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On Our Shelves

Next Book Club Selection Examines the War’s First Sparks

February 20th, 2021

At its April 2021 meeting, the park’s book club will begin discussing its next selection, Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution by Benjamin L. Carp. The meeting will be held April 19 at 5:30 PM on Zoom. Registration is required on DCNR’s website. Zoom meeting details will be provided upon registration. Participants should be prepared to discuss the Introduction through Chapter One. Then as now, the tight concentrations and diversity of people in the colonies’ largest cities offered fertile ground for political consciousness, political persuasion, and political action. Rebels Rising traces how everyday interactions in taverns, wharves, and elsewhere Read More

Book Review of “John Haslet’s World: An Ardent Patriot, the Delaware Blues, and the Spirit of 1776”

January 19th, 2021

Reviewed by Joe Camaratta, a historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park John Haslet’s World: An Ardent Patriot, the Delaware Blues, and the Spirit of 1776 is David Price’s third in a trilogy on the Ten Crucial Days, the period from Washington’s crossing of the Delaware to the Battle of Princeton. Price focuses on those heroes underrepresented by most historians when they tell the story of the fight for American independence. The book details John Haslet’s life as an Irish immigrant who embodied the grit and determination of the patriots fighting against Great Britain. Price unfolds the development of Haslet Read More

Next Book Club Pick: The British Are Coming

August 12th, 2020

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, Read More

A Central But Unknown Figure

August 7th, 2020

John Haslet’s World: An Ardent Patriot, the Delaware Blues, and the Spirit of 1776, will be released November 3, 2020. You can pre-order the book now on Amazon. The book can also be ordered directly from its publisher, Knox Press. Colonel John Haslet and his Delaware Continental Regiment, known as the Delaware Blues, played a pivotal role in George Washington’s 1776 campaign that culminated in the Ten Crucial Days. “Haslet was someone who kept popping up in David Hackett Fischer’s book, Washington’s Crossing,” says David Price, a historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park. “When I was planning my first book, Read More

Book Review of “Crossroads of the Revolution: Trenton, 1774-1783”

April 28th, 2020

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter Local author William L. “Larry” Kidder has produced a history of Trenton during the Revolutionary War that is meticulously researched, deeply informed, and thoroughly comprehensive in scope. This is a story that has received scant attention until now and, as such, is a worthy addition to the literature on this tumultuous period. Kidder’s wide-ranging examination of a locality that was the site of a pivotal moment in young America’s struggle for independence enables the reader to understand how this community and its residents coped with the vicissitudes of late 18th Read More

Book Review of “The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire”

April 27th, 2020

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter Any serious “Rev War Buff” would do well to explore this engaging and deeply important account of the effort made by Great Britain’s military and civilian leadership to defeat America’s bid for independence. The author makes a persuasive case that George III, Lord North, George Germain, the Howe brothers, Burgoyne, Clinton, Cornwallis, and others waged a skillful, if ultimately unsuccessful, military campaign to preserve the British Empire in North America, and—notwithstanding that failure—largely prevailed in the co-occurring global conflict between Britain and its French and Spanish rivals, reaping victories against Read More

Book Review of “Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution through British Eyes”

April 26th, 2020

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter This is one of two books at the Washington Crossing Historic Park gift shop that tell the story of the Revolution from the British point of view. The other is The Men Who Lost America by Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, previously reviewed by yours truly and highly recommended. This work is written in a lively style that is as entertaining as it is informative, particularly with respect to the various personages—American as well as British—that the author examines. Hibbert’s narrative flows nicely throughout his thoroughly detailed and comprehensive account of the Read More

Book Review of “Igniting the American Revolution”

April 25th, 2020

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter Derek Beck has produced a highly readable and meticulously researched account of the incipient stages of the Revolution, beginning with the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 and culminating with the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. The extent of his scholarly investigation into this subject is reflected by the almost 200 pages in this volume devoted to appendices, notes, and bibliographic references. His prose is taut, his sources many, and his portrayal of the relevant events vivid and comprehensive. Beck’s narrative is replete with all the details that Read More