22 Following


Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence

Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence - John Ferling unfortunately a new low in ebook descriptions-- book is 1/3rd footnotes and references. so it is not 700 pages, but a solid 450. however, the amazon.com special price of 1.99 erases most of any ill feeling.

crisply written; well-researched; flowing text. about as good as an eighteenth century war book can be, given that modern war books feature people who are more similar to us, whereas in the 18th century there's a bit of 'good sirr, if you woold bee so kindd as to resrain your troops from looting, I would be most obliged' going on.

plenty of month-by-month information on the course of the war, featuring the various mood shifts as Saratoga, New Jersey battles, Charleston (little discussed in US history texts; a patriot defeat) switches the sense of who is prevailing.

many uncanny parallels to modern nation building in iraq; same dilemmas of civilian sentiment vs. military efficacy.


23 June 2013 reread: reconfirm 4/5 with nice, professional, smooth prose lacking only the absolute 'heart-stopping' quality of Hastings or eyes-glued-to-the-page of Atkinson. good nice professional work, but I'm just not running to buy every Ferling. a good read for war buffs; and very readable despite the fact the war is 240 years old.

fun facts:

New York clearly Tory / Loyalist compared to rebel capital Philly; radical hotbed Boston. (I sorta suspected this already, but several acccounts in this book more or less confirm).

quebec/saratoga illustrating of people's support determining victory. clearly the americans wanted independence; clearly quebec was a bit too far.

charleston was clearly important battle.