Today’s Bull involves my reading of Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence, written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.
For a while I’ve been wanting to dive into O”Reilly’s Killing series. After reading a few books on JFK and Las Vegas, among others, I finally decided to give it a shot. The first I decided to read was Killing England, a 300+ page read about America’s independence and the Revolutionary War.
O’Reilly and Dugard wrote this book in a way where the story was fast-paced, but informative, which resulted in making it hard to put down — always solid indicators of a good read. I don’t want to write a review (that’s what Amazon is for!), though I highly recommend it. Instead, I want to briefly share some points in the book that I found interesting. Of course, I will go about this without giving away too much. However, I will share one spoiler — we won the war! 😜
Below are 6 specific points:
- America’s lack of preparation
- Many men lacked proper attire, including shoes and seasonal clothing. Muskets were in poor shape and many lacked bayonets. To make matters worse, heading into the war there wasn’t a military because each colony operated on its own and had their own militia.
- The British belief of Americans
- I was totally unaware of how King George III and many other Loyalists thought Americans as second-class citizens. Even George Washington was treated with disrespect.
- George Washington’s army
- Morale of Washington’s army fluctuated immensely throughout the 8 long years of war. O’Reilly and Dugard do a good job of articulating this.
- Continental Navy
- The Continental Navy was largely nonexistent outside of John Paul Jones. The French helped immensely later in the war with their ships.
- Unethical behavior of both sides
- O’Reilly and Dugard go in length about the destruction — physically, mentally, and emotionally — done on the hands of both the British and Americans. New York was especially hit hard.
- Colonel Francis Marion
- Colonel Francis Marion gets introduced later in the book. When first reading about him I couldn’t help but be reminded of Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot. Oddly enough, this later gets confirmed in the Postscript section of the book.
If you are interested in the Revolutionary War, or war in general, give this book a try. There aren’t too many negatives to share, but if I had to be picky I’d say it’s too short and there are too many portraits that aren’t mandatory to be included.
Despite covering over 300 pages (including the Prologue, Epilogue, and Postscript which is recommended reading), there are a handful of portraits of important faces of our history, such as Ben Franklin and George Washington. I don’t necessarily dislike having portraits included; the issue (used loosely) is that it inflates the page total a bit. Again, nothing devastating.
Also, there are a handful of maps throughout the book. They provide quality context to the book so I have no complaints there. If you decide reading the book, take some time and study these maps.
Next on my Killing list is Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan. I’ve always found World War II to be fascinating. This should be a great read.
This is only my second official post to WordPress. I have yet to find a sweet way to close out posts. In my first post I closed it out with a legendary Seinfeld quote. I’ll close this post with a quote as well. It’s comes from Tora! Tora! Tora!, but has been used in many war films:
“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”