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General Howe's Dog:
George Washington, the Battle of Germantown,
and the Dog Who Crossed Enemy Lines
by Caroline Tiger
Published by Chamberlain Bros.
A Penguin (USA) Group Imprint
General Howe's Dog is a light-hearted diversion in the American Revolution non-fiction genre. General George Washington is the central figure of this book, though General Howe and his dog have their moments. However, it is not Washington's military and political achievements that are the focus, but rather his etiquette, hunting habits and dog breeding. The title is somewhat misleading with its reference to the Battle of Germantown. Caroline Tiger uses the Battle of Germantown and the incident with General Washington returning General Howe's dog as a crossover from his well-known military exploits to his more gentlemanly pursuits.
Ms. Tiger takes a fitting, almost tongue-in-cheek tone at times as she weaves hunting exploits and dog breeding into the tapestry of Washington's famous life. Her light-hearted approach does not belittle the subject matter which were serious personal pursuits to gentlemen, both English and American. The book gives the reader a glimpse of a portion of Washington's life that is all but omitted from his biographies because of its more 'trivial' nature. However, these aspects are actually by no means trivial, but rather demonstrate the deep -seated principles that guided Washington's military and political decisions.
General Howe's Dog is a delightful and even insightful, summertime diversion for those even remotedly interested in either early American History or in the origins of American dog breeding. Caroline Tiger's fluid writing style makes for an enjoyable read. Two additional treats are included that will appeal to the more avid historians or dog breeders: The Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which Washington had copied as a teenager, and Breed Standards of the Treeing Walker.
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