Washington's Crossing (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Feb 12, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 576 pages
9 Reviews
Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia. Yet, as David Hackett Fischer recounts in this riveting history, George Washington--and many other Americans--refused to let the Revolution die. On Christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. The Americans held off a counterattack by Lord Cornwallis's best troops, then were almost trapped by the British force. Under cover of night, Washington's men stole behind the enemy and struck them again, defeating a brigade at Princeton. The British were badly shaken. In twelve weeks of winter fighting, their army suffered severe damage, their hold on New Jersey was broken, and their strategy was ruined. Fischer's richly textured narrative reveals the crucial role of contingency in these events. We see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficult choices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides. While British and German forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. The startling success of Washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning.
  

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2004
Really good explanation of how the Battle of Trenton might have won the war for America. Detailed descriptions of the key people helped show why they acted as they did. Good choice.

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Contents

The Rebels
8
The Regulars
32
The Hessians
52
The Plan of the Campaign
67
The Fall of New York
82
The Retreat
116
The Crisis
139
The Occupation
161
The Bridge
291
Two Councils
309
The Battle at Princeton
325
Aftermath
347
Conclusion
364
Appendices
381
Historiography
426
Bibliography
460

The Opportunity
183
The River
207
The March
222
The Surprise
235
Hard Choices
264
Good Ground
278
Abbreviations
488
Notes
489
Sources for Maps
546
Acknowledgments
548
Index
552
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

David Hackett Fischer is University Professor at Brandeis University, and the author of such acclaimed volumes as Albion's Seed, The Great Wave, Paul Revere's Ride and Liberty and Freedom

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