By David McCullough
Why this book?
This beautiful book sets the scene for Saratoga by recounting the conflict between Britain and its American colonies. It broke out in 1775 and led to a wider war, the American Declaration of Independence, Washington’s appointment as commander-in-chief, and the birth of the Continental Army in 1776. Prior to the establishment of a regular army, the rebellion was prosecuted by ad hoc gatherings of state militia regiments. Washington recruited the most effective of these into his new standing army, and authorized the creation of several new regiments from scratch by trusted subordinate officers. The militias have persisted to the present as National Guard units. However, in 1776 the coordinated use of temporary militias and more permanent Continentals was a tricky task.
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