The Washington Crossing Historic Park book club will begin discussion of a new selection at its September 21 meeting.
The featured book is The British Are Coming—The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 by Rick Atkinson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who lectured at the park last year.
Meetings are led by the park’s curator, Kimberly McCarty, who also selects the books. “Rick Atkinson’s research for this book included combing through the archive of King George III, so it should give us unique insight into the crossing and the events that surrounded it,” she says.
As a Georgian Papers fellow, Atkinson spent a month during the spring of 2016 at the top of the Round Tower in Windsor Castle, where he was granted access to the official and private papers of George III, as well as a “vast trove” of complementary government documents.
“His appetite for information is enormous. What he knows is impressive; what he doesn’t know will help cost Britain her American colonies,” he wrote about George III. “The American stereotype of a tyrannical nincompoop quickly dissolves with a little exposure to the Georgian papers.”
The British Are Coming, the first volume of a new trilogy about the American Revolution, recounts the first 21 months of the war, including the crossing and the Ten Crucial Days—from the British perspective.
McCarty plans to dedicate the club’s fall and winter meetings to the book.
“Based on the feedback I’ve received, I think most prefer to spend an extended period with a single book, discussing it in easier-to-digest sections,” she says. “It allows us to get into the weeds a bit, which can be really helpful when exploring history.”
Members provide their own books. Copies are available at the gift shop in the Visitor Center.