To Try Men's Souls

Newt Gingrich, Author, William R. Forstchen, Author, Albert S. Hanser, Editor . St. Martin's/Dunne $26.99 (345p) ISBN 978-0-312-59106-9

After hacking their way through the Civil War and WWII, former House Speaker Gingrich and historian Forstchen take on the Revolutionary War with decidedly mixed results. Sharing narration duties are Thomas Paine, George Washington and Jonathan van Dorn, a young private in Washington's army. From Washington's crossing of the Delaware River to a daring night raid on the better-armed Hessians, the authors do a decent job of depicting the dire plight of the Continental Army, though the big chunks of backstory wedged into the narrative add little texture while slowing the pace dramatically. Historical cameos abound, and these, combined with the attention devoted to the gritty details of army life, help to offset Washington's acts of patriotic melodrama in what is surely to become another popular book for Gingrich and Forstchen. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/17/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
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