After a career of studying the American Revolution's political and social history-and of studiously avoiding its battles-Woody Holton is writing a synthetic history of the founding era, about half of it military history. Holton will test out some of the arguments he hopes to make, for instance that Britain, although the most powerful nation in Europe, was the actual underdog in the battle against its rebel colonists. He will also seek to raise broader questions about the perils and prospects of advancing argument through narrative. One focus of the talk will be George Washington's slow and imperfect conversion to his widely celebrated "Fabian" strategy. Fabius, was of course, one of Plutarch's generals, and Holton, who sometimes tries to call himself a populist, will share his surprise at finding himself trying to revive the history of character.