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Search tags: Nathaniel-Philbrick
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review 2018-01-17 21:26
Ambition and Destiny
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution - Nathaniel Philbrick

The war for Independence has long been glorified in our history books. However, Nathaniel Philbrick looks through the layers and brings us a untarnished view on the history of the war.

George Washington and Benedict Arnold were two men that became legend during the war. While the war raged on, the two men could not have been more different. Washington worried about the army as the whole and suffered from indecision. Arnold thought of himself and what he could gain from the war. Two men who had greatness before them, but who could not have been more different in their mindsets and goals.
Benedict Arnold became one of the greatest traitors in the history of the United States, and his defection could have demoralized the entire army. However, Washington had been turning the war around, and those who had once been detractors of the Commander in Chief were realizing that he was the only one who could effectively lead the army. Arnold wanted to enrich himself, and come out of the war as a hero, but his actions can speak to anything but. Instead of working toward the betterment of his country, he became a turncoat, and began to work with the enemy, with the urging of his second wife, Peggy.

This is one of the best books on the American Revolution that I have read. While Benedict Arnold and George Washington are the two main characters, there is so much more present. The highs and lows, the good and the bad are all played out on the pages, and no one is spared. From the Continental Congress, to the French allies - every leaf is overturned to give a comprehensive view and greater understanding of what lead to the defection of Benedict Arnold.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the war, and the men who's names have become entwined in history.

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review 2017-03-28 00:00
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nathaniel Philbrick 3.5 stars
I picked up this book because I saw a preview for the film. It looked interesting. The book was more than I was expecting. It's mostly about what happened after the infamous whale attack that brought down the ship. The author does a great job of delivering the facts. Sometimes it's a dry delivery like a boring school lesson. Other times, it feels like reading a horror story. The survivors sometimes chose the wrong directions and went to terrible lengths to keep going. Cannibalism happens, and not in small quantities.
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review 2016-09-05 00:55
Review of Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution - Nathaniel Philbrick

Philbrick has been one of my favorite authors for quite some time now, and this new book does not disappoint.  This book tells the story of George Washington and Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War up to the point where Arnold turns traitor and escapes to British New York.  Philbrick's writing is always very well done, and that is the case here again. I love the way he can tell a story.  I don't think there was much new here about Washington, but for me at least, I learned a great deal about Arnold and his actions during the war.  Philbrick is also great at bringing in many side stories and the thoughts of players in and around the central figures.  Highly recommended.

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text 2016-07-30 12:38
July Round Up
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nathaniel Philbrick
What is Sound Healing? - Lyz Cooper
The Dark Portal - Robin Jarvis
Daughters of the Dragon - Bill Andrews
Healing Berry Cookbook: 50 Wonderful Berries, and How to Use Them in Healthgiving, Immunity-boosting Foods and Drinks - Kirsten Hartvik
The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine - Damo Mitchell,John Spencer Hill,John Spencer Hill
How My Cat Made Me a Better Man - Jeremy Feig
Dark Spirits: A Man Terrorized by the Supernatural - Stephen Lancaster

Yes there's still another day, but I don't expect to finish anything else by tomorrow.


8 books finished, all from Netgalley! These were all good, each in their own way. I'm surrprised by how little fiction there is. Even the historical fiction is based on real events. The children's book is the only outright fiction among them!


Not to worry though. I'm still reading Phantom by Susan Kay for my fiction fix. I also have 2 more Netgalley selections in progress at present, both fiction.


And Hallelujah, I've reduced my samples collection! I'm no longer fighting to keep it under 100. I had 76 last night when I last looked, though I keep sending for more.


I have 7 books on my Netgalley reading list at present, though a few more could get approved. 2 I'm actively reading now, both fiction. 1 is a history book that didn't have a send to Kindle option, so I'm eading it very, very slowly on desktop. The others I will get to soon. Then I'll be clear again and can go back to trying to read books off my Kindle backlog, Yay!


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review 2016-07-27 07:26
The Heart of the Sea
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex - Nathaniel Philbrick

by Nathaniel Philbrick




This is a seafaring story based on the records of a real whaling ship, The Essex, which was the basis of the story Moby Dick. It's about a ship that actually was attacked by a whale, as recorded in the ship's log and private notes written by a cabin boy.


My first impressions of the story were very positive. The narrative seemed to find the right balance between moving the story forward at a relaxed pace and filling in technical information that would allow the reader to appreciate the mechanics of operating an old style sailing ship and the value of an experienced crew. Unfortunately much of this crew lacked that experience and response time when they hit a storm made all the difference.


The quality held up all through and the trials and privations of shipwrecked sailors became disturbingly familiar, Even the difficulties the survivors had when they returned to civilization hit home in a way that only comes of very effective writing. I felt as if I had been there and gone through all that they had experienced.


Knowing that this is a true story and learning about the customs and daily lives of the sailors was fascinating to say the least. Despite the unpleasant situations, I really enjoyed the read. I came out of it feeling like I had lived in Nantucket in its glory days of the whaling industry, like I'd sailed on a whaling ship, and like I had experienced the horrors of living day to day, adrift at sea. You can't ask for more from a story based on facts.

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