Saturday, July 24, 2010

Later in the day a dicussion of Poland

On my return I will be discussing Poland by Michener. I am somewhat disappointed by what seems to be a disappointing chapter by Michener. Michener does not devote enough time to Kosciusko. The subject comes up at the end of the chapter.

While the role of foreigners in the American Revolution is discussed many had varying motives. Some were indeed experts like Lafayette, Kosciusko, Pulaski, Von Stuben and others were indeed hacks. Roberts in Rabble in Arms accurately describes two of these clowns. From an American perspective we learn about these contributions in a backwards ethnic pride way. Kosciusko was an expert engineer whose vital work in the Saratoga campaign in preparing the defenses gets lost in the discussion.

More importantly is the concept that Kosciusko embraced the ideals of the American Revolution. His uprising was crushed by the Russians and after a release from prison he told Napoleon to get lost and spent the rest of his life in Switzerland.

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