Drawingupon new research and scholarship, historian Paul Lockhart, author of thecritically acclaimed Revolutionary War biography The Drillmaster of ValleyForge , offers a penetrating reassessment of the first major engagement ofthe American Revolution.Read more...
Drawingupon new research and scholarship, historian Paul Lockhart, author of thecritically acclaimed Revolutionary War biography The Drillmaster of ValleyForge, offers a penetrating reassessment of the first major engagement ofthe American Revolution. In the tradition of David McCullough's 1776, Lockhart illuminates the Battle of Bunker Hill as a crucial event in thecreation of an American identity, dexterously interweaving the story of thispivotal pitched battle with two other momentous narratives: the creation ofAmerica's first army, and the rise of the man who led it, George Washington.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-02-28
- Reviewer: Staff
The strengths and weaknesses of the early Revolutionary War effort are illuminated in this stimulating history (the second this season, after Thomas Nelson's The Fire and the Sword) of the first engagement—and of the 1775 American siege of Boston. Historian Lockhart (The Drillmaster of Valley Forge) skillfully explains the factors that shaped it: the American blunder of fortifying Breed's Hill instead of the more defensible Bunker Hill; the British blunder of halting under fire instead of pressing home their bayonet charges; the ammunition shortfall on the American side that decided things; and the horrific British casualties. He sets the battle against a vivid portrait of the American army, a fractious, panicky, ill-disciplined force some of whose soldiers often walked off at the drop of a hat, but still managed to stand up to the vaunted Redcoats. (His account closes with an appalled George Washington taking over a camp that was the antithesis of Valley Forge.) Lockhart's shrewd, well-judged interpretation corrects myths about the battle and the men who fought it while doing full justice to their achievement in creating an army—and a nation—out of chaos. 17 b&w photos; 2 maps. (June)