Boswell and the American Geographical Society Library presents Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Hurricane's Eye, on Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 pm. Registration required at philbrickmke.bpt.me.— Boswell Book Company
Philbrick has the gift of being both a strong historian and a smooth storyteller. This is the story of how a complex and extraordinary set of circumstances came together during the pivotal year 1781, finally allowing Washington to defeat the British and establish a new nation. As the leader of the Continental Army, the local militias, and European allies, Washington faced incredibly difficult challenges such as slow communication, a loose confederation of states who refused to fully fund the war, and the varied interests of the groups under his command. He understood that until the French navy could protect coastal cities from the British fleet, he would never be able to win on the ground, but coordinating these efforts had failed for years. The detail in Philbrick's research is excellent, with effective maps and diagrams helping to clarify troop movements, battles, and naval tactics. Even more impressive is the way Philbrick uses a wealth of primary source materials to reveal the personalities of iconic leaders such as Washington, whose presence, dignity, affability, and remarkable focus under pressure made him the beloved "father of our country." American history fans will see Washington, Cornwallis, Lafayette, and many others with fresh eyes.— Tim McCarthy
The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Valiant Ambition
In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake--fought without a single American ship--made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.
In a narrative that moves from Washington's headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette's brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.
About the Author
Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award; Mayflower, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Valiant Ambition, winner of the George Washington Prize; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award; Sea of Glory; The Last Stand; Why Read Moby Dick?; Away Off Shore; and Second Wind.
"A tense, richly detailed narrative of the American Revolution...Philbrick reprises the protagonists of his last history of the War of Independence in a meticulously researched recounting of the events leading up to the colonists' victory at the Battle of Yorktown...Philbrick, a sailor himself, recounts the strategic maneuvering involved in the many naval encounters: ships' positions, wind direction and strength, and the "disorienting cloud of fire and smoke" that often imperiled the fleet."—Kirkus Reviews
"Another insightful and accessible account…This thought-provoking history will deepen readers’ understanding of how the U.S. achieved its independence.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Philbrick manages to impart the immediacy of breaking news to his descriptions of marches, skirmishes and battles...He places the reader in the midst of the fray."—Bookpage
"All readers interested in the Revolutionary War, and especially fans of naval history, will find Philbrick's fresh account rewarding, right through the epilogue."—Booklist
Praise for Valiant Ambition:
"Clear and insightful, it consolidates his reputation as one of America's foremost practitioners of narrative nonfiction." —The Wall Street Journal
"May be one of the greatest what-if books of the age--a volume that turns one of America's best-known narratives on its head."—The Boston Globe
"A suspenseful, richly detailed, and deeply researched book"—The New York Review of Books
"History at its most compelling: political machinations, military jostling and outright treachery. And Philbrick's vivid writing brings the whistling cannon balls and half-frozen soldiers to life (and death) in vivid detail."—The Seattle Times
"The near-tragic nature of the drama hinges not on any military secrets Arnold gave to the British but on an open secret: the weakness of the patriot cause....Arnold's betrayal still makes for great drama, proving once again that the supposed villains of a story are usually the most interesting."—The New York Times Book Review
"Philbrick wants his readers to experience the terror, the suffering and the adrenaline rush of battle, and he wants us to grit our teeth at our early politicians who, by their pettiness and shortsightedness, shape military events as profoundly as generals and admirals do. Finally, he reveals the emotional and physical cost of war on colonial society. He succeeds on all fronts."—The Washington Post
Praise for Bunker Hill:
"A masterpiece of narrative and perspective."—The Boston Globe
"A tour de force."—Chicago Tribune
"Popular history at its best--a taut narrative with a novelist's touch, grounded in careful research."—Miami Herald
"A story that resonates with leadership lessons for all times."—Walter Isaacson, The Washington Post