Great Escape and Founding Fathers

In which I post about the most recent non-fiction book I read (#87).

I really underestimated how many non-fictions books would have been a challenge when I wrote this goal. I finished two more within days of each other at the beginning of this month. Both of them fall into that category of, “if you like this sort of thing, you’ll like these.”

First up: The Great Escape. I listened to this on CD on our big drive to and from Kentucky over labor day weekend. It worked really well as an audio book, even though it was fairly long. The story is fascinating, and the book goes farther than the movie to tell you what happened to people on the enemy side after the war was over.

In 1944, British and American prisoners of war made it their business to occupy as many guards as possible with guarding them through frequent escape attempts. The book covers the true story of one of the most widespread escape attempts, written by one who was a part of the escape organization at that time.

This did make me want to re-watch the movie, which we own, to see what was changed (beyond adding Americans — the American were quickly housed on a separate camp from the British long before the escape attempt because the Germans thought the two groups were getting on too well. They were right.)

Days later, I finished another non-fiction book, Founding Brothers. This Pulitzer-winning book is a collection of chapters, each focused on a different small event shortly after the creation of the Constitution, when the founders were still debating the meaning and effects of the Revolution. It tackles the misconception of national thought at that time, as well as the extraordinary risk the idea of a republican government was at that time. It is an especially interesting read during an election year, when everyone is mouthing off about what the Constitution means and doesn’t mean — as if the founders themselves knew that.

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