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Battlegrounds of Freedom
A Historical Guide to the Battlefields Of the War of American Independence
by Norman Desmarais
Published by Busca, Inc.
Battlegrounds of Freedom is part reference and part travelogue. The book is actually mostly reference with well-done descriptions of battles. Actions of greater importance, such as Yorktown, are much more lengthy. Also featured are smaller actions that may have had more regional significance, such as many of the skirmishes in the Southern colonies. A number of pictures of landmarks are included. For further reference, the book includes three appendices, which list the actions in alphabetical order, chronological order and grouped by major city.
The other facet of the book is as a travelogue. The author has organized the actions in geographic, rather than chronological order. Each action includes directions, and in some cases conditions of the locations. Locations of visitor centers and museums are included. Also included, when possible, are related websites where additional information can be found. The book includes 18 roadmaps that pinpoint the locations of the actions featured in the book. Within many of the descriptions are references to the modern status of the sites.
As a reference book, this book is a brief guide to material that has been compiled elsewhere. However, as a travelogue, this book is a cut above since it gives the necessary modern day information without skimping or setting an arbitrary length on the historical description. Each action is accompanied by directions and pinpointed on regional roadmap along with websites and visitor center listings. The author, Norman Desmarais, is a re-enactor and has included a short chapter on the subject. This fits since the progression would be learning the history and then visiting the historic sites followed by reliving the events oneself through re-enacting. All in all, the book is a nice addition to one's library.
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