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Book Review of “The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777”

May 14th, 2019 History,On Our Shelves

Rick Atkinson's "The British Are Coming"Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson has authored the first in a trilogy that chronicles the military history of the Revolution.

After producing three acclaimed volumes on the Allied European campaign in World War II (known as the “Liberation Trilogy”), this distinguished author has turned his attention to the struggle for independence in what promises to be collectively a seminal work in the voluminous literature of the Revolutionary War.

Atkinson’s narrative style is crisp and fast-paced; he tells his story with a refreshing energy and enthusiasm. This is a true page-turner for military history buffs generally and Rev War aficionados specifically. It covers a complex and lengthy subject in a comprehensive manner but does not weigh down the reader with a surfeit of detail or impenetrable prose that would otherwise make reading a book like this an unwelcome chore.

For those obsessed with the “Ten Crucial Days” of the Revolution, as many in the Washington Crossing Historic Park community understandably are (an offense to which this writer pleads guilty), Atkinson’s treatment of this pivotal moment in the conflict provides a satisfying climax to the first volume of his new trilogy, notwithstanding two or three details in regard to the period that warrant modification.

This is an important and worthy addition to any Rev War library and will easily whet one’s appetite for the next two books in this series.

David Price is the author of Rescuing the Revolution: Unsung Patriot Heroes and the Ten Crucial Days of America’s War for Independence (Knox Press, 2016) and The Road to Assunpink Creek: Liberty’s Desperate Hour and the Ten Crucial Days of the American Revolution (Knox Press, 2019). He is currently at work on a book about John Haslet and the Delaware Regiment of 1776.

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