With a new introduction by David McCullough, 1776: The Illustrated Edition brings 140 powerful images and 37 removable replicas of source documents to this remarkable drama.
In 1776, David McCullough's bestselling account of a pivotal year in our nation's struggle, readers learned of the greatest defeats, providential fortune, and courageous triumphs of George Washington and his bedraggled army. Now, in 1776: The Illustrated Edition, the efforts of the Continental Army are made even more personal, as an excerpted version of the original book is paired with letters, maps, and seminal artwork. More than three dozen source documents — including a personal letter George Washington penned to Martha about his commission, a note informing the mother of a Continental soldier that her son has been taken prisoner, and a petition signed by Loyalists pledging their allegiance to the King — are re-created in uniquely designed envelopes throughout the book and secured with the congressional seal. Continue reading →
In 1775 General George Washington secretly armed a handful of small ships and sent them to sea against the world's mightiest navy.
From the author of the critically acclaimed Benedict Arnold's Navy, here is the story of how America's first commander-in-chief–whose previous military experience had been entirely on land–nursed the fledgling American Revolution through a season of stalemate by sending troops to sea. Mining previously overlooked sources, James L. Nelson's swiftly moving narrative shows that George Washington deliberately withheld knowledge of his tiny navy from the Continental Congress for more than two critical months, and that he did so precisely because he knew Congress would not approve.
Mr. Nelson has taken an episode that occupies no more than a few paragraphs in other histories of the Revolution and, with convincing research and vivid narrative style, turned it into an important, marvelously readable book."
–Thomas Fleming, author of The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle to Survive after Yorktown
"A gripping and fascinating book about the daring and heroic mariners who helped George Washington change the course of history and create a nation. Nelson wonderfully brings to life a largely forgotten but critically important piece of America's past."
–Eric Jay Dolin, author of Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America
"The political machinations are as exciting as the blood-stirring ship actions in this meticulously researched story of the shadowy beginnings of American might on the seas."
–John Druett, author of Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
One shining yet overlooked moment that changed the course of the Revolutionary War
In the opening months of 1781, General George Washington feared his army would fail to survive another campaign season. The spring and summer only served to reinforce his despair, but in late summer the changing circumstances of war presented a once-in-a-war opportunity for a French armada to hold off the mighty British navy while his own troops with French reinforcements drove Lord Cornwallis's forces to the Chesapeake. The Battle of the Capes would prove the only time the French ever fought the Royal Navy to a draw, and for the British army it was a catastrophe. Cornwallis confidently retreated to Yorktown, expecting to be evacuated by a British fleet that never arrived. In the end he had no choice but to surrender. Although the war sputtered on another two years, its outcome was never in doubt after Yorktown.
General Washington's Great Gamble is the story of the greatest naval engagement of the American Revolution. It is also a study in leadership, good and bad, political machinations and the wild, unpredictable circumstances that led to the extraordinary confluence of military and naval resources at that time and place.
Looking South; Sea Power for the General; Arnold; Copper Bottoms; Head of Elk; The Battle of Cape Henry; An Attempt to Conquer Virginia; Greene and Cornwallis: Looking North; The American Command; The Battle of Guilford Courthouse; Pyrrhic Victory; Reinforcing the Chesapeake; "[T]he enemy have turned so much of their attention to the Southern States…"; The Battle of Blandford; The British War at Sea; Juncture; "I am inclined to think well of York…"; The Promise of a Fleet; The Battle of Green Springs; The March on New York; An Operation to the Southward; The Arrival of De Grasse; The Battle of the Capes;Cornwallis Surrenders
Confronting the critics who say George Washington's victories were due to luck, not skill, Palmer proves why the father of our country also deserves the title of America's pre-eminent military strategist.