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This selection of General Washington's letters constantly reminds us that the course of the American Revolution need not have gone as it did and that when "history" happens, there's no knowing how it will turn out: Benedict Arnold's treason might have succeeded in delivering West Point to the British, for instance, and Washington might have been replaced as commander. But reading here, you come to understand why the Colonies prevailed and why Washington achieved his semi-legendary stature. These letters, mostly to prominent military and political figures, reveal Washington's skill as a soldier, diplomat, and politician. Lengel (assoc. editor, Washington Papers Project) provides a brief note for each selection, giving its context as needed. The letters themselves cover a variety of subjects, such as details of enemy troop movements, views of French grand strategy in North America, propaganda intended to find its way into print, general orders, exhortations to the troops, and private ruminations. Lengel stresses that his book is by no means exhaustive. Nevertheless, his choices are superb, covering the highlights of Washington's Revolutionary tenure while illustrating his extraordinary personality. Although many academic libraries that own the comprehensive volumes of Washington's papers may opt not to buy this abbreviated offering, it is recommended for those without the series and for public libraries.