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July Book Club Meeting

Our July book is To Try Men's Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom by Newt Gingrich, William R. Forstchen, and Albert S. Hanser.


After two bestselling series examining the Civil War and WWII, Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen have turned their sharp eye for detail on the Revolutionary War. Their story follows three men with three very different roles to play in history: General George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Jonathan Van Dorn, a private in Washington’s army.

The action focuses on one of the most iconic events in American history: Washington crossing the Delaware. Unlike the bold, courageous General in Emanuel Leutze’s painting, Washington is full of doubt on the night of December 25, 1776. After five months of defeat, morale is dangerously low. Each morning muster shows that hundreds have deserted in the night.

While Washington prepares his weary troops for the attack on Trenton, Thomas Paine is in Philadelphia, overseeing the printing of his newest pamphlet, "The Crisis."

And Jonathan Van Dorn is about to bring the war to his own doorstep. In the heat of battle, he must decide between staying loyal to the cause and sparing his brother who has joined up with the British.

Through the thoughts and private fears of these three men, Gingrich and Forstchen illuminate the darkest days of the Revolution. With detailed research and an incredible depth of military insight, this novel provides a rare and personal perspective of the men who fought for, and founded the United States of America.

Since our discussion is held at the Nordstrom Market Cafe, I plan on enjoying dinner during our discussion. Eating or drinking is optional but I certainly plan on enjoying something to eat and drink during our discussion. The Nordstrom Market Cafe is located on the second floor of Norstroms in the Columbia Mall.

About the Authors

NEWT GINGRICH, front-running Republican primary candidate for the 2012 Presidential Election, former Speaker of the House, bestselling author of Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor, the longest serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting Course for Major Generals at Air University, and an honorary Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. He resides in Virginia with his wife, Callista, with whom he hosts and produces documentaries, including their latest, “A City Upon A Hill”.

WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN, Ph.D., is a Faculty Fellow at Montreat College in Montreat, North Carolina. He received his doctorate from Purdue University and is the author of more than forty books. He is the New York Times best selling author of One Second After, published by Tor/Forge of St. Martin's Press. He resides near Asheville, North Carolina, with his daughter, Meghan.

Book Availability at the Howard Count Public Library

To Try Men's Souls is available for checkout at the Howard County Public Library. The Howard County Public Library has:

(7) Copies of the book.

(2) Copies of the book in large print.

(2) Copies as a book-on-CD.

Howard County Library Central Branch

10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy

Columbia, MD 21044


Branch Hours

Mon. - Thurs. 10 am - 9 pm

Fri. - Sat. 10 am - 6 pm

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  • Wayne M.

    It was a great discussion. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone next month.

    July 18, 2014

  • Nicole H.


    July 18, 2014

  • Maxine F.

    Good group and fun discussion!

    2 · July 17, 2014

  • Jennifer Everett W.

    What a fun night! I enjoyed the discussion & the laughs..

    1 · July 17, 2014

  • Wayne M.

    I am stuck in traffic and will be late. Please start without me.

    July 17, 2014

  • Catherine P.

    I can't make it tonight, and I was very interested in hearing what others thought of the book. Very curious whether the story of Payne was accurate.

    July 17, 2014

  • Wayne M.

    Hi everyone. I hope that your reading is going well. I look forward to discussing "To Try Men's Souls" with you on Thursday night.

    1 · July 15, 2014

  • Catherine P.

    Enjoyed the book and hope I can make it, but at present I am "tentative."

    July 8, 2014

  • Mary

    I read this book, and am sorry not to be able to join you. My ankle is still non-weight-bearing, and the process of getting to Nordstrom's is still pretty trying. I hope to join all of you again in August!

    July 7, 2014

    • Wayne M.

      Mary, Take care of your ankle and we'll see you when you are healed.

      July 7, 2014

  • Catherine P.

    Recently finished a few historical accounts re. the Revolution, 1776, and George Washington. I'll give the fictional version a try.

    1 · June 24, 2014

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