An animated examination of the years of the Continental Congress which in covering the years 1774-1789 adds flesh to the bare bones of history. For here, from the launching to its termination, is microscopic probing into the little parliament of provincial lawyers, merchants, planters who formed a laboratory of political science and whose practical politics created a new nation and won a war against a most powerful empire. This is the story of how this substitute for a central government weathered the clashes on the long road to independence, how the temporary council developed graduates for the Presidency, how the great documents it produced came into being, what were the characters and policies of the great and lesser lights of its career. There are the committees, the leaders, the forging of the alliance with France, the desperate straits from which success was snatche and the creation of union for the colonies. A book of people as well as events, of struggle as well as achievement, the research and scholarship here while not subordinated to nevertheless vitalized by the brightness of style which makes for lively reading.