Blood of Tyrants reveals the surprising details of our Founding Fathers’ approach to government and this history’s impact on today. Delving into the forgottenand often luridfacts of the Revolutionary War, Logan Beirne focuses on the nation’s first commander in chief, George Washington, as he shaped the very meaning of the United States Constitution in the heat of battle.
Key episodes illustrate how the Founders dealt with thorny wartime issues: Who decides war strategy? When should we use military tribunals over civilian trials? Should we inflict harsh treatment on enemy captives if it means saving American lives? How do we protect citizens’ rights when the nation is struggling to defend itself? Beirne finds evidence in previously-unexplored documents such as General Washington’s letters debating torture, an eyewitness account of the military tribunal that executed a British prisoner, Founders’ letters warning against government debt, and communications pointing to a power struggle between Washington and the Continental Congress. Continue reading →
A well-disciplined army was vital to win American independence, but policing soldiers during the Revolution presented challenges. George Washington’s Enforcers: Policing the Continental Army examines how justice was left to the overlapping duties of special army personnel and how an improvised police force imposed rules and regulations on the common soldier. Historian Harry M. Ward describes these methods of police enforcement, emphasizing the brutality experienced by the enlisted men who were punished severely for even light transgressions. This volume explores the influences that shaped army practice and the quality of the soldiery, the enforcement of military justice, the use of guards as military police, and the application of punishment.
Washington’s army, which adopted the organization and justice code of the British army, labored under the direction of ill-trained and arrogant officers. Ward relates how the enlisted men, who had a propensity for troublemaking and desertion, not only were victims of the double standard that existed between officers and regular troops but also lacked legal protection in the army. The enforcement of military justice afforded the accused with little due process support. Continue reading →
Before he became “the Father of our Country,” George Washington was the Father of the American Army. He took an army that had no experience, no tradition, and no training, and fought a protracted war against the best, most disciplined force in the world—the British Army. Deftly handling the political realm, Washington convinced Congress to keep his army supplied—a difficult task when the country was really just a loose confederation of states with no power to tax.
Washington influenced every phase of the Revolutionary war, from beginning to end. He left his mark with strategies and a vision of the Revolution as a war of attrition. His offenses were as brilliant as they were unpredictable, such as his legendary Christmas Day strike at Trenton, and a bold foray through the fog to nearly drive the British from the field at Germantown. It was an aggressive attack that helped convince the French that the American Army was worth supporting. In Washington, award-winning author Gerald M. Carbone argues that it is this sort of fearless but not reckless, spontaneous but calculated, offensive that Washington should be remembered for–as a leader not of infallibility but of greatness.
From 1775 through 1777, George Washington and Benedict Arnold were America’s two most celebrated warriors. Their earlier lives had surprisingly parallel paths. They were strong leaders in combat, they admired and respected each other, and they even shared common enemies. Yet one became our greatest hero and the other our most notorious traitor. Why?
In the new paperback edition of George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots, author and military historian Dave Palmer reveals the answer: character. In this fascinating and unique dual biography, Palmer also shows:
How Arnold’s treason actually helped the Patriot cause
Why Arnold and Washington’s amazingly similar backgrounds, family influences, youthful experiences, and selfmade” status led to strikingly different results in their lives
How in four welldefined steps Arnold went from hero to traitor Continue reading →