August 3, 2006

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1776, by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster)

And you think you have no idea what you’re doing at work; consider George Washington. Hired to lead the Continental army, Washington pretty much spent his first year on the job, 1776, totally screwing it up. Did you just lose the big account? Well, Washington lost New York, so hang in there, kitty. In addition to recounting Washington’s blunders, miscalculations and misfortunes (he was, after all, the general of an army made of regular Joes; consider what kind of an army you’d have if every Blockbuster clerk, accountant and mid-level tech guy suddenly took up arms with no training), 1776 is just a corker of a tale about the first shaky year of our country and the egos and accidents that kept us together. B+

— Amy Diaz


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