SOCIAL SCIENCES

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777

Holt. (Revolution Trilogy, Bk. 1). May 2019. 800p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781627790437. $40; ebk. ISBN 9781627790444. HIST
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OrangeReviewStarIn this first volume of the "Revolution Trilogy," Pulitzer Prize-winning Atkinson (An Army at Dawn) chronicles the first two years of the American War for Independence. He explains both sides of the conflict: Britain's determination to reduce its debt and uphold its financial and political status; and the staunch resistance by American radicals, merchants, tradesmen, and farmers to thwart British interference. In a compelling narrative that's exhaustively researched and documented, with background details and quotes from journal entries, personal and official correspondence, and other documents from American, British, and French participants at all levels—from kings and generals to infantrymen, Atkinson effectively relates a history that runs counter to the glorified "creation myth of the American republic." There were, of course, heroic actions, the blessings of good fortune, and the gruesomeness of battle, but also the humiliation and suffering caused by disease, cold, supply shortages, poor funding, cruel atrocities, plunder, rape, inexperienced and ineffective leadership, disunity, betrayal, and low morale.
VERDICT This graphic account will especially appeal to military history enthusiasts but is accessible for all readers seeking to experience the realities of the revolution.

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