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1781

The Decisive Year of the Revolutionary War
1781: The Decisive Year of the Revolutionary War. Casemate. 2011. c.288p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781612000633. $32.95. HIST
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By the year 1781, an American victory in the struggle against the British Crown seemed far from likely; indeed, we seemed on the verge of total failure. Tonsetic, a retired U.S. Army officer with a doctorate in education, whose previous books are on the Vietnam War, makes one thing clear: it was a do-or-die moment for the young nation. With the capture of Charleston and Savannah, the British moved the seat of war to the loyalist-laden southern colonies. In the north, some of the most experienced Continental troops mutinied from lack of payment and over terms of enlistment. Tonsetic's account is primarily a military one, giving details of the battles fought by Gen. Nathanael Greene and Lord Charles Cornwallis. He aptly illustrates how all the pieces came together at Yorktown to make it such a brilliant, and quite unexpected, victory over the British.
VERDICT While the Revolutionary War scholar will find little new here, Tonsetic's writing style and detailed description will make this a good choice for those with a general knowledge of this period seeking a greater understanding of the war's sudden conclusion. Recommended for adult and teen military history lovers.

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