Deserving Liberty

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Each chapter addresses one of the five elements selected for detailed development by the author: Officership, Recruiting, Discipline, Training, and Morale. The book is appropriate for readers with substantial background knowledge on the Revolution and an interest in the development of leadership in the Continental Army. As an active duty U. Army officer serving as a history professor at the U. Effective leadership during the tumultuous period of national army organization, reorganization, and warfighting became crucial to maintaining cohesion within the force.

Army and Department of Defense. His work provides an in-depth analysis of revolutionary military leadership, examining numerous examples derived from a variety of primary and secondary sources. He relies on various state records, drawing heavily on surviving records from the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In effect, the research highlights the different regional and state approaches that influenced leadership.

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The author effectively traces the evolution of the Continental Army from a collection of militias with differing regional and state concepts of military service to an organization that rivaled the more professional and seasoned British Army. His research also provides insight into the historical basis for contemporary relationships between officers and the soldiers they lead. Sculley, referencing research by both Don Higginbotham and Max Webber, defines military leadership as a system of decision making that forms a social contract between all individuals involved.

As the war progressed, recruiting efforts, strategy and tactics evolved in response to the available manpower. Because the composition of the army changed, leaders needed to adapt to retain and serve their soldiers. Despite the swings in morale, there was less need for and emphasis on harsh discipline as standardized training improved the performance of the collective army. The author concludes the concepts of discipline and training are closely linked. Adaptive leadership by example combined with improved training and discipline sustained adequate morale to keep the army together and prevent wholesale desertion and mutiny.


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Ultimately, Sculley provides detailed research and analysis to demonstrate negotiations between the leaders and the led that contributed to developing a distinctive leadership culture in the army. Readers will appreciate the fact that Sculley writes from the point of view of a seasoned leader himself, yet the book necessitates reflection on the perspective and supporting information his text reveals about soldiers and leaders during the American Revolution. The text is more of a scholarly work than a casual read, but that also makes it a valuable reference source.

Most readers will find that the book requires more than one read to fully appreciate the depth of analysis, but for those readers with the time and desire, the breadth and perspective provided by Sculley furnishes valuable insight and a new and innovative perspective into the complex subject of Continental Army leadership.

This helps toward providing our content free of charge. Nice to see a few more studies out there about how the Army worked since it came to represent the heart and soul of the Revolution. As long as the army existed, there was a foci of resistance to British authority. Thanks for the review! Contest for Liberty is an important book. It skillfully explores the development and employment of military leadership in the Continental Army in an entirely fresh and pioneering manner. This alone makes it deserving of five stars. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out. Where liberty is, there is my country. Who is rich?

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He that rejoices in his portion. Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good. Genius without education is like silver in the mine. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy , wealthy , and wise. Would you live with ease, do what you ought and not what you please.

Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. Diligence overcomes difficulties, sloth makes them. No man is free who is not a master of himself. The best freedom is being yourself.


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Jim Morrison Click to tweet. I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. Charlotte Bronte. When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty. John Basil Barnhill. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. George Orwell. Dwight D.

Liberty Quotes ( quotes)

The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding. Justice Louis Brandeis. The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. Economic freedom is… an indispensable means toward the achievement of political freedom. Milton Friedman.

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance. Aesop Click to tweet. Security is an attempt to try to make the universe static so that we feel safe. Anne Wilson Schaef. The more you seek security, the less of it you have. But the more you seek opportunity, the more likely it is that you will achieve the security that you desire. Brian Tracy. It is playing safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity.

Dag Hammarskjold. Security is when everything is settled. When nothing can happen to you. Security is the denial of life. Germaine Greer. Knowing what to expect next gives children a sense of security. Hillary Clinton. In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson. Security is a kind of death. Tennessee Williams Click to tweet. I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. Thomas Jefferson. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past. The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.

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George Washington. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation. I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.