Almost A Miracle The American Victory in the War of Independence

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-03
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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In this gripping chronicle of America's struggle for independence, award-winning historian John Ferling transports readers to the grim realities of that war, capturing an eight-year conflict filled with heroism, suffering, cowardice, betrayal, and fierce dedication. As Ferling demonstrates, it was a war that America came much closer to losing than is now usually remembered. General George Washington put it best when he said that the American victory was "little short of a standing miracle." Almost a Miracle offers an illuminating portrait of America's triumph, offering vivid descriptions of all the major engagements, from the first shots fired on Lexington Green to the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, revealing how these battles often hinged on intangibles such as leadership under fire, heroism, good fortune, blunders, tenacity, and surprise. Ferling paints sharp-eyed portraits of the key figures in the war, including General Washington and other American officers and civilian leaders. Some do not always measure up to their iconic reputations, including Washington himself. The book also examines the many faceless men who soldiered, often for years on end, braving untold dangers and enduring abounding miseries. The author explains why they served and sacrificed, and sees them as the forgotten heroes who won American independence.

Author Biography

John Ferling brings to this book nearly forty years of experience as a historian of early America. He is the author of nine books and numerous articles on the American Revolution and early American wars, and has appeared in four television documentaries devoted to the Revolution and the War of Independence. His book A Leap in the Dark won the Fraunces Tavern Book Award as the year's best book on the American Revolution. He and his wife live in metropolitan Atlanta.

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Mapsp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Introduction: "My Country, My Honor, My Life": Bravery and Death in Warp. 1
Going to War, 1775-1776p. 13
"Fear Is Not an American Art": The Coming of the Warp. 15
"A Loss That Is Greater Than We Can Bear": Going to Warp. 34
Choices, 1775p. 61
The War in the North, 1776-1779p. 73
"Hastening Fast to a Crisis": June 1775-June 1776p. 75
Choices, 1776p. 112
"Knock Him Up for the Campaign": The Battle for New York, 1776p. 120
"This Hour of Adversity": To the End of 1776p. 156
Choices, 1777p. 187
"The Caprice of War": America's Pivotal Victory at Saratogap. 204
"We Rallied and Broke": The Campaign for Philadelphia, September-December 1777p. 242
Choices, 1778p. 259
"A Respectable Army": The Grim Year, 1778p. 274
Choices, 1779p. 315
"A Band of Brotherhood": The Soldiers, the Army, and the Forgotten War in 1779p. 326
"We Have Occasioned a Good Deal of Terror": The War at Seap. 359
Choices, 1780p. 392
The War in the South, 1780-1781p. 407
"A Year Filled With Our Disgraces": Defeat in the South, 1780p. 409
"Southern Means and Southern Exertions": Hope and Despair, June-December 1780p. 444
Choices, 1781p. 468
"Bloody and Severe": The Pivotal Southern War, Early 1781p. 477
"We Are Suspended in the Balance": Spring and Summer 1781p. 501
American Victory, 1781-1783p. 521
"America Is Ours": Victory at Yorktown, 1781p. 523
Choices, 1782p. 540
"May We Have Peace in Our Time": Peace and Demobilization, 1782-1783p. 546
"Little Short of a Miracle": Accounting for America's Victoryp. 562
Abbreviationsp. 576
Notesp. 578
Bibliographyp. 653
Indexp. 663
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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