George vs. George

George vs. George : The Revolutionary War as Seen by Both Sides

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There were once two enemies who were both named George - George Washington and George III. They were very much alike in some ways, and they were both beloved by their people. But wars alter perceptions of people and interpretations of events. Because the winners tend to tell the tale, very few people in the United States have ever considered the British side of the American Revolution. In George vs. George, Roz Schanzer deftly shifts her perspective and includes primary source quotes from people on both sides of the Atlantic and both sides of the conflict. (There were loyalists in the Colonies and people who supported American independence in England.) The book compares the two Georges, who turn out to be remarkably similar men; talks about what life was like for people in England and in the Colonies on the eve of the Revolution; explains how the government of England worked and also how the Colonial governments worked; and then begins the story of the Revolutionary War. After the Stamp Act, the tax on tea, the boycotts, the Boston Tea Party, and the Boston Massacre, come the early battles. The book includes a wonderful description of what led up to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. From the British point of view, the famous British crossing of Boston Harbor and march to Concord immortalized in "Paul Revere's Ride" were pre-emptive strikes against a weapons stockpile amassed by dangerous rebel insurgents. Coverage of the war includes spreads about the composition of the British and Colonial forces as well as the Declaration of Independence. The book ends with the stories of what happened to the two Georges after the American Revolution. As the main text and pictures tell the main story, small paintings of historical figures in the margins comment on the events in their own words, which are drawn from primary sources.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 64 pages
  • 213.4 x 266.7 x 10.2mm | 453.6g
  • National Geographic Society
  • Hanover, PA, United States
  • English
  • colour paintings
  • 0792273494
  • 9780792273493
  • 1,913,187

About Rosalyn Schanzer

Rosalyn Schanzer is the award-winning author and illustrator of numerous books for young readers. An avid photographer, swimmer and adventurer, Schanzer lives in Virginia. "From the Trade Paperback edition."

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Review Text

In an uncommonly balanced view of the American Revolution for younger readers, Schanzer places King George III in a better light than young readers-American ones, anyway-generally get to see him, while noting that neither side was innocent of rash actions or atrocities. Developing the theme that "there are two sides to every story," she begins by comparing the two Georges, finding numerous similarities in both their public and private lives. She goes on to compare British and Colonial styles of government (more similarities), then chronicles the escalation of resistance over new taxes into full-scale war, compares the rival armies' dress and general behavior, and finishes with parallel accounts of the Georges' later lives. Loosely basing her illustrations on period images, Schanzer paints small labeled portraits on rough canvas, which gives them the look of needlepoint, and adds actual, cited quotes in dialogue balloons. This carefully researched reminder that the Revolution was an "us vs. us" conflict, not an "us vs. them" conflict should be required reading for all young students of American history. (index, multimedia source list) (Nonfiction. 8-10) (Kirkus Reviews)

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