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Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783

Weintraub, Stanley

68 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0743226879 / ISBN 13: 9780743226875
Published by Free Press, U.S.A., 2005
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Daniel Montemarano (Newfield, NJ, U.S.A.)

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1st Edition/1st Printimng. SIGNED and inscribed by author on a bookplate affixed to front end page. remainder mark on bottom. DJ has edge wear at corners. $28.00 price present on DJ flap. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 026297

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, ...

Publisher: Free Press, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good +

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

For generations, Americans have been taught to view the Revolutionary War as a heroic tale of resistance, exclusively from the perspective of the Continental army and the Founding Fathers. Now, in Iron Tears, master historian Stanley Weintraub offers the first account that examines the war from three divergent and distinct vantage points: the battlefields; the American leadership under George Washington; and -- most originally -- that of England, embroiled in controversy over the war. Colonial America was England's Vietnam.
Weintraub's multifaceted analysis will forever change and expand our view of the struggle. Although Washington's army, with France's help, won the war, it is equally significant -- both then and now -- that Britain lost it. The British found themselves overwhelmed by the geographic and time constraints that prevented their military from holding on to the eighteen-hundred-mile length of the thirteen colonies, from across three thousand miles of ocean during the cumbersome era of water travel. Many in London realized that American independence was only a matter of time. Yet the British were enveloped in a fantasy world of self-delusion as the war trudged along. The unyielding George III, who ultimately threatened abdication; his lethargic prime minister, Lord North; the First Lord of the Admiralty, the corrupt Earl of Sandwich, better remembered for his paired slices of bread; and the Secretary for America, Lord George Germain, an arrogant ex-general court-martialed for cowardice in an earlier war, formed a quartet that played out of tune. As opposition to and frustration with the failing war gradually increased in parliament, in the press, and in the afflicted mercantile sector, so did pacifist sentiment for and sympathy with their American cousins.
Iron Tears renders an unprecedented account of the fight for American independence through British eyes, while dramatically narrating the battles that were waged across the Atlantic from Lexington to Yorktown and beyond. As the general, whom the British snobbishly and demeaningly referred to as "Mr. Washington," rallied to keep his ragged and overmatched Continentals together and create a nation, "iron tears" fell from redcoat muskets and cannons, as well as from the demoralized eyes of the defeated British.

Review:

Iron Tears examines the Revolutionary War primarily from the perspective of British politicians, soldiers, citizens, and the royal court of King George III. In this enjoyable and enlightening book, American historian Stanley Weintraub looks at myopic King George and his ambition to hold the colonies at any price, discusses how antiwar opposition in Parliament gradually gained momentum, and studies the sentiments of the general population who were forced to pay heavy taxes to support the conflict, causing resentment and, in 1780, a riot. Despite such rumblings all around him, the insulated king failed to realize how much the situation in far-off America affected domestic issues in England and was shocked enough when he lost America that he considered abdicating his throne. Most British citizens did not take it nearly as hard; many, in fact, welcomed the chance to get back to business with the Americans, feeling that commerce had been interrupted long enough by an expensive and unnecessary war.

Weintraub also covers the battles on the other side of the Atlantic and offers profiles of the major players, particularly George Washington, who became a folk hero in Britain, earning the admiration of even those ardently against the American cause. The consequences of Britain's hiring of thousands of foreign mercenaries, some of which ended up deserting and settling permanently in America, are also discussed, along with the issue of why loyalists in the colonies failed to join the redcoats in significant numbers. Most importantly, in detailing the strategic and tactical mistakes made by Britain, the author highlights the various circumstances that greatly favored the rebellious colonies from the beginning, including the sheer vastness of America and the maddening logistical difficulties involved in sending soldiers, provisions, and messages across the ocean. Weintraub makes a compelling case that the mighty British Empire never really had a chance. --Shawn Carkonen

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