Wednesday, August 08, 2007

George Washington's World

George Washington’s World, , Genevieve Foster
Expanded Edition by Joanna Foster
(Beautiful Feet Books, 1997; original edition, 1941) pb., 357 pp.
Ages 7+

This book is written in the same way as The World of Columbus and Sons, commented on previously, and has many of the same strengths. It has been really beneficial for my boys to place the American Revolution in the context of other events in the world, not only Europe but also Africa and China. It is difficult still to keep up with all the different people mentioned. I asked my boys when we were about ¾ of the way through if they were able to keep up with the different people. They said it was difficult and began to mention the people they could identify. While some names were lost, I was quite pleased with the historical figures they could remember particular things about. Just recently as some of my boys lined up some armies of bottle caps, he said the leader of one of the groups was “Frederick the Great of Prussia”. There also was a good introduction to the French Revolution.

The presentation of the debate over the Constitution will provide some surprising information to many readers- Alexander Hamilton’s desire to establish the equivalency of a monarchy in America, etc. David Vaughan’s book on Patrick Henry, will be a good supplement here showing the reason why so many leading Americans were skeptical of the proposed Constitution.

The downside, however, is that there is so little of George Washington’s story in the book. The Revolutionary War is mentioned almost just in passing. I was expecting more about Washington. If you are looking for a book on Washington, look elsewhere. However, for a presentation of the broader world during Washington’s life, this is a useful book.

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