The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman
This excellent book about the American Revolution has author Barbara Tuchman at her best. Noted historian whose other works include “A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century” as well as “The Guns of August”, a book about WW1 with all its blunders and madness, has put together a book that is easy to read and difficult to put down. The style of her writing is elegant and well crafted. Those who are used to simple sentences take hee: you may find her sentences frighteningly long and convoluted. There's nothing wrond with that: she's writing about a convoluted period in tghe history of the Unbited States. After all: big bird she ain't.
The book seeks the prelude to Independence and finds it in the fractious Dutch republic almost a hundred years before the shot that was heard around the world left the muzzel. . The War of Independence wasn’t so much won by George Washington et al. as it was lost by British incompetence and procrastination. A solid dose of financial, military and naval support from the French who had their own score to settle with Britain didn’t hurt matters either. The irony was that the revolution that the French monarchy so ardently supported in the Americas was going to set the stage for the French Revolution which would be responsible for the fall of the French royal family and turn France upside down.
The book includes a number of precise and relevant maps. The bibliography is immense.
A little slow at first but once we get away from the Dutch Republic “preamble” things heat up pretty fast. An interesting view of American past.
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