When the first edition of this highly successful volume appeared in 1982, the proponents of the "new" military history were just gaining full momentum. This group of scholars sought to reach beyond the traditional focus of military studies -- the flow of guns, combat, and tactics that influenced the immediate outcome of battles and martial conflicts, often with little reference to broader historical contexts. Believing that one cannot fully appreciate the Revolution without reckoning with the War for Independence and its influence in the shaping of the new American republic, Martin and Lender moved beyond the deeply ingrained national mythology about the essence of the war effort, so neatly personified by the imagery of the embattled freehold farmer as the quintessential warrior of the Revolution. Then they broke with tradition again by integrating -- instead of keeping separate-- the fascinating history of the real Continental army into the mainstream of writing about the nation making experience of the United States. In the process of revising their now-classic text, Martin and Lender drew on their own work as well as the invaluable outpouring of new scholarship that has emerged over the course of the last two decades. Wherever necessary, they questioned previous arguments and conclusions to render a meaningful new edition that is certain to receive the same kind of positive reception -- and widespread acceptance -- enjoyed by its predecessor. Also new to the second edition is a new map, a bank of illustrations, a Note on Revolutionary War History and Historiography, and a fully revamped Bibliographical Essay, making A Respectable Army essential reading for anyone enrolled in the U.S. history survey or specialised courses in colonial or military history or the American Revolution.
James Kirby Martin is Distinguished University Professor of History at the University of Houston and is the author of many books, including the award-winning Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered.
Mark Edward Lender is Professor of History and Chairman of the History Department a Kean University. He has written widely on early American military and social history, and his books include the award-winning Citizen Soldier: The Revolutionary War Journal of Joseph Bloomfield and Drinking in America: A History (both with James Kirby Martin).