Top positive review
What Might Have Happened if George Washington was MURDERED in 1776?
January 9, 2019
One can be forgiven for speculating as to what might have happened to our thirteen colonies if George Washington had been murdered in the conspiracy detailed in this excellent work by Brad Meltzer. What might be even more salient, however, is what America did become because the great man was NOT murdered. Much of what America has become is owed to those who stopped the plot to assassinate the father of our country.
Imagine yourself as a writer. Now, assume you have stumbled across some disjointed information that indicates an attempt to kidnap or murder the one key figure in America's quest for self-governance. What would you do?
Brad Meltzer probably has a little more backbone than most of us. As for myself, I might have entertained the thought to try writing a novel on the topic. With novels, people are more forgiving than with nonfiction. But, honestly, I probably would have given up after fifty or so pages.
So, I bought Meltzer's book, including the Audible Whispersync edition so I could listen to it when actually reading was not possible. How was it?
Excellent. From the get-go I was fascinated by the prospect, if not so thrilled with some of the early statements.
What I mean is that, early on, (for just one example), Meltzer states:
'...This small, inexperienced, poorly equipped group of soldiers needs to stand up to what is probably the biggest and most powerful military force in the world. By any normal measure, they don’t stand a chance—and Washington knows this, just as he knows that with every decision he makes, thousands of young soldiers’ lives could be lost...'
Meltzer, Brad. The First Conspiracy (pp. 1-2). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition.
So, why does this bug me? Perspective. Through eight years of conflict, the total number who were killed by the fighting was 8,000. Yes, that is thousands, but is far less than one might suppose. When Meltzer stresses thousand of young soldiers lives could be lost, I imagine, readers are likely to conjure up far larger numbers in their minds.
Yes, I know I am being a bit picky. I am merely trying to show how this otherwise terrific history falls short of being a great story for us today.
The writing and editing are good.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in American colonial history. Remember to get the Audible edition and listen to it with you kids and/or parents.
Four stars out of five.