Book Review: Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (Four Stars)


Book Review: Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

(Four Stars)

“His presence alone stopped the retreat,” the marquis [de Lafayette] recalled in his memoirs. “His graceful bearing on horseback, his calm and deportment … were all calculated to inspire the highest degree of enthusiasm. I thought then as now that I had never beheld so superb a man.”

Another look at the founding of the United States. While the title implies a focus on the winter of the Revolution’s discontent, the text covers the whole war–in fact, most of the life of George Washington. Because, make no mistake, while there were many other stories involved in our founding, the central and critical role was played by the enigmatic planter from Virginia.

“He apologized to Lafayette for the threadbare clothing and substandard armaments of his troops. Without hesitation the Frenchman replied that he had come to the United States [sic] to learn from the Americans, and not to teach. Washington never forgot the moment.”

Unlike the better histories this one depends on heavily secondary sources. It’s a short cut, but it risks Continue reading