The British Are Coming (2019)
“The hour is fast approaching, on which the honor and success of this army,
and the safety of our bleeding country depend. Remember officers and soldiers,
that you are freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty.”
George Washington, August 23, 1776
What is the book about?
From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in the winter of 1777, American militiamen and the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves to be the wiliest of diplomats; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. The story also presents the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling.
Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson gives stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.
Why do I think it's worth reading?
You don’t win Pulitzer Prizes for history and journalism - as Rick Atkinson did - by either diluting the significance of historical events with drivel, or deluding the reader by sugarcoating the pain and trauma these events brought to the lives of ordinary people.
I never studied American history in school, since I grew up in South Africa. When Hannelie and I became U.S. citizens we had to demonstrate only “a basic understanding of U.S. history and government.” This is Atkinson’s first book on the American Revolution, and it brings the first 21 months of this nation-defining event truly to life.
What do you think?
Share your thoughts here on the blog once you start reading!
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