Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Reading progress

I am about halfway finished with Born Fighting and as badly as I hate to admit it, I found it to be something of a dissapointment. The early chapters were concerned with Scotland and the author seemed to just skim over some of the things that I thought were important, while going to into more depth into subjects that the reader may have some (albeit skewed) knowledge of. I am of course, talking about the chapter on William Wallace. To his credit, I think one of his aims was to set the record straight for those unfortunate souls who think Braveheart was historically accurate.

The early part of the book is what Dimitri at Civil War Bookshelf would refer to as "Pop History." I really hate to even say that, because I was prepared to love this book. I think part of my problem may be in my own mind. I was expecting something with a more narrow focus, rather than a broad history.

The good news is that the further along I get, the better it is. Now that I've reached the part of the book that deals with the Revolution and the settlement of North America things have improved greatly. I think that's because Webb is on firmer ground with his subject. Some of the same things I'm seeing now where dealt with in Partisans and Redcoats, which I recently finished.

One thing I read that did surprise me somewhat was the comment that the Scots-Irish tended to side with the patriots during the Revolution, while a large group of later immigrants, who were primarily Highlanders and Jacobites that settled in North Carolina after the '45 rebellion, tended to be loyalists. I found that odd since these folks were only a generation away from being rebels themselves.

Overall, I still think it's worth reading, but I can't form a full opinion until I'm finished.