When I read that the British army had landed thirty-two thousand troops - and I had realized, not very long before, that Philadelphia only had thirty thousand people in it - it practically lifted me out of my chair.
I had been writing for about twelve years. I knew pretty well how you could find things out, but I had never been trained in an academic way how to go about the research.
I just thank my father and mother, my lucky stars, that I had the advantage of an education in the humanities.
My shorthand answer is that I try to write the kind of book that I would like to read. If I can make it clear and interesting and compelling to me, then I hope maybe it will be for the reader.