In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence—when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.
Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King’s men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.
Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough’s 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.
Written in Ferling's engaging and narrative-driven style that made books like Independence and The Ascent of George Washington critical and commercial successes, Whirlwind is a fast-paced and scrupulously told one-volume history of this epochal time. Balancing social and political concerns of the period and perspectives of the average American revolutionary with a careful examination of the war itself, Ferling has crafted the ideal book for armchair military history buffs, a book about the causes of the American Revolution, the war that won it, and the meaning of the Revolution overall. Combining careful scholarship, arresting detail, and illustrative storytelling, Whirlwind is a unique and compelling addition to any collection of books on the American Revolution.
No part of the country was more contested during the American Revolution than New York City, the Hudson River, and the surrounding counties. Political and military leaders on both sides viewed the Hudson River Valley as the American jugular, which, if cut, would quickly bleed the rebellion to death.
So in 1776, King George III sent the largest amphibious force ever assembled to seize Manhattan and use it as a base from which to push up the Hudson River Valley for a grand rendezvous at Albany with an impressive army driving down from Canada. George Washington and every other patriot leader shared the king’s fixation with the Hudson. Generations of American and British historians have held the same view. In fact, one of the few things that scholars have agreed upon is that the British strategy, though disastrously executed, should have been swift and effective. Until now, no one has argued that this plan of action was lunacy from the beginning.
Revolution on the Hudson makes the bold new argument that Britain’s attempt to cut off New England never would have worked, and that doggedly pursuing dominance of the Hudson ultimately cost the crown her colonies. It unpacks intricate military maneuvers on land and sea, introduces the personalities presiding over each side’s strategy, and reinterprets the vagaries of colonial politics to offer a thrilling response to one of our most vexing historical questions: How could a fledgling nation have defeated the most powerful war machine of the era?
George C. Daughan—winner of the prestigious Samuel Eliot Morrison Award for Naval Literature—integrates the war’s naval elements with its political, military, economic, and social dimensions to create a major new study of the American Revolution. Revolution on the Hudson offers a much clearer understanding of our founding conflict, and how it transformed a rebellion that Britain should have crushed into a war they could never win.
This extensive yet accessible exploration into the War of American Independence provides aclear analysis of why this complex conflict occurred and why it ended as it did, revealing the fragile nature of the American Patriot cause. An essential guide for any history student, including those specializing in war/peace studies and the study of international relations, as well the general reader with an interest in the study of war.
The narrative encompasses the author's original insights and takes advantage of the newest scholarship on the American Revolution. The book includes primary documents and biographical sketches representative of the various participants in the revolutionary struggle—for example, private soldiers, senior officers, loyalists, women, blacks, and Indians—as well as famous speeches and important American and British official documents. The edited documents offer readers a sense of the actual voices of the revolutionary struggle and a deeper understanding of how primary documents serve historians' narration and interpretation of long-ago events. The result is a new synthesis that brings a deeper understanding of America's defining struggle to an informed public readership as well as college and high school students.
The American Revolution, the Bicentennial of which we are celebrating in 1975 and 1976, was an event of utmost significance in the history of both this country and the world. It brought into being a nation, dedicated to the ideals of liberty and justice, that was destined to become, in less than two centuries, the leader of the western world. And it marked the beginning of vast changes that would sweep that western world in the century following, thrusting aside old monarchical institutions in favor of representative government and free economic institutions. Albeit fought on the battlefields much like other eighteenth century wars, it also carried within it the seeds of change in the military sphere that were to sprout and grow in the French Revolution less than two decades later. It was, in this sense, a war of transition between the epoch of limited wars fought by professional armies and people’s wars fought by the “nation in arms.”
Our first national army, the Continental Army, was created to fight the Revolution. As the forebear of the United States Army of today, the Continental Army established many of the traditions and practices still honored in our service. The War of the American Revolution was, until Vietnam at least, the Army’s longest war. It is altogether fitting and proper then that the United States Army should pay particular attention to the study of its origins during the bicentennial years and commemorate the events of the Revolution in which the Continental Army and its adjunct, the militia, participated.
The purpose of this small volume is to provide a ready reference for such study and observance. The American Revolution has been intensively studied and written about in the two hundred years that have elapsed since 1775. There is much good scholarship as well as popular writing, both old and new, covering all aspects of the conflict and the political and social changes that accompanied it.