It's the winter of 1777, and Washington's battered, demoralized army retreats from Philadelphia. Arriving at Valley Forge, they discover that their repeated requests for a stockpile of food, winter clothing, and building tools have been ignored by Congress. With no other options available, the men settle down for a season of agony. For weeks the dwindling army freezes under tents in the bitter cold. Food runs out. Disease festers. The men are on the point of collapse, while in Philadelphia the British, joined by Allen van Dorn, the Loyalist brother of the dead patriot, Jonathan van Dorn, live in luxury.
In spite of the suffering and deceit, Washington endures all, joined at last by a volunteer from Germany, Baron Friederich von Steuben. With precious few supplies and even less time, von Steuben begins the hard task of recasting the army as a professional fighting force capable of facing the British head-on—something it has never accomplished before—and in the process he changing the course of history.
Valley Forge is a compelling, meticulously researched tour-de-force novel about endurance, survival, transformation, and rebirth. It chronicles the unique crucible of time and place where Washington and his Continental Army, against all odds, were forged into a fighting force that would win a revolution and found the United States of America.
It is 1781, and Washington and his army have spent three years in a bitter stalemate, engaging in near constant skirmishing against the British. The enemy position in New York is far too strong, and all approaches covered by the Royal Navy. At last two crucial reports reach Washington. The first is that the French have briefly committed a fleet to the American coast to engage the British. The second is that British General Cornwallis, driven to distraction by the protracted warfare in the Carolinas, has decided to withdraw into Yorktown to establish a new base.
Washington decides to embark on one of the most audacious moves in American military history. He will take nearly his entire army out of New Jersey and New York, and force march it more than three hundred miles in complete secrecy. He must pray that the French navy is successful in blockading Chesapeake Bay, so that he can fall upon Cornwallis, lay siege to him, and capture his entire force. It is a campaign ladened with "Ifs" but the stalemate must be broken, otherwise the American spirit, after six long years of war, will crumble.
Sergeant Peter Wellsley is tasked with "paving the way" for the rapid movement of the army, and above all else neutralizing any loyalists who might slip off to provide warning. The entire operation is predicated on complete, total surprise, a near-impossible task for an army moving through areas that harbor strong loyalists. On the other side, Allen Van Dorn, still mourning the loss of his friend Major Andre, receives bits and pieces of reports from civilians that something is afoot across New Jersey and is tasked to find out what. When one of the former friends is captured, both must decide where their true loyalties lie during the heat of the Battle of Yorktown as Washington's professional army, once a "rabble in arms," executes the war's most decisive contest.
With Victory at Yorktown, critically acclaimed authors Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen have reached the pinnacle of their talents in a tour de force narrative of one of America's most important heroes.
In his powerful new novel, Charles Frazier returns to the time and place of Cold Mountain, vividly bringing to life the chaos and devastation of the Civil War
Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. Davis instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history—culpable regardless of her intentions.
The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond and travel south on their own, now fugitives with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.”
Intimate in its detailed observations of one woman’s tragic life and epic in its scope and power, Varina is a novel of an American war and its aftermath. Ultimately, the book is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences.
The action focuses on one of the most iconic events in American history: Washington crossing the Delaware. Unlike the bold, courageous General in Emanuel Leutze's painting, Washington is full of doubt on the night of December 25, 1776. After five months of defeat, morale is dangerously low. Each morning muster shows that hundreds have deserted in the night.
While Washington prepares his weary troops for the attack on Trenton, Thomas Paine is in Philadelphia, overseeing the printing of his newest pamphlet, The Crisis.
And Jonathan Van Dorn is about to bring the war to his own doorstep. In the heat of battle, he must decide between staying loyal to the cause and sparing his brother who has joined up with the British. Through the thoughts and private fears of these three men, Gingrich and Forstchen illuminate the darkest days of the Revolution. With detailed research and an incredible depth of military insight, To Try Men's Souls is a novel that provides a rare and personal perspective of the men who fought for, and founded the United States of America.
Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.
Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.
Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women’s rights movements.
Inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke, Kidd goes beyond the record to flesh out the rich interior lives of all of her characters, both real and invented, including Handful’s cunning mother, Charlotte, who courts danger in her search for something better.
This exquisitely written novel is a triumph of storytelling that looks with unswerving eyes at a devastating wound in American history, through women whose struggles for liberation, empowerment, and expression will leave no reader unmoved.
In a complementary focus on canonical works by Aimé Césaire, C. L. R. James, Edouard Glissant, and Alejo Carpentier in addition to the work of René Depestre, Langston Hughes, and Madison Smartt Bell, Kaisary argues that the Haitian Revolution generated an enduring cultural and ideological inheritance. He addresses critical understandings and fictional reinventions of the Revolution and thinks through how, and to what effect, authors of major diasporic texts have metamorphosed and appropriated this spectacular corner of black revolutionary history.