The Grand Idea

The Power of Literature
by Joel Achenbach | History |
ISBN: 0684848570 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Libre-Muncher of Las Cruces, New Mexico USA on 4/11/2019
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Libre-Muncher from Las Cruces, New Mexico USA on Thursday, April 11, 2019

This book (published in 2004) was given to me in a box of books that a friend wished to 'do something with', but, like me, had an attitude to never throw away a book. She found me a willing recipient of this box of books. After working my way through her books, this one was the last one remaining. At that time I had a number of other, newer books that I wanted to get started with, so this one was set aside until later. Well, later was far longer than I had intended, but I knew that I would get to it eventually because trashing a book or turning it into a used book store for either money or credit was not in my nature.

Recently I read a fascinating book called The First Conspiracy [BCID: 499-14149899] , a non-fiction book about the effort to assassinate George Washington, the commander of the military of the American colonies during the American Revolution. I thought that I was well versed in the events of the revolution, but this book filled in a lot that was new to me. That book ended at the events of the Manhattan events when the assignation plot ended. It was then that I went back and found The Grand Idea sitting lonely on my "to be read" shelf. Now was the time to read that.

This book starts at the end of the revolution when General Washington announces that he was retiring and going to live out his years in the home that he inherited at Mount Vernon in Virginia.

Once again, I found a lot of information that was unfamiliar to me about an amazing man. He had the idea that this country would never last as a tidewater family of communities alone with the lands beyond the Adirondack's in the hands of other countries in Europe (Spain, England, France etc.) and to survive the former colonies must expand beyond the mountains all of the way to the Mississippi River. That is the main story of this book, but General Washington got sidetracked by a number of things, like being forced against his will into being the president of the new country and finding an economic way to generate commerce between the inland areas to the cities on the Atlantic shore. I found this book to be riveting and educational. It includes much of the country's history that is not normally covered in the history text books. This includes the canals into the interior, the new-fangled machine called the railroad, the institution of slavery, what really happened at Harper's Ferry, why was the nation's capital city located where it is today and more.

By the way, if you do not wish to read of all of the events in this book, I still recommend that you read the final chapter. It will sound very familiar to you in that some of the thoughts of the population of the United States have not changed much from the days of Washington.

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