The work can be described as a series of interlocking propositions: the proverbial view of human nature can be explained by evolutionary theory. Biological differences between men and women are responsible for family, community and group life. Social evolution goes through stages which are recapitulated in the moral life of individuals. A well-defined federal system mirrors human development. And finally, for Fleming, most problems in social and political life stem from violations of this federalist system.
Fleming's volume takes up a variety of issues: sex and gender differences, democracy and dictatorship, individual and familial patterns of association. He does so in the context of showing how forms of legitimate authority such as families, communities and nations establish such authority by appeals to human nature, and that these appeals, while presumably resting on empirical evidence, also confirm the existence of normative structures. Fleming's work is an effort of synthesis that is sure to arouse discussion and debate. It represents a serious addition to a literature retrieved from the historical dustbins to which it has been repeatedly consigned.
In Europe, America's only ally, France, teetered on the verge of bankruptcy and was soon reeling from a disastrous naval defeat in the Caribbean. A stubborn George III dismissed Yorktown as a minor defeat and refused to yield an acre of "my dominions" in America. In Paris, Ambassador Benjamin Franklin confronted violent hostility to France among his fellow members of the American peace delegation.
In his riveting new book, Thomas Fleming moves elegantly between the key players in this drama and shows that the outcome we take for granted was far from certain. Not without anguish, General Washington resisted the urgings of many officers to seize power and held the angry army together until peace and independence arrived. With fresh research and masterful storytelling, Fleming breathes new life into this tumultuous but little known period in America's history.
To this end, they have convened a secret military tribunal in Lee's former home in Arlington, Virginia.
Jeremiah O'Brien of the New-York Tribune, a long-time protégé of Dana's, is the only reporter allowed to attend the trial. His exclusive reports on this momentous event, and the book he intends to write, will surely make his fortune.
Yet as the trial proceeds, pitting the general against his accusers, O'Brien finds himself torn between his loyalty to Dana, his love for a Confederate spy, and his growing respect and compassion for Lee himself. The young reporter is supposed to be only an observer, but, in the end, it is O'Brien who must evaluate the evidence and determine the true meaning of honor.
Written by New York Times bestselling author and historian Thomas Fleming, The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee brings to life a fascinating chapter in American history that might well have happened - and perhaps truly did.
Led by the Continental Congress, the Americans almost lost their war for independence because their military thinking was badly muddled. The embryo nation narrowly escaped from the disastrous results of these misconceptions thanks to the levelheaded intelligence of one man: General George Washington.
Following the flush of small victories in 1775, patriot leaders were convinced that the key to victory was the homegrown militia--local men defending their families and homes. Washington knew that having and maintaining an army of regular professional soldiers was the only way to win independence. He fought bitterly with the leaders in Congress over the creation of a regular army. In the end, he and his army prevailed.
In Strategy of Victory, prolific historian Thomas Fleming examines the battles that created American independence, revealing how the strategy of a professional army, backed by a corps of citizen soldiers determined to fight for their freedom, worked on the battlefield, securing victory, independence and a lasting peace for the young nation.
New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming realized that finding the truth was no simple matter. Opinions of Washington varied sharply. Some historians made him godlike while other writers invented moralistic fables about him.
Fleming discovered the real George Washington by reading what the men and women who knew him said about him in their letters and journals as well as through Washington's own correspondence. Slowly, the remarkable person behind the legend emerged.
In this book, anecdotes from friends and enemies alike give a firsthand vision of Washington's character. Little-known and colorful incidents - from Washington as an untutored boy of eleven to the seasoned general and statesman he grew to be - make First in Their Hearts fascinating and memorable reading.
The defining moments of the American Revolution did not occur on the battlefield or at the diplomatic table, writes New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming, but at Valley Forge. Fleming transports us to December 1777. While the British army lives in luxury in conquered Philadelphia, Washington's troops huddle in the barracks of Valley Forge, fending off starvation and disease even as threats of mutiny swirl through the regiments. Though his army stands on the edge of collapse, George Washington must wage a secondary war, this one against the slander of his reputation as a general and patriot. Washington strategizes not only against the British army but against General Horatio Gates, the victor in the Battle of Saratoga, who has attracted a coterie of ambitious generals devising ways to humiliate and embarrass Washington into resignation.
Using diaries and letters, Fleming creates an unforgettable portrait of an embattled Washington. Far from the long-suffering stoic of historical myth, Washington responds to attacks from Gates and his allies with the skill of a master politician. He parries the thrusts of his covert enemies, and, as necessary, strikes back with ferocity and guile. While many histories portray Washington as a man who has transcended politics, Fleming's Washington is exceedingly complex, a man whose political maneuvering allowed him to retain his command even as he simultaneously struggled to prevent the Continental Army from dissolving into mutiny at Valley Forge.
Written with his customary flair and eye for human detail and drama, Thomas Fleming's gripping narrative develops with the authority of a major historian and the skills of a master storyteller. Washington's Secret War is not only a revisionist view of the American ordeal at Valley Forge - it calls for a new assessment of the man too often simplified into an American legend. This is narrative history at its best and most vital.