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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台七月-'1776' Takes Readers to the Battlefront

时间:2007-07-17 07:20来源:互联网 提供网友:atm009e   字体: [ ]
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    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)
This is Morning Edition from NPR news, I am Rene Montagne with Steve Inskeep.

229 years ago, independence for America was not certain; a new book explains how the young Revolutionary campaign took hold, Steve Inskeep talks to the author of 1776.
David McCullough chronicles a little more than a year of fighting up and down the eastern seaboard, a year full of defeats and disasters for the Americans, and a painful learning experience for their commander George Washington.

And David McCullough what was it that George Washington had to learn over the course of that year.

He had to learn that he couldn’t fight the British head on, they were better soldiers, they were better equipped, everything about them was what you would expect from the most formidable military force on earth, which is what the British were then. And he had to learn that holding territory, holding Boston, holding New York wasn’t the point, the point was to keep the army alive, to keep the army alive and fighting.

Why was it that in battle after battle in Boston and New York and elsewhere, George Washington seemed determined1, if he could, to attack the British head on even though people around him thought that would be a disaster?

Well, that was his nature. He was a very aggressive man in many ways. As a foxhunter for example, he was always at the very front, riding as close to the hounds as possible and he would chase that fox until he got them if it took 7 hours. To a foxhunter for 7 hours is not only a sign of phenomenal physical stamina2, but a very determined mind. And he was held back from attacking more than once to the benefit of him and his army by his war council, his other generals.

You chronicle the way that this man had to learn when to trust his own judgment3 and when to trust the judgment of others, you write of a moment of a particular indecisiveness in the fighting in and around New York City involving a fort that was named after him: Fort Washington. What happened?

Well we had created Fort Washington on the highest ground in New York city, at the very northernmost end of Manhattan Island to keep the British from bringing their warships4 up the Hudson river, and the British had demonstrated quite dramatically twice that they could bring their warships up Hudson river whether we were fortifying5 Fort Washington or not, so there really was no longer any reason to maintain Fort Washington, but his subordinate general, General Nathanael Greene, one of the best generals we had as it turned out, has said that he could hold Fort Washington, and George Washington, said “well, you are there, you are on the spot, I will rely on your judgment”, but then Washington arrived on the spot and he made no decision, it was one of the few cases where he is totally indecisive, and Fort Washington fell, 3,000 people were taken prisoner, it was a catastrophe6 for the American side, and it was Washington’s fault.

How did that failure of George Washington affect his thinking?

Washington always learnt from his mistakes I think that's what's crucial isn't he didn't made mistakes but he learned from them. For example we the American Army and George Washington were almost caught in a trap at Brooklyn on Long Island, and the only thing that prevented the British from bringing their gunboats up the east river which would have sealed the trap, was the fact the wind was in the wrong direction that kept the British from bringing their ships up. At the end of the war, or very near the end of the war, the last great battle of the war at York Town, the American army under Washington and the French Army under Rochambeau had pushed Cornwallis and the British down to the end of the York Peninsula, and they were prevented from escaping by the appearance right on time by the French Fleet, the very same situation that Washington had found himself in back at Brooklyn in 1776.

How in the months after Fort Washington did Washington regain7 confidence in his own judgment?

Oh I think he regained8 confidence in himself quite quickly, I personally think that he was suffering among other things from what we would call sleep depravation. He was not himself. His great time really comes after Fort Washington in the long retreat across New Jersey9, which Thomas Paine who was then with the troops described as a time that try men’s souls. When his troops are sick, hungry, they’ve been defeated again and again, they are in rags, winter’s coming on, they have no winter clothing, and he keeps going, he will not give up, Washington wasn’t a great intellectual, he wasn’t like Adams, Thomas Jefferson he wasn’t an eloquent10 spellbinding speaker, like Patrick Henry, what he was was a leader, and men... some men would follow him through hell, and they did.

What was it that finally caused George Washington after this long retreat finally to choose the moment to turn around at the end of 1776, and try to attack for real this time?

Yes, he finally gets his chance to attack, and all hopes gone, he himself privately11 said the game’s pretty near up, and it was a bold, brilliant stroke. It was simply a night march through a driving snow hail and sleet12 storm, to strike at * on the Delaware, with all of his might, some 2,000 men, heaven knows what the wind chill factor was, two men froze to death on the march, nine-mile-march, after crossing the Delaware, and they hit it and they won, they beat them, and this had an immediate13 effect on the morale14 of the country, that was of importance, psychological importance, and then they struck again within days afterward15 and hit Princeton and won there too, so that they ended this campaign, the campaign of 76, with two dramatic American victories, small scales not withstanding of immense importance, they really changed history.

David McCullough the author of 1776, thanks very much. Thank you sir.
You can find David McCullough’s summer reading picks at NPR.org

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 determined duszmP     
adj.坚定的;有决心的
参考例句:
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
2 stamina br8yJ     
n.体力;精力;耐力
参考例句:
  • I lacked the stamina to run the whole length of the race.我没有跑完全程的耐力。
  • Giving up smoking had a magical effect on his stamina.戒烟神奇地增强了他的体力。
3 judgment e3xxC     
n.审判;判断力,识别力,看法,意见
参考例句:
  • The chairman flatters himself on his judgment of people.主席自认为他审视人比别人高明。
  • He's a man of excellent judgment.他眼力过人。
4 warships 9d82ffe40b694c1e8a0fdc6d39c11ad8     
军舰,战舰( warship的名词复数 ); 舰只
参考例句:
  • The enemy warships were disengaged from the battle after suffering heavy casualties. 在遭受惨重伤亡后,敌舰退出了海战。
  • The government fitted out warships and sailors for them. 政府给他们配备了战舰和水手。
5 fortifying 74f03092477ce02d5a404c4756ead70e     
筑防御工事于( fortify的现在分词 ); 筑堡于; 增强; 强化(食品)
参考例句:
  • Fortifying executive function and restraining impulsivity are possible with active interventions. 积极干预可能有助加强执行功能和抑制冲动性。
  • Vingo stopped looking, tightening his face, fortifying himself against still another disappointment. 文戈不再张望,他绷紧脸,仿佛正在鼓足勇气准备迎接另一次失望似的。
6 catastrophe WXHzr     
n.大灾难,大祸
参考例句:
  • I owe it to you that I survived the catastrophe.亏得你我才大难不死。
  • This is a catastrophe beyond human control.这是一场人类无法控制的灾难。
7 regain YkYzPd     
vt.重新获得,收复,恢复
参考例句:
  • He is making a bid to regain his World No.1 ranking.他正为重登世界排名第一位而努力。
  • The government is desperate to regain credibility with the public.政府急于重新获取公众的信任。
8 regained 51ada49e953b830c8bd8fddd6bcd03aa     
复得( regain的过去式和过去分词 ); 赢回; 重回; 复至某地
参考例句:
  • The majority of the people in the world have regained their liberty. 世界上大多数人已重获自由。
  • She hesitated briefly but quickly regained her poise. 她犹豫片刻,但很快恢复了镇静。
9 jersey Lp5zzo     
n.运动衫
参考例句:
  • He wears a cotton jersey when he plays football.他穿运动衫踢足球。
  • They were dressed alike in blue jersey and knickers.他们穿着一致,都是蓝色的运动衫和灯笼短裤。
10 eloquent ymLyN     
adj.雄辩的,口才流利的;明白显示出的
参考例句:
  • He was so eloquent that he cut down the finest orator.他能言善辩,胜过最好的演说家。
  • These ruins are an eloquent reminder of the horrors of war.这些废墟形象地提醒人们不要忘记战争的恐怖。
11 privately IkpzwT     
adv.以私人的身份,悄悄地,私下地
参考例句:
  • Some ministers admit privately that unemployment could continue to rise.一些部长私下承认失业率可能继续升高。
  • The man privately admits that his motive is profits.那人私下承认他的动机是为了牟利。
12 sleet wxlw6     
n.雨雪;v.下雨雪,下冰雹
参考例句:
  • There was a great deal of sleet last night.昨夜雨夹雪下得真大。
  • When winter comes,we get sleet and frost.冬天来到时我们这儿会有雨夹雪和霜冻。
13 immediate aapxh     
adj.立即的;直接的,最接近的;紧靠的
参考例句:
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
14 morale z6Ez8     
n.道德准则,士气,斗志
参考例句:
  • The morale of the enemy troops is sinking lower every day.敌军的士气日益低落。
  • He tried to bolster up their morale.他尽力鼓舞他们的士气。
15 afterward fK6y3     
adv.后来;以后
参考例句:
  • Let's go to the theatre first and eat afterward. 让我们先去看戏,然后吃饭。
  • Afterward,the boy became a very famous artist.后来,这男孩成为一个很有名的艺术家。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  take  reader  battlefro
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