On the long flights to and from London, I was able to catch up with David McCullough’s 1776, a great book I strongly recommend to anyone who wants a vivid picture of our struggle for independence from Britain and the very real heroes who made it happen. The major impact of this work is to appreciate the fact that, at any number of points along the way, the final outcome could, and probably by all odds should have been much different. The circumstances at several critical junctures and the challenges facing General Washington and his command staff make our problems in Iraq seem almost trivial by comparison and the boldness and perseverance of the very ordinary and very young men of no apparent prior qualifications for leadership who rose to the occasion border on the providential, if not the miraculous. I am reminded of Churchill’s remark during another crisis—“Never was so much owed by so many to so few”.
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