First … Yesterday: so nice to see our city’s main library – the Worcester Public Library at Salem Sq – really open its doors to people in wheelchairs! Great new ramps, from our downtown library’s parking lot to the sidewalk in front of the library’s main entrance, make it easier for folks in wheelchairs, parents with babies in strollers, kids on skateboards😉! to enter the city’s flagship book-heaven♥️✨. Yes, there have always been a few reserved spots directly in front of its entrance, on the little street (WPL Way?) before the main entryway, but this recent upgrade makes it GREAT FOR ALL! No more having to leave the parking lot through the side driveway! used by cars! to come back around!
Hey, it only took 60+ years!!!! Go, Worcester!
CECELIA Book Review
“THE BRITISH ARE COMING: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777, Volume I,” by Rick Atkinson, Henry Holt & Co. New York (2019, 776 pages)
Reviewed by Steven R. Maher
This book was a pleasure to read! The author Rick Atkinson opens with a panoramic sweep of the British naval fleet at the height of Britain’s powers in 1773, three years before the Americans declared their independence. Described by Atkinson as “the greatest empire since Rome,” it was hard seeing how any challenger could overcome the Imperial Navy described by Atkinson.
“Britain was ascendant, with mighty revolutions – agrarian and industrial – well under way,” writes Atkinson. “A majority of all European growth in the first half of the century had occurred in England; that proportion was now expanding to nearly three-quarters, with the steam engine patented in 1769 and the spinning Jenny a year later. Canals were cut, roads built, highway hanged, coal mined, iron forged. Sheep would double in weight during the century; calf weights tripled.”
Familiar with Period
History buffs and amateur historians alike of the American Revolution are familiar with the historical period in question here. The Americans maneuvered the British into withdrawing from Boston; the British then routed the Americans from New York City, chased Washington and his dwindling army across the Delaware into Pennsylvania. Washington, his army on the verge of dissolution, crosses back across the Delaware and launches a Christmas Day surprise attack on a Hessian mercenary (German) garrison at Trenton. Washington then outmaneuvered the British and won a second victory at Princeton.
Atkinson packs a lot of detail into these events. He makes it a point to quote extensively from diaries and other written materials from both sides of the conflict. Much of this material will be fresh for the reader.
One of the underlying themes is the attempt by the British and their allies to spark off a slave revolt. They announced publicly that any slave who made it to British lines would be freed. Some of the sources cited by Atkinson claimed that any slave who killed their master would inherit the master’s estate. This had for the impact of turning most Southern whites against the British.
But perhaps the biggest surprise that comes from the British side is their genuine hatred for the American rebels. It is repeatedly asserted by British soldiers how badly they want the mass of Americans to be punished. Some clearly preferred a Carthaginian peace.
This is a book that deserves a five-star rating!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The writing is excellent and the research superb!
Go, Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson!💛🌻🌻:
From the Worcester Historical Museum, 30 Elm St., Worcester:
WORCESTER’S ROLE DURING THE AIDS CRISIS
Tuesday, September 3
Free with Museum admission
Welcome Reception at 6 PM at the Museum
Jim Voltz, executive director of AIDS Project Worcester from 1991-1996, will lead a discussion on the early days of the AIDS epidemic in Worcester, the establishment of APW, some of the early prominent leaders in the fight against AIDS in our community, the trauma still suffered by the generation that lost so many of its loved ones to the sickness, and the challenges that remain.
Clark University Professor and LGBTQ+WORCESTER FOR THE RECORD co-curator Robert Tobin will moderate.
UNCOVERING LGBTQ HISTORY THROUGH THE VOICES OF THOSE WHO LIVED IT
Wednesday, September 4
7 – 8:30 PM
A Dessert Social, by WOO PRIDE, will begin the program at 6PM.
Drawing on his three-decade-old archive of rare interviews, Eric Marcus will present an audio tour through time to tell the largely hidden history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.
Listen to the voices of known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and allies, and hear firsthand what inspired them to blaze a trail for LGBTQ equality. Eric Marcus is the founder and host of the award-winning Making Gay History podcast. He has authored and co-authored a dozen books, including Making Gay History, an oral history of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, and Breaking the Surface, the #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.
College of the Holy Cross Professor and LGBTQ+WORCESTER FOR THE RECORD co-curator Stephanie Yuhl will moderate.