Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia.
Yet, as David Hackett Fischer recounts in this riveting history, George Washington--and many other Americans--refused to let the Revolution die. On Christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. The Americans held off a counterattack by Lord Cornwallis's best troops, then were almost trapped by the British force. Under cover of night, Washington's men stole behind the enemy and struck them again, defeating a brigade at Princeton. The British were badly shaken. In twelve weeks of winter fighting, their army suffered severe damage, their hold on New Jersey was broken, and their strategy was ruined.
Fischer's richly textured narrative reveals the crucial role of contingency in these events. We see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficult choices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides. While British and German forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. The startling success of Washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning.
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David Hackett Fischer is University Professor at Brandeis University, and the author of such acclaimed volumes as Albion's Seed, The Great Wave, Paul Revere's Ride and Liberty and Freedom
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Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Mint!!. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000010143
Book Description Oxford University Press, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "A model of modern historical writing."--National Review"Fischer''s vision of the crossing is every bit the masterpiece Leutze''s is. The most dramatic moments come as the history Fischer presents outshines the myths you''ve been told. The Hessians for example, were not drunk on Christmas ale that night. And they were highly skilled, significantly more experienced than their American adversaries. Even Fischer, after 42 years of teaching American history, was surprised to learn how close the Americans came tolosing. But perhaps most valuable is Fischer''s portrait of Washington. Instead of presenting the Napoleonic hero of the painting, he shows a proud youth who evolved into a humble democratic leader. (The moment when Washington weeps as he watches the Americans surrender in New York is especiallypoignant.)"--Newsweek"Fischer''s thoughtful account describes how Washington, in a frantic, desperate month, turned his collection of troops into a professional force, not by emulating the Europeans but by coming up with a model that was distinctly American."--The New Yorker"In a fascinating narrative of the moves and countermoves of American, British, and Hessian forces, Fischer persuades us that the war itself was the source of political and social developments that continue to this day. His mastery of the historian''s craft enables him to embody his argument in telling us what happened and who it happened to, taking care not to clog the story with lengthy didactic interruptions. He thus resuscitates Washington''s reputation as afield general and at the same time demonstrates his role in establishing an American way of warfare and in fixing the place of the military in the republic that the Revolution created."--Edmund S. Morgan, The New York Review of Books"In Fischer''s narrative, the reader.cannot help but be caught up by the spirit of these events. Washington''s Crossing is history at its best, fascinating in its details, magisterial in its sweep. Superb features.add depth and insight to Fischer''s narrative."--Boston Globe"''Washington''s Crossing'' is a highly realistic and wonderfully readable narrative.that corrects all the inaccuracies in the Leutze painting but preserves the overarching sense of drama. Fischer has devised a storytelling technique that combines old and new methods in a winning way.providing an overarching picture of the way armies move, with a genuine sense of what it looks and feels like to face a bayonet charge or to witness the man abreast of youdisemboweled by a cannonball. Fischer''s ability to combine the panoramic with the palpable is unparalleled in giving us a glimpse of what warfare back then was really like."--Joseph J. Ellis, The New York Times Book Review[NYTBR continued]"For reasons beyond my comprehension, there has never been a great film about the War of Independence. The Civil War, World War I, World War II and Vietnam have all been captured memorably, but the American Revolution seems to resist cinematic treatment. More than any other book, ''Washington''s Crossing'' provides the opportunity to correct this strange oversight, for in a confined chronological space we have the makings of both ''Patton'' and ''Saving Private Ryan,'' starring none other thanGeorge Washington. Fischer has provided the script. And it''s all true."--Joseph J. Ellis, The New York Times Book Review"A vivid, fast-paced narrative that is further characterized by impressive research and new interpretations. Washington''s crossing that stormy night has never been told with more clarity or stirring detail."--Chicago Tribune"A tale told with gusto, punctuated by finely rendered accounts of battles and tactics. If it remains part of the historian''s obligation to make scholarly writing accessible beyond the academy, David Hackett Fischer deserves to be recognized for a job well done. Not least because it helps us understand anew a great American. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0195170342
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