Boston and American History

(Since Robert Todd Felton’s computer decided it did not want to blog today—died on a train to New York– I’m filling in with more thoughts on Boston, the subject of our prize book.  Felton will be back on Monday, and we will have the drawing for his travel book on Boston as scheduled, after midnight MST Saturday, Feb. 28. Comments you leave on this post will count toward the drawing.)

When I think of Boston, I think of 1776, the beginnings of the United States of America, and some amazing leaders. John Adams, my favorite founder, has been the subject of many biographies, but I can’t imagine any  more satisfying than John Adams by David McCullough. A little American history must go on the traveler’s library shelf in preparation for a trip to New England.

As I write, John Adams stares directly at me from the Gilbert Stuart painting reproduced on the book jacket.  He looks stern, intellectual, but also approachable and human. Alternatively, you may get the paperback book which cheats history by using a picture of Paul Giametti, who played John Adams on television.

McCullough portrays every detail of life in John Adam’s New England and Boston and how he hated to go down to Philadelphia for sessions of the Continental Congress. But traveling to Philadelphia, despite danger and outbreaks of disease is only one of the multitude of sacrifices made by the founders as they groped toward a democracy.

McCullough scores again with his book, 1776, a day by day tracing of the events of the beginning of the revolution.  So many things could have gone wrong. Our army was weak, our navy non-existent and our leaders playing the whole thing by ear. Perhaps a quote from John Adams explains the final outcome. “We cannot ensure success, but we can deserve it.”


And here’s an English proverb for you—“A stumble can prevent a fall.”  So have you stumbled your favorite post from the traveler’s library,yet?

About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.