For those whose knowledge of the Revolutionary War is dated and obsolete, this book will set that war in a realistic perspective. I learned, albeit many years ago, that the Redcoats stood in formation and the Continentals mowed them down, and all was glorious. After reading about the tactics of war which were employed, I am sure to have my historical knowledge expanded and better versed in reality. That the British had spies in France and the colonies in order to set themselves one step ahead of the Continental Army is amazing to me. That the trash and rooms of Benjamin Franklin, then serving as Ambassador to France, were routinely searched so that missives could be hidden in the Tuileries Garden is astounding. Also, the brutal war engagements such as the Paoli Massacre wherein the British employed their triangular bayonets in a sneak attack against the camping continentals was a brutal, less romanticized view of the type of combat epitomizing warfare.
There is so much information in this book that this reader would have benefitted from an appendix with a biographical sketch of the participants. Those readers not familiar with the cast of characters can become confused. Since I did not know the names of the Generals of either army, I was left looking up information so that I could have context for the events. When biographical information was included in the text, like names and characteristics of wives, it served to interrupt the flow of the information and seemed out of place. Also, the charts displaying the movement of troops could have been clearer for those of us not conversant with battles. All in all, however, I learned quite a bit from this book and was grateful to learn the full name of the Marquis de Lafayette. It is interesting to learn that at many points, the war could have been decided in any direction. It is also interesting that France decided the outcome of the war. I did learn that the King was ready to make peace earlier in the battle. When one reads about the deprivations in the winter camp of Valley Forge, one comes to recognize what true patriotism means, which is so relevant to today, and that Washington set a high bar for a leadership standard.
|Author||Bob Drury • Tom Clavin|
|Page Count||417 pages|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|