The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775–1777: Volume One of the Revolution Trilogy

Rick Atkinson. Holt, $40 (800p) ISBN 978-1-627790-43-7
Pulitzer Prize winner Atkinson (The Liberation Trilogy) replicates his previous books’ success in this captivatingly granular look at the American Revolution from the increasing tension in the colonies in 1773 to the battles of Trenton and Princeton in 1777. Extensive research (including delving into the unpublished papers of King George III, only recently made available to scholars) allows Atkinson to recreate the past like few other popular historians. The result is a definitive survey of the first stage of the war, which would ultimately yield “two tectonic results”: the reduction of the British Empire by one-third, and the creation of the United States. By providing vivid portraits of even minor characters, Atkinson enables readers to feel the loss of individual lives on both sides of the conflict, and by providing memorable details—such as starving soldiers relishing a stew made out of a squirrel’s head and some candlewicks—he brings new life even to chapters of oft-told American history. Atkinson doesn’t shy away from noting the hypocrisy of the slave-owning founding fathers, and his mordant prose (the author of a letter advocating a belligerent attitude towards the colonials is described as having “the cocksure clarity of a man who slept in his own bed every night three thousand miles from trouble”) is another plus. This is a superlative treatment of the period. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/14/2019
Release date: 05/14/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-22555-9
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