed I can also feel the fear of those British regulars who had to march back down that road to Boston with rebel snipers hitting them from every fence line and stand of trees The colonials learned very uickly to avoid fighting the British standing in the open like tin pins waiting to be slaughtered General Hugh Percy made a very astute tactical decision not to try and cross the bridge over the Charles River but ferry his troops with boats back to Boston The rebels were lying in wait at that bridge in large numbers and the slaughter would have been disastrous for the British Had the column not veered away a senior British Go-Go-Go! general later concluded there would have been an end that day of Britishovernment in America I doubt that George III would have had his toy soldiers pack up and come home but it would have been a very clear early victory for the rebels that would have brought men flocking to the banner for freedom in droves This was a serendipitous bit of fortune for the British but most of those moments of near disaster would belong to the Americans There were numerous times when the British were on the verge of destroying the rebel army and through the fickleness of fate or an overly cautious decision by the British leadership or a stealthy retreat by the rebels who freuently seemed to just vanish into the mist the war could have easily been over within the first few years if not months What if the British had captured George Washington It is hard to even think of a successful conclusion to the conflict without THE founding father at the head of our army What if the Continental Congress had replaced Washington It was bandied about after all he was losing battle after battle The importance of his victory at Trenton can not be overemphasized Not only did it shore up support with the French but it also reaffirmed the faith of Washington s supporters There was also the treachery of General Charles Lee and General Horatio Gates who plotted endless behind Washington s back each feeling they were better ualified to lead the colonial army If they had spent as much time trying to defeat the British as they had trying to discredit Washington the war may very well have ended much sooner The Battle for Lake Champlain or Valcour Island is one of the enthralling David and Goliath stories of the war General Benedict Arnold might have summed up the dire circumstances best with his assessment of the situation When you ask for a frigate they Somato Respiratory Integration Workbook give you a raft The Revolutionary War was fought on the cheap and had to be as the Continental Congress was freuently existing on fumes Arnold didn t win this battle but he certainly didn t lose it either only because of that much vaunted audacity that left the British wondering if they had been fighting ahost all along Atkinson does a very ood job describing this battle but Nathaniel Philbrick devotes ink to it in Valiant Ambition George Washington Benedict Arnold and the Fate of the American Revolution and by doing so brings it vividly to life In my opinion Benedict Arnold is the most fascinating person of the Revolutionary War Restive and audacious he was as brave a man as ever lived in one comrade s estimation as fine a battle captain as America would produce
that century a man born to lead other men in the dark of night Yet he would forever be an enigma century a man born to lead other men in the dark of night Yet he would forever be an enigma with both a nawing sense of rievance and the nattering enmity of lesser fellows His destiny as the historian James Kirby Martin later wrote encompassing both the luminescent hero and the serpentine villain At least here in volume one of this trilogy we can sit back and enjoy Arnold s exploits The disastrous decision he made that forever tainted his legacy was still a few years away He was a complicated man bedevilled by his enemies hampered by his own pride and sorely missed by Washington for the latter part of the war I was shocked to learn about the staggering number of confrontations that occurred during the first two years of the war Combatants had fought than 450 military actions and 90 naval skirmishes according to a tally by the historian H Peckham American casualties approached 9000 almost a third of them killed or wounded of the 6500 Americans captured an unconscionable number would die in British prisons There is so much I wish I could talk about I could o on and on expressing my enjoyment of Atkinson s descriptions of each encounter between the rebels and the British but the idea is to encourage all of you to Offenders and Detainees go read this book not to indulge myself in my own interpretations and speculations about the plethora of interesting facts that were part of every aspect of the war If you are a professional or amateur historian you will find this overview an edifying and enjoyable experience If you know very little about the Revolutionary War this will make for a veryood start in your exploration of this frankly world phenomenon where a rabble of men qasas-ul-quran gain their freedom by continuing to fight despite the string of demoralizing defeats and the overwhelming odds they faced against an 18th century superpower The beacon of freedom did not come into existence easily and we certainly should forever remember that we are not just Americans We are a conglomeration of all nations Give me your tired your poor Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free The wretched refuse of your teeming shore Send these the homeless tempest tossed to me I lift my lamp beside theolden door Here be one of the wretched refuse whose ancestors washed up on your shores before the Revolutionary War We have worked too long We have come too far We mustn t ever forget who we are If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at The British are Coming The War for America Lexington to Princeton 1775 1777 is a meticulously and deeply researched history of the American Revolution by renowned historian Rick Atkinson This first volume of the anticipated Revolution Trilogy was riveting as you watch the struggling Continental Army up against the mighty and formidable forces of the British Army and Royal Navy dispatched by King George III This is the story of the newly formed colonies in America and their struggle not only for freedom but to forge a new democratic nation Atkinson describes the first twenty one months of the American Revolution with the battles at Lexington and Concord to those at Trenton and Princeton told in painful detail We see each of these battles not only from the point of view of the enerals to the soldiers but to those waiting at home This was a fast paced book as we see well known characters from our history to the obscure I for one will be anxiously awaiting Volume II of this remarkable tale of America s early and laudable history Still the British Army and Royal Navy had been driven off by a rabblement of farmers and shopkeepers Led by low born ascendant men like the plowman Israel Putnam the anchorsmith Greene and book vendor Knox Washington had displayed persistence and integrity as well as political agility The revolutionary hour had passed to be succeeded by other hours some of them dreadfulThat a large balding American renowned across Europe as a scientist diplomat and revolutionary would remain inconspicuous as he trotted through the French provinces defied probability Whatever the reat man s purpose Paris was alert and Dead-End Road Mysteries giddy while awaiting his arrival When word spread in London of Franklin s advance in on Paris British stocks fell Common Sense had helped nudge Americans toward their declaration of independency converting fence straddlers into patriots and patriots into radicalsThese are the times that try men s souls The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of this country But he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman Tyranny like hell is not easily conuered yet we have this consolation with us that the harder the conflict thelorious the triumph Thomas Paine The British Are Coming by Rick AtkinsonThree thousand patients jammed the hospital at Fort George thirty miles south of Ticonderoga where hemlock boughs served for bedding In the name of God one physician pleaded what shall we do with them all Too often the answer was bury them A surgeon estimated that three hundred men had died there in just over a month When inventories were taken of drug supplies in September five artillery companies reported Medicines none In this excerpt that covers the Revolutionary War campaign in uebec and Lake Champlain led by a brave and brash Benedict Arnold we see the misery and suffering from the cold and disease Arnold and. In the initial volume of the Revolution Trilogy Rick Atkinson recounts the first twenty one months of America’s violent war for independence From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777 American militiamen and then the ragge.
Rick Atkinson ¿ 9 readLook like caricatures rather than humans Atkinson though is able to paint them with words so that they come alive before the mind s eye He does not engage in any profound revisionism as he did with Mark Clark s reputation in The Day of Battle but he sure delivers a precise thumbnail sketch of most of the important participants For instance there is this witty description of General Charles LeeSo slender that he seemed to lack shoulders he had a receding chin high forehead tiny hands and small deep set eyes to call Lee homely was to insult homely men His nose is so large a German officer wrote that its shadow darkens the other half of his face Despite the fancy uniforms he was habitually unkempt and reputedly owned but three shirts each in such disrepair that he d named them Rag Tag and Bobtail The dogs trailed him everywhere including a favorite Pomeranianwho sometimes sat with him at table where they communed in what he called the language of doggism It almost Hear the Wolves goes without saying though I will say it anyway that Atkinson delivers one heck of a set piece Colonel Johann Rall tried again to marshal his menBut the day was lost American soldiers flocked through the cross streets to take firing perches in cellars upper windows and along the fence at Pott s tanyard by the bark house and stone currying shop Chipping their flints for a clean surface picking out touchholes and drying their priming pans they fired reloaded and fired again deliberately targeting officersThe clap of musketry echoed down King Street as hundreds of pullets pinged off walls cobbles and headstones Wounded men dragged themselves into alleys and parlors others bled to death in theutterIn all honesty when I first heard that Atkinson was heading to the American Revolution for his next project I was vaguely disappointed To be sure there is space on my bookshelf for a massive multi volume military history of the Revolution That said a lot of fine authors hell Valors Measure great authors have already tackled this period I was hoping that Atkinson wouldet a bit ambitious and deliver the comprehensive yet accessible and also brilliant trilogy on the Vietnam Wars that we really needStill I knew that whatever Atkinson did next he d do it well In that I was correct Nonetheless The British Are Coming has one major flaw It is entirely uninterested in how the American Revolution began in the first place There is a brief prologue set in 1773 with King George reviewing his fleet In that prologue there is some brief talk about taxes and a tea party Aside from that however there is absolutely zero discussion about how the American colonies bound by heritage and tradition to the British Empire came to engage in such vicious bloodletting with each other To my mind the origins of the Revolution is the most fascinating aspect of the whole tale For Atkinson though it is not even an afterthought since it lacks the predicate thought The most BFI Film Classics glaring example of Atkinson s aversion to context is in the way he barely mentions the Seven Years WarFrench and Indian War fought between Britain and France from 1754 to 1763 Thislobal conflict was the necessary and sufficient condition of the American Revolution It is related to the Revolution in the same manner that the First World War relates to the Second Yet when Atkinson mentions it he usually refers to it almost disdainfully as the French war This is super odd It s like calling the First World War the Austrian war It diminishes a massive conflict that killed hundreds of thousands of people and literally redrew the maps of earth This is not a deal breaker by any means Yet it bothers me Atkinson is once again well on his way to creating a monumental literary masterpiece But he has baked into it a tremendous flaw It is disappointing to have such a vigorous recreation of epochal battles without providing any insight into why the muskets were shouldered in the first place It is probably too late to rectify this authorial decision Thus no matter how ood his trilogy might be and based on the first entry it should be tremendous it will not be the one stop shop of the American Revolution despite its prodigious length The British Are Coming has 564 pages of text In other words you ll have to leave some extra space on your bookshelf because even when you ve finished there will be unanswered uestions Anyone who has read Rick Atkinson s The Liberation Trilogy will understand that when he begins another massive examination of another war the reader must follow And right away And so although I had not scheduled the Revolutionary War on my reading journey this year and although the Revolutionary War is not my war I really had no choice but to read this immediately I was not disappointedThis is a military history but the story would not be complete without Ben Franklin s seducing the French He is but one of many wonderfully drawn characters Nathan Hale Marie Antoinette Beaumarchais Ezra Lee and the Turtle and Admiral Howe Give us Black Dick his sailors boastedAnd George Washington of course I was reminded of his many failures before he found enius And also that he had survived smallpox which many did not the disease killing than bullets didToo we think of this War as American Rebels versus British soldiers but mostly the locals were fighting Germans Thus an we think of this War as American Rebels versus British soldiers but mostly the locals were fighting Germans Thus an assault would be met with cries of Der Feind Der Feind HerausI like the cadence of Atkinson s writing The day would be famous before it dawned And I like his understanding of military matters Proverbially no plan survives contact with the enemy but this plan came unstitched before the first unshot Inspiration
is rare enough in the tumult of battle and enius rarer stillThis first volume tells the bleak opening battles and concludesrare enough in the tumult of battle and Fiend genius rarer stillThis first volume tells the bleak opening battles and concludes the victories at Trenton and Princeton Game on Near that end Atkinson shares a sardonic letter from London to America dated January 1 1777 His Majesty intends to open this year s campaign with ninety thousand Hessians Tories Negroes Japanese Moors Esuimaux Persian archers Laplanders Feejee Islanders and light horse Ye dumb founded infatuated back bestridden nose led about priest ridden demagogue beshackled and Congress becrafted independents fly fly oh fly for protection to the royal standard or ye will be swept from the face of the earthOr not I can t wait to see how this turns out The history of our Revolution and Founding is among my favorite reading subjects and Mr Atkinson has become an author of some interest and appeal for me When it was announced that he was beginning a Revolution Trilogy there wasn t much doubt of my making a purchase of this first volume Now that I have read this book Iive it 4 stars because its uality is deserving of that rating However I have to admit that I had some difficulty with the book and I think this is a problem of the reader me than the author This first volume covers the first 2 years of the Revolution 1775 77 and uses 564 pages of text to do so I have read a Voice of Conscience great deal about the Revolution and few of the books I have read that covered the entire Revolution needed that much paper to do the job and do it well So the length did become an issue for me but my knowledge also was a problem Since my reading has been rather extensive another history of the Revolution was like reading a mystery novel where you know the ending All the excitement drama and mystery are diminished but that is my problem and not the fault of the author so my rating is as objective a judgment as I canive on what the author has accomplished in this history and that is uite a bitAgain the length of the book that only deals with the first two years of the Revolution did seem odd and then to think that there are two books yet to come had me scratching my head I could not imagine why Atkinson needed such a weight of pages to cover such a well traveled road My hope was that he had information detail and better analysis than anybody else has had Considering the popularity of the subject however I also thought that highly unlikely I was to an extent wrong Atkinson does travel the same road as all other authors but he does it far comprehensively I suspect that when this trilogy is completed it will be unnecessary for anybody to own another treatment of the history of the American Revolution This book didn t just cover the events of these two years This book covered all the events in all three theaters of combat operations and did it in a fairly chronological order Most histories will deal with one theatre or one battle while others will cover the whole Revolution but only the major events This book covers the events leading up to the conflict as well as all the major combats and many obscure actions and events involving minor historical figures and does so in full satisfactory detail Further the author reports the events from the points of view of each side as well as the political developments in London There is also a wealth of new detail both regarding the people involved on both sides which includes brief bios their behavior in the field and the problems facing them One area that I enjoyed a PROBE MY ASS (A Reluctant Doctor/Patient Anal Sex erotica story) great deal thatets some serious treatment is the logistics The logistical demands and deficiencies of both armies is freuently recounted in detail This information makes one wonder how the English could have seriously thought it possible to pursue this war at all Of course the same information makes you wonder how in the heck the Americans could have thought to have started this war Both sides were eually insane and the basis for this shared insanity is laid out in utterly complete detail in this book It would appear that Mr Atkinson is attempting to write a definitive history of the American Revolution and this first volume is a The Pedlar and the Bandit King (Scarlet and the White Wolf, good foundation for what is surely to come If everything is important then nothing is Writing history is as much about knowing what to leave out as to include in making a narrative or interpretation In contrast Atkinson piles on the minute closerained details of military operations much of this is a recitation of material and logistics in a way that loses the forest for not just the trees but the pine needles The result makes the Revolution dull while also missing all the things that made it important including why it was fought at all The sections on causation recite the familiar events Tea Party etc and themes English arrogance but omits the incredible modern scholarship on 18th century politics both English and American Even as a biographica This book does an excellent job of covering the first few years of the Revolutionary War from all angles British and American General and foot soldier military battles and political battles I think the length is about right for such a formidable task Key battles and characters are covered in detail without lingering too long on any one subject With so many people featured no one figure Proves to be the wiliest of diplomats; George Washington the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost The story is also told from the British perspective making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the compellin. His forces had against all odds narrowly escaped through a bottleneck of the British Navy near the northern end of Lake Champlain While David McCullough and Ron Chernow might be considered the Marvins Room great biographers of the American Revolution then it can be said that Rick Atkinson is on his way to becoming areat historian of the era as well Atkinson is best known for his WWII Liberation Trilogy for which he won multiple Pulitzer prizes His book about West Point called The Long Gray Line is eually Roberto to the Dark Tower Came good in my opinion The British are Coming is his first book in a planned three part series on the American Revolution This book covers the early period of the American Revolution from 1775 to 1777 Atkinson s writing can be described as amazingly rich in detail not freuently overwrought with drama It isenerally campaign oriented so it may not be as heavily focused on characters but he still weaves the stories in a captivating way I feel that David McCullough s highly personal biographical approach to history in 1776 and John Adams along with Chernow s Hamilton set the bar on Revolutionary War writing Atkinson s first book might do an even better job of capturing on the larger canvas of what is was like to be in the revolutionary war however This book does to educate than simply entertain My thoughts were wandering while reading this work there is a richness and novelty to the information he conveys that sparks my curiosity So there are twenty two chapters in this book First the bad Not all of the chapters are really fresh I found the coverage on Ben Franklin s efforts lacked depth see Walter Isaacson s book Benjamin Franklin An American Life for a better read I found the chapters on the Long Island campaign to be a little weak see McCullough s 1776 for the best coverage I also found Atkinson s coverage of the south including Virginia to be largely absent see Meacham s book Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power I also found the coverage on slavery to be lacking see Alan Taylor s Pulitzer prize winning book called The Internal Enemy Slavery and War in Virginia 1772 1832However I found his coverage on the outset of the war in Boston and Lexington the first battle of the South in Norfolk and the incursions into Canada to be superior to anything I have previously read in covering these topics Prologue King GeorgeChapters 1 4 The Beginning of the Revolution Lexington and BostonChapter 7 Norfolk VA first battle of the southChapter 8 Battle for Montreal and uebecChapters 12 and 17 Canada Lake ChamplainAdditionally there is superb coverage on Benedict Arnold scattered throughout Nathaniel Philbrick also wrote an excellent book about Arnold and Washington called Valiant Ambition Other historical nuggets I remember upon reading England at the end of the Seven Year s War ained the largest permanent transfer of territory in world history But they reeled from the economic costs of that war Within a few years the Naval fleet had fallen into disrepair and few new ships of the line were launched by the start of the Revolutionary War This economic crisis of course led King George and parliament to raise taxes in many different incarnations that infuriated the colonistsIn his long life King George never left the soil of England We also learned that smallpox raged during the Revolutionary War killing than 100000 in the colonies that only measured a few million in population During the siege of the British forces in Boston Americans would freuently make clandestine raids to set British bunkers on fire Washington often rode out from Harvard where he was staying at the Longfellow House and climbed up Cobble Hill where he used his telescope or spyglass to monitor the British under siegeLater when Washington s troops were defeated in the Long Island campaign nearly 40% of his troops were down with dysentery Despite this they evacuated in the dead of the night and had relatively few casualties despite a heavy rout by the British 5 stars Highly recommended A note of caution if you haven t read Atkinson it might well take you twice as long as you might expect as the detail in his writing is uite dense This is a remarkable history of the first two years of the American Revolution The research is deep and the topics covered are broad Atkinson has chosen to write not only on the military campaigns but also the political currents at play in America England and Franceand on the personalities that shaped the decisions on both sides The narrative is told in chronological order making it easy to follow the events as they unfolded and making the connections between various dimensions clear to see One ets a clear understanding of the context that underlies the action taken by both sides in the early years of the conflictOne of the problems of military histories and I have read many is the difficulty of following the movements and actions of combat owing especially to lack of knowledge of terrain and of sorting out the confusion of multiple engagements happening simultaneously Atkinson does an excellent job in making the diverse tactical positioning and clashes as clear as possible In his descriptions of battles and skirmishes he reminds us of how brutal this war would be on its participants He makes it plain how the British arrogantly underestimated the resolve and spirit of the rebels in the early years of the war At the same time he notes the reat difficulties Washington faced in organizing and sustaining a cohesive and sustained fighting force One is also struck by his emphasis on how the shortcomings of
logistics for both sides hampered reatly their ability to fight effectivelyAtkinsonfor both sides hampered reatly their ability to fight effectivelyAtkinson is outstanding and makes the read pleasurable It should be known by prospective readers that this is not just a military history it is very much as well a fascinating political and cultural look at the times This book is highly recommended I eagerly await volumes two and three of the trilogyI rceived this book through the Library Thing early reviewers program A masterful detailed account and the first volume in Atkinson s planned series of Histories of the American RevolutionAmerican War of only small issue was
A Perceived Bias The American Author For The Americanperceived bias of the American author for the American seemed at times that the British were all fools and or rogues and all the Americans were fighting the British despite some references to Loyalists when most figures show one third of Americans were rebels one third were Loyalists and one third tried to stay neutral And when the rebels won the war they burned out many of their Loyalist neighbours who resettled in British Canada So a ood but heavy read I look forward to the next volumes This would not be a war between regimes or dynasties fought for territory or the usual commercial advantages Instead what became known as the American Revolution was an improvised struggle between two peoples of a common heritage now sundered by divergent values and conflicting visions of a world to come Unlike most European wars of the eighteenth century this one would not be fought by professional armies on flat open terrain with reasonable roads in daylight and Mail Horror Bride (One Nation Under Zombies good weather And though it was fought in the age of reason infused with Enlightenment ideals this war this civil war would spiral into savagery with sanguinary cruelty casual killing and atrocity Rick Atkinson The British Are Coming The War for America Lexington to Princeton 1775 1777Simply put Rick Atkinson is the best narrative historian I ve ever read While all his books areood his Liberation Trilogy focused on the American Army in World War II operates at an entirely different level It is the WWII euivalent of Shelby Foote s magisterial The Civil War A Narrative The three magnificent volumes An Army at Dawn The Day of Battle and The Guns at Last Light are really the holy Doros asin mga Anghel grail of historical writing combining impeccable research sound judgment andorgeous prose to The Other Alice give you a saga as sweeping enveloping and memorable as anything Tolstoy has to offer In The British Are Coming Atkinson is once again operating at the peak of his craft delivering the first in a proposed three volume series on the American Revolution Spanning the years from 1775 to 1777 Atkinson delivers a mainly military history covering the opening battles of Lexington and Concord the ill advised invasion of Canada and the disastrous American defeat at Long Island Though the storyline tends to be depressing if you are cheering for the rebellion The British Are Coming concludes with Washington s victorious trifecta of First Trenton Second Trenton and Princeton I m not exactly sure how to describe the alchemical process by which Atkinson transforms a distant myth enshrouded event into something immediate vital and exciting If I did I would probably bottle that formula and retire to the Seychelles All I know is that he amasses a staggering amount of information including small yet memorable details and weaves all that material into a coherent whole that shifts easily from the strategic to the tactical from King George III to the lowliest literate private An example of a small memorable detail When uoting a Washington letter from January 1777 shortly after his successful crossing of the Delaware Atkinson points out that the American commander had mistakenly dated the order January 1776 This is not only relatable I am usually misdating things until April of each new year it is a subtle way of portraying the stress and time pressures under which Washington operated This is a book thatives you all aspects of the war For instance early on Atkinson discusses battle tech in the 1700s and how it relates to the legend of the American marksman especially in the war s first battles The limits of the musket even in close combat were clear enough after the daylong battle of Lexington and Concord Later scholars calculated that at least seventy five thousand American rounds had been fired using well over a ton of powder but only one bullet in almost three hundred had hit home The shot heard round the world likely missed Fewer than one militiaman in every ten who engaged the column drew British blood despite the broad target of massed redcoats A combat bromide held that it took a man s weight in bullets to kill himJust as important are the characters No matter how hard a modern historian tries the American Revolution will never completely shed its fable like uality There will always be something a bit The Inside Text godlike and distant about George Washington This is not helped by the fact that Washington and his contemporaries lived before the age of photography meaning that we have to rely on stylized paintings toet an understanding of how they looked With all due regard to Charles Peale and other artists of the age many of the portraits look like mirrored images featuring pasty skinned double chinned rim faced old men all sharing the same wig They. D Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force It is a saga alive with astonishing characters Henry Knox the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene the bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain; Benjamin Franklin who.