The British Are Coming

The British Are Coming

The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777

Book - 2018
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"Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other masterly books about World War II, has long been admired for his unparalleled ability to write deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative history. Now he turns his attention to a new war, and in the initial volume of the Revolution Trilogy he tells the story of the first twenty months of the bloody struggle to shake free of King George's shackles. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, the ragtag Continental Army takes on the world's most formidable fighting force and gradually finds the will and the way to win. It is a riveting saga populated by singular characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of how best to deploy artillery; Nathaniel Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes one of America's greatest battle captains; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves himself the nation's greatest diplomat; George Washington, the commander-in-chief who learns the difficult art of leadership amid the fire and smoke of the battlefield. And the British are here, too: we see the war through their eyes and their gunsights, and as a consequence the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels is all the more compelling. Full of fresh details and untold stories, The British Are Coming gives stirring new life to the first act of our country's creation drama. It is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. But once begun, the war for independence can have only one of two outcomes: death or victory."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781627790437
Characteristics: xviii, 776 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates ; illustrations ; 24 cm.


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Apr 28, 2020

I'm not a history buff, so I learned a lot about the Revolutionary War from this book, at least the early years of the war. The battles and the historical figures feel tangible, the suffering feels real. Just glad I can read about it in a book and not have to die in battle, or worse, get wounded and succumb in bed or get small pox and be thrown into a mass grave.

Dec 09, 2019

Most likely Mr. Atkinson completed the research for the trilogy before writing this first one, so the others should show up soon. I can’t wait: Like his ‘Liberation’ series it clarifies how and why things went the way they did, especially militarily, with the sweep of the big picture and in microscopic detail, quite readably. On the other hand he somewhat soft-pedals one of the reasons for the rebellion: Colonists were itching to go west and steal Indian lands, but Britain forbade such emigration for the sake of avoiding expensive Indian wars. Did R. A. find this aspect not well-enough documented to elaborate on, or was he downplaying a less than idealistic aspect? Hmm. Commander in Chief G. Washington was always good about stressing that the Continental Congress was the ultimate military authority; that body supported him in turn during feuds with rival generals—the future volume 2 will describe Horatio Gates saving the day with the Battle of Saratoga only to incur a lethal measure Washington’s envy. This chumminess makes sense when you consider that by appointing the delegate from Virginia Commander In Chief, Congress prevented any military junta from usurping their position. Perhaps it’s fair to say that all generals are political generals, but George W. made a habit of claiming credit for successful ideas that he had actually opposed—as with Dorchester Heights in this volume, or the war-winning action at Yorktown (presumably Volume 3). People who read lots of this sort of thing may be irked enough to point such behavior out to others. The lofty attitude was a pose, even if the courage and tenacity were real. Those who like literary sauce with their history will applaud Volume 1’s dramatic conclusion with the desperate counterattacks at Trenton and Princeton. Details of the treatment of rebel prisoners of war make one splutter with rage at Brittunculi. This here does not disappoint.

Oct 24, 2019

First volume of a planned trilogy. Pulitzer prize-winning author studies the military actions of the first two years of the colonies' battle for independence. Battle maps included.

Oct 06, 2019

Great book. Lots of detail from King George III original source material. Prospectives from the British adds to the story. I thought the Canadian invasion was well told, Arnold, Montgomery, et al. I have not come across such great detail before. Great overall use of source material to get at the real feelings about what was happening.

Sep 22, 2019

A great book covering many, many things not covered by most texts. Highly recommend this book.


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