Book Review of “The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire”

April 27th, 2020 On Our Shelves

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter

Any serious “Rev War Buff” would do well to explore this engaging and deeply important account of the effort made by Great Britain’s military and civilian leadership to defeat America’s bid for independence.

The author makes a persuasive case that George III, Lord North, George Germain, the Howe brothers, Burgoyne, Clinton, Cornwallis, and others waged a skillful, if ultimately unsuccessful, military campaign to preserve the British Empire in North America, and—notwithstanding that failure—largely prevailed in the co-occurring global conflict between Britain and its French and Spanish rivals, reaping victories against their enemies in the West Indies, Gibraltar, India and the Atlantic.

This is a terrific work of history that tells a tale which needs telling—the story of the other side in the Revolution.

By doing so, it enriches our understanding of the reasons why the “Glorious Cause” triumphed, which arguably owed less to British incompetence than to the vast expanse of territory Britain was seeking to conquer and the fact that America did not have to win battles to “win” the war, but only needed to persevere until Britain’s willingness to expend its blood and treasure was exhausted.