Washington and Caesar
Delacorte Press, 2004, 578 PP
Julius Caesar was captured in his youth by slavers, sold as a slave in the West Indies and then purchased by Washington's agent and brought to Mt. Vernon as one of Washington's slaves. Longing to be free, Caesar runs away and accepts the offer of the British to gain his freedom by joining the British army and fighting against the colonists. Caesar rises to the rank of sergeant in a unit made up entirely of black ex-slaves.
Opposing Caesar and commanding the American forces is George Washington, a man concerned with his family, the sound management of his estates and a lover of freedom who led the Continental Army to victory over the British during the American Revolution. Here, Washington is not the mythical "Father of our Country", but a man struggling to build and lead an army in a war against vastly superior forces. He is also a slave owner who, during the war, is forced to come to terms with the contradiction of fighting both for the freedom of the colonists while at the same time fighting to maintain the institution of slavery.
Alternating between the Americans under Washington and Caesar's unit with the British the reader gets to view the war from the perspective of both the British and the Americans fighting the war. But it is a very human view as we see the war and its various battles through the eyes of the individual soldiers. These soldiers come across as real people with their hopes and dreams for the future as well as their personal struggles in the present all sent against the backdrop of the American Revolution.
This report prepared by Chuck Nugent