The Goal Was Not To Lose

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My latest book is not fiction, it is history. Specifically, Revolutionary Summer deals with the short period of May through September of 1776. Joseph Ellis does a remarkable job of chronicling the people and the events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. One thing that impressed me is the significant role played by John Adams in orchestrating the separation of the American Colonies from the British Empire. Most of us like to believe that Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, but it was John Adams who master minded the Declaration and Jefferson who translated Adams ideas into words. There is a wonderful movie covering this same subject called “1776.”

This story depicts the difficult task ahead of George Washington as he leads the Continental Army, a band of amateurs, against the élite and experienced British military. Washington makes a critical mistake at the beginning of the war when he encamped his entire army on Manhattan Island in New York. The British fleet arrives with thirty thousand men, and also lands on the island. The armada of ships loaded with firepower and supplies lay just off the shore ready on a moments notice to move to where ever they would be needed.

Washington’s biggest task is to avoid being annihilated, and/or captured. He wrestles with losing his honor and that of his army because he knows the practical thing to do is to retreat from the island to the mainland.

I saw similarities to 1776 and 2013 while reading this story. An unorganized, untrained, poorly armed band of zealots stand-off against the world’s most powerful country. In my mind I see a band of Tea Party Patriots and Militias standing tall against the world’s largest, strongest , and richest country. Maybe it won’t happen in my lifetime, but we are on a track to having to stand up for what we believe. Our first line of attack is through the ballot box knowing that if that does not work, the next step will be . . .

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