The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

TO TRY MEN'S SOULS: (George Washington #1) By Newt Gingrich, William R Forstchen, Albert A Hanser

To Try Men's Souls by Newt GingrichPublisher:  Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date:  October 2009
Pages:  354

Reviewed By WC

Book Description:  After two bestselling series examining the Civil War and WWII, Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen have turned their sharp eye for detail on the Revolutionary War. Their story follows three men with three very different roles to play in history: General George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Jonathan Van Dorn, a private in Washington’s army.

The action focuses on one of the most iconic events in American history: Washington cross - ing the Delaware. Unlike the bold, courageous General in Emanuel Leutze’s painting, Washington is full of doubt on the night of December 25, 1776. After five months of defeat, morale is dangerously low. Each morning muster shows that hundreds have deserted in the night.

While Washington prepares his weary troops for the attack on Trenton, Thomas Paine is in Philadelphia, overseeing the printing of his newest pamphlet, The Crisis.

And Jonathan Van Dorn is about to bring the war to his own doorstep. In the heat of battle, he must decide between staying loyal to the cause and sparing his brother who has joined up with the British. Through the thoughts and private fears of these three men, Gingrich and Forstchen illu minate the darkest days of the Revolution. With detailed research and an incredible depth of military insight, this novel provides a rare and personal perspective of the men who fought for, and founded the United States of America.

WC's Review:  George Washington was truly a God inspired man. "To Try Men's Souls" details the trials and tribulations of the leader of the Continental Army during its escape from New York to Pennsylvania and across the Delaware to encamp at McConkey's Ferry. Washington's resolve and spirit to attack the Hessians soldiers at Trenton on Christmas Day are beyond comprehension.

This excellent historical fiction account of the year 1776 features iconoclastic personality Thomas Paine, the rapscallion author of The Crisis, the pamphlet that served to further spur the effort for independence, and the writing of this account, no doubt; Henry Knox, brilliant artillerist and former book store owner, Jersey patriots Jonathan Van Dorn and Peter Wellesley, and the ever present Billy Lee, Washington's faithful servant, contribute to the mind-boggling effort to restore faith in the Revolution.

Gingrich and co-author William R Forstchen possess the foresight to write history as it truly was, obviously realizing that today's politically correct history texts largely ignore the unsurpassed contributions of the father of our country and his fellow patriots.

We all would do well to remember him. A must read, especially for those who inexplicably forgot that Washington was a true leader of men. Where are they today?

We also would do well to reread The Crisis, which folks had no trouble comprehending in 1776.
Newt GingrichAbout the Author: Newt Gingrich - Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich (born Newton Leroy McPherson) is an American politician who served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. In 1995, Time magazine selected him as the Person of the Year for his role in leading the Republican Revolution in the House, ending 40 years of the Democratic Party being in the majority. During his tenure as Speaker, he represented the public face of the Republican opposition to Bill Clinton.

A college history professor, political leader, and author, Gingrich twice ran unsuccessfully for the House before winning a seat in the election of November 1978. He was re-elected ten times, and his activism as a member of the House's Republican minority eventually enabled him to succeed Dick Cheney as House Minority Whip in 1989. As a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, Gingrich was in the forefront of the Republican Party's dramatic success in that year's Congressional elections and subsequently was elected Speaker of the House. Gingrich's leadership in Congress was marked by opposition to many of the policies of the Clinton Administration. Shortly after the 1998 elections, when Republicans lost five seats in the House, Gingrich announced his resignation from his House seat and as Speaker.

Since resigning his seat, Gingrich has maintained a career as a political analyst and consultant. He continues to write works related to government and other subjects, such as historical fiction. Recently, he founded the conservative 527 group American Solutions for Winning the Future.