NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNathaniel Philbrick is a masterly storyteller. Here he seeks to elevate the naval battles between the French and British to a central place in the history of the American Revolution. He succeeds, marvelously.--The New York Times Book Review The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower. In the concluding volume of his acclaimed American Revolution series, Nathaniel Philbrick tells the thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War. In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake--fought without a single American ship--made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.
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- ISBN-13: 9780525426769
- ISBN-10: 0525426760
- Publisher: Viking
- Publish Date: October 2018
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.45 pounds
- Page Count: 384
In the Hurricane's Eye
Bestselling author and National Book Award winner Nathaniel Philbrick subtitles his latest history “The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown.” But it could just as accurately be, “the frustrations of George Washington.” Six years into the Revolutionary War, it was still a toss-up as to whether the American rebels or the British crown would prevail.
General Washington, still quartered in New York in 1781, realized that the revolutionaries’ success depended on the difficult task of coordinating with the French navy and persuading them to heed his strategies. But French intransigence wasn’t the totality of Washington’s worries. His troops were resentful at going unpaid, and the colonies were notoriously parsimonious in funding the larger war effort. Then there were the abiding distractions of the general’s inflamed gums, rotting teeth and failing eyesight.
Drawing on letters, journals and sea logs, Philbrick manages to impart the immediacy of breaking news to his descriptions of marches, skirmishes and battles. From describing crucial shifts in the wind during naval conflicts to detailing the unimaginable horror of war wounds, he places the reader in the midst of the fray. The successful three-week siege of Yorktown, Virginia, in the fall of 1781 effectively won the war for Washington and humbled his tenacious adversary Lord Cornwallis.
The most tragic figures, however, were the slaves who joined the British in a bid to ensure their own liberation. As the siege tightened, Cornwallis decided that “despite having promised the former slaves their freedom, dwindling provisions required that he jettison them from the fortress” and into the hands of their former masters.
In the Hurricane’s Eye is illustrated with an array of useful maps and a section that reveals what happened to the principal American, French and British players after the war.