…have new books out on the American Revolution, and they’re completely different.
Bernard Cornwell’s latest is The Fort, his second novel set during the War for Independence. It’s about the Penobscot Expedition, of all things. I’ve never read Cornwell, but I find it intriguing that he’d focus on an obscure subject like this.
Second, Ron Chernow has tackled the formidable job of a one-volume life of Washington. It’ll be interesting to see what place this bio finds on the shelf of Washington books. There are quite a few substantial, fairly recent, and still-popular one-volume lives of Washington out there—Willard Sterne Randall‘s is still in a lot of stores, and so is the acclaimed abridgment of James Thomas Flexner‘s work. Oxford brought out a new printing of John Ferling’s The First of Men earlier this year, too. Of course, Chernow’s got a built-in readership from his life of Hamilton, which was very well received, so that momentum may bump this book to the top of the stack of Washington bios as far as most readers of the next decade or so will be concerned. We’ll see what happens.