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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Fortitude: Preserving 400 Years of an American Family's Faith, Patriotism, Grit and Determination by Dale R. Spaulding is a sprawling work that takes a deep dive into the history of the Spaulding family. Spaulding takes readers back to the ancient and medieval origins of the Spaulding name, the 'u' being added at later date, to the 17th century, sailing from England to the United States before it was the United States. The Spaulding family survived the upheaval of basically every event in American history, including the Revolution, with proof that is as comprehensive as a witnessed signature by John and Abigail Adams. Spaulding includes documents, landmarks, and photographs of the progression of the Spaulding family to where they stand today, with the author having served the country as a decorated Navy veteran.
Biographies and memoirs can be extremely tricky to review because it is rare that a book and its subject, however important it might be to the writer, are likely to be as enthusiastically embraced by a wide audience. Fortitude sets fire to this trend with a stunning, just remarkable encyclopedia of history. Dale R. Spaulding is writing more than just Spaulding history. This is a far-reaching account of American history and a name that can be argued legitimately as one of America's first and foremost families. The legacy is surreal, particularly as I am an American who moved to England a decade ago and am deeply involved in the American ex-pat community. I was in Plymouth standing on the Mayflower steps on the 400th anniversary of her sailing, to the minute. I am admittedly a history buff and so this is right up my alley. However, my daughter who has very little interest in American history was fascinated by the photographs and exhaustive detail. This is well and truly a book that will tickle the fancy of anyone with an interest in genealogy, history, and the making of America. Very highly recommended.