I finished Frederick the Great by Louis L. Snyder. This book is part of a series called “Great Lives Observed” which includes such figures as Henry Ford, Jesus, Booker T. Washington, Hitler, and Joe McCarthy (which would make one really great poker game, in my mind). The book is basically a collection of primary source material, sorted by type, each with a small introduction. The real “gem,” according to the author, is the discovery of a letter by Frederick’s physician addressing the rumors regarding Frederick’s homosexuality. This four-page missive instead reveals that Frederick’s lack of interest was more fueled by other, disease-related problems, instead.
TMI, Fritz, TMI…
The author’s fascination with gonorrhea aside, the book is actually quite good at capturing the qualities of Frederick, both as a ruler, general, and person. There’s Frederick’s own perspective on the world, religion, philosophy, etc. and equal time given to what various figures were saying about him at the time.
It is a nice primer to the time period, and a fair biography, but woefully lacking in actual military history that could be used to inform a fledgling wargamer like myself. Hopefully the Duffy book will be in soon, and I might have to make a journey into the “Big City” and see what I can find there.