I’m starting a new book today. I won it on a giveaway from the History Book Club. If you would like to read along with me here is the reading schedule I will be following. I’m starting the week one reading a little early today. As with all books, when I start reading I first read the outer cover.
For Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency this means I’m reading reviews from other scholars. All of the are promising. My greatest concern with history books is that they will be dry so when I read the quotes on the back of the book I’m looking for ones like these:
- “…page-turning historical thriller…”, says Amy Chua author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Day of Empire and World on Fire
- “Logan Beirne demonstrates … this fresh and stimulating history of the American Revolution…” James McPherson author of Battle Cry of Freedom and Crossroads of Freedom
- In describing Washington: “…a long dead, white make, slave-owning aristocrat of the 18th century…” William Eskridge Jr. author of A Republic of Statutes and descent of George Eskridge the godfather of George Washington
- “…prepare to be shocked, amazed and educated.” Hon. Michael W. McConnell, Stanford Law professor, director of Stanford constitutional Law Center and former federal judge
Not bad huh? Sounds like good reading. That last one I like a lot. I might have to steal it!
Listen to the Author Introduce the Book
Another great way to be introduced to this book is to let the author doing the talking. In the podcast New Books in History the host interviews authors about their new books. Thats just what happened with Logan Beirne.
Watch Beirne discuss his book with William Eskridge Jr. on C-SPAN’s Book TV.
After I read the front and back cover I move on to the inside cover, since this is a hardcover book, and I see the overview of the book. As I read, how this book will go over just how Washington made the rules of war up as he went along, I wonder if he will discuss Nathan Hale the brave young captain that stepped forward to be America’s first spy. I’m learning a little bit about him while I write the September newsletter. If you are not already subscribed, its free and you can sign up on the top right of this page.
Lastly I take a look at the inside back cover which introduces us to the author and gives us his background. As you would guess Beirne’s background is chalked full of awards and prestigious universities. But I found the last paragraph the most interesting:
Logan’s passion for the Revolution is in his blood-he is the directly descended from Revolutionary War patriots and his family tree includes the “Fathers of the Constitution,” James Madison. Some of Washington’s papers were discovered in a storage chest belonging to one of Logan’s ancestors.