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This Glorious Struggle by Edward G. Lengel
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This Glorious Struggle (2007)

by Edward G. Lengel

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One of the best ways to see the character of a person is to read their letters. I enjoyed reading this selection of George Washington's letters written from June 1775 to December 1783. Each letter, or sometimes groups of letters, are prefaced with a note from the editor to give the letter context within the events of the Revolutionary War and/or Washington's personal views. I was very grateful to these notes, as the writing style of the 18th Century is not always easily understood by modern audiences. (I am sad to include myself in that number.) Tone, especially that of flirtation or sarcasm, and sometimes even anger, are hard to pick out, as everything was written in a much more formal manner. However, I was able to see that Washington, while not being the greatest of military minds, had a keen sense of duty to his soldiers, a sense of responsibility that kept him moving forward through all opposition, which is pretty impressive, considering the odds stacked against him and the fact that he never wanted the position in the first place. He is also very careful with his speech and sensitive to the feelings and situations of others, and this was I think was was responsible for him keeping the rag-tag American Army together throughout the war. I'm glad I got the chance to have this inside look at a very modest, diligent, and remarkable man. ( )
  Starsister12 | Feb 22, 2014 |
A collection of letters (not all, mind you) written by General George Washington during the Revolutionary years (1775-1783).

There are only two letters to his wife Martha, both written in 1775 when Washington accepted the post of General. The rest were burned by Martha when Washington died in 1799. The rest are letters composed to members of congress (usually the President of the Continental Congress), friends, various family members, his generals and to a few citizens.

Even included is a letter that may have not been written by Washington at all, but might be a forgery. Also included are his farewell to his army when they disbanded after news of the Treaty of Paris reached the Americans at the end of October 1783. The final letter included in this collection is Washington's resignation, read aloud to congress two days before Christmas 1783.

Particularly interesting are Washington's views of what the American Revolution will mean to future generations and also his views of the future of this new country.

Good read. Took a while to get through, not for lack of interest, but because reading letter after letter can get tedious after a while. Worth it in the end. ( )
  runaway84 | Oct 1, 2009 |
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Eric B Lengel:
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Soon after the American Victory in the War for Independence, George Washington predicted that historians would have a difficult time explaining  the triumph.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061251313, Hardcover)

George Washington wrote an astonishing number of letters, both personal and professional. The majority—about 140,000 documents—are from his years as commander in chief during the Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783. This Glorious Struggle presents a selection of Washington’s most important and interesting letters from that time, including many that have never before been published.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:48 -0400)

"George Washington wrote an astonishing number of letters, both personal and professional. The majority{u2014}about 140,000 documents{u2014}are from his years as commander in chief during the Revolutionary War, from 1775 to 1783. This Glorious Struggle presents a selection of Washington's most important and interesting letters from that time, including many that have never been published. Washington's lively and often surprisingly candid notes to his wife and family, friends, Congress, fellow soldiers{u2014}and even the enemy{u2014}chronicle his most critical tactical and strategic decisions, while offering a rare glimpse of the extremes of depression and exultation into which he was cast by the fortunes of war. The letters are arranged chronologically and give a dramatic sense of the major phases of the war, from Boston, Trenton, and Valley Forge, to Monmouth and Yorktown. The more personal missives show us a Washington who worried about his wife's well-being and who appreciated a good joke and a well-laid table, not to mention the company of the ladies. This Glorious Struggle brings Washington to vivid life, offering a fresh and intimate sense of this most towering American figure and the critical role he played in the creation of our country"--Publisher description.… (more)

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