George Washington s military strategy has been called bumbling at worst and brilliant at best. So which is it? Was George Washington a strategic genius or just lucky? So asks Dave R. Palmer in his new book, George Washington s Military Genius . Read more...
George Washington s military strategy has been called bumbling at worst and brilliant at best. So which is it? Was George Washington a strategic genius or just lucky? So asks Dave R. Palmer in his new book, George Washington s Military Genius. An updated edition of Palmer's earlier work, The Way of the Fox, George Washington s Military Genius breaks down the American Revolution into four phases and analyzes Washington's strategy during each phrase. "The British did not have to lose; the patriots did not have to triumph," writes Palmer as he proves without a doubt that Washington's continuously-changing military tactics were deliberate, strategic responses to the various phases of the war, not because he lacked a plan of action. Confronting the critics who say Washington's battlefield success and ultimate victories were a function of luck, George Washington's Military Genius proves why the father of our country also deserves the title of America's preeminent strategist."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-03-26
- Reviewer: Staff
Palmer, historian and former superintendent of West Point (George Washington: First in War), makes a convincing case that America is free, united, and governed by civilians because of Washington’s strategic foresight and tactical brilliance. No subsequent revolution in a dozen other nations ended so happily. Palmer pooh-poohs historians who describe Washington as a commander of limited ability who won by not losing, i.e., avoiding battles until the British grew tired of the struggle. Reviewing his generalship, Palmer maintains that Washington was aggressive and imaginative, willing to take risks but always aware of his ultimate goal. Palmer reminds readers that the Continental Congress launched the revolution beautifully but managed it dreadfully, growing increasingly faction ridden and ineffectual as the economy slid toward ruin. Washington remained loyal—perhaps his most impressive accomplishment—by keeping a restive army under control and quashing a rebellion among officers. This is a relentlessly admiring portrait, but Palmer has a critical historian’s eye for 18th-century war and politics, avoids uncritical worship of our founding fathers, and enjoys the advantage of a subject who was genuinely admirable. Maps. (May)