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

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 Read More

Book Review of “Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution through British Eyes”

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter This is one of two books at the Washington Crossing Historic Park gift shop that tell the story of the Revolution from the British point of view. The other is The Men Who Lost America by Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy, previously reviewed by yours truly and highly recommended. This work is written in a lively style that is as entertaining as it is informative, particularly with respect to the various personages—American as well as British—that the author examines. Hibbert’s narrative flows nicely throughout his thoroughly detailed and comprehensive account of the Read More

Book Review of “Igniting the American Revolution”

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter Derek Beck has produced a highly readable and meticulously researched account of the incipient stages of the Revolution, beginning with the Boston Tea Party in December 1773 and culminating with the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. The extent of his scholarly investigation into this subject is reflected by the almost 200 pages in this volume devoted to appendices, notes, and bibliographic references. His prose is taut, his sources many, and his portrayal of the relevant events vivid and comprehensive. Beck’s narrative is replete with all the details that Read More

Book Review of “Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence”

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter It is hard to imagine a better single-volume military history of the Revolution than John Ferling’s account. This is a “page turner” — comprehensive in scope, thorough and detailed in its coverage, fair and balanced in its judgments — a work that unquestionably belongs in the library of any self-respecting Rev War buff. This reader particularly appreciated the cogent analysis in the concluding chapter of the reasons for the outcome of the struggle, with its attention to both the American and British sides of the equation and a carefully considered Read More

Book Review of “An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America”

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter Tragedy. This was the inevitable outcome of Great Britain’s North American policy in the early 1770s, as Nick Bunker laments in his superbly written and penetrating analysis of the road to revolution that focuses on the three-year period immediately preceding Lexington and Concord. It was a tragedy that took the form of an eight-year-long military conflict in which, as the author observes, “on the British side at least twenty thousand soldiers and sailors lost their lives in America, the West Indies, or at sea, in battle or dying in their Read More

Sickness and Vaccines During the Revolutionary War

Though the world is currently buzzing with talk of symptoms, infection rates, and incubation periods, sickness and disease are fundamental pieces of human history. The time of General George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River is no exception. Sadly, more soldiers died from illness and disease than on the battlefield during the Revolutionary War. In fact, the graves behind the Thompson-Neely House are those of soldiers who died of illness during encampment, including Captain Lieutenant James Moore. In the words of Alexander Hamilton, Moore “died the 25th of December, after a short but excruciating fit of illness.” No matter the illness, Read More

Book Review of “George Washington: A Life”

Reviewed by David Price, Washington Crossing Historic Park Historical Interpreter Although Ron Chernow’s weighty tome is not for every reader, anyone wanting to discover the flesh-and-blood man behind the Washington legend need look no further than this Pulitzer Prize-winning account. Chernow’s elegant prose brilliantly captures America’s elusive “First Hero.” His Washington is an individual of driving ambition but modest public persona. Someone who experienced powerful emotions but publicly maintained an aloof and dignified demeanor; a shrewd businessman who struggled in his quest for financial security; a demanding slaveholder who became the only “founding father” to free those he held in Read More

A Taste of Early America: To Fricasey Chickens

The Original Recipe Skin them and cut them in small Pieces, wash them in warm Water, and then dry them very clean with a Cloth, season them with Pepper and Salt, and then put them into a Stew Pan with a little fair Water, and a good Piece of Butter, a little Lemon Pickle, or half a Lemon, a Glass of White Wine, one Anchovy, a little Mace and Nutmeg, an Onion stuck with Cloves, a Bunch of Lemon Thyme and sweet Marjoram, let them stew together ’till you Chickens are tender, and then lay them on your dish, thicken Read More

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