American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781%E2%80%931783

William M. Fowler Jr. . Walker, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1706-1
Vivid descriptions of personalities from all camps and a spellbinding narrative prove that in the hands of accomplished author and academic Fowler (Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America), history need not be dull. He thrusts readers into the center of political and military machinations after Cornwallis's 1781 defeat at Yorktown. The British still held some major cities; George III asserted he would abdicate rather than grant American independence; peace and a stable American government were not assured outcomes. But Congress had no funds to pay the army; members favoring a stronger national government encouraged the officer corps, "the only viable national institution," to agitate for their pay. Highlighting George Washington's pivotal role, Fowler relates events leading to Washington's unannounced and unprecedented appearance at a general meeting of officers in 1783, which aborted moves toward mutiny. Those present reaffirmed their allegiance to Congress and country, preserving the army's respect for civilian authority. Even readers familiar with details like the establishment of a republic in Vermont and its flirtations with Canada will find fresh insights in this superb chronicle. 8 pages of b&w photos; 2 maps. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-8027-7808-6
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