A recounting of one year of the Revolutionary War, without explaining why the Americans are fighting the British, why fighting for independence was not the original goal, nor why someone living on American soil would volunteer to fight for America vs. remaining loyal to the crown. Instead the focus is on a few very key battles. Washington comes across as mythologically large. McCullough is very good at explaining how chance — the weather, personalities, disease, getting lost in the woods, missed orders — play such a large role in warfare. The book is as ponderous as the movements of Washington’s army, however; not much suspense. July 2006.