Friday 19 August 2011

Astonishing General

Finished August 17
The Astonishing General: The Life and Legacy of Sir Isaac Brock by Wesley B. Turner
This book is an account of Isaac Brock, focusing on his time in Canada. Very little is here about his life before coming to Canada, and most of this book is limited to external views on his life. The author includes some excerpts from letters and other personal papers, but I left the book without a strong feeling about this man. I don't feel that I really got a sense of who he was. Some of the information given here about his life and actions seems contradictory, and other information is less substantiated by other sources.
He definitely seems dedicated to his military responsibilities, but also with a strong sense of family, despite his distance from them. The information gathered in this book is interesting, and includes a great deal around Isaac's role in the War of 1812. I was sometimes confused by the jumping back and forth in time when the author started one discussion and seemed distracted by certain elements, going forward in time or to other viewpoints.
There were times when the view jumped back and forth between Canadian and U.S. sides of the battle without clear delineation. Despite these issues, I learned a lot from this book and was intrigued by Brock as a person. An interesting addition to the Canadian historical record.

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