cover image Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes

Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes

Christopher Hibbert. W. W. Norton & Company, $29.95 (375pp) ISBN 978-0-393-02895-9

British historian Hibbert's narrative of the War of Independence from the British and Loyalist viewpoint is lively, beautifully written and freshly informative. Tracing events from the colonists' unexpected outrage over the 1765 Stamp Act to the Treaty of Paris in 1783, he describes the bitter foreign policy debates in London and the escalating logistic difficulties of supporting a war in North America while conducting far-flung campaigns against the French and Spanish as well. In his evenhanded account of operations from Canada to the Carolinas, Hibbert analyzes British attempts to achieve a unified strategy against the rebels, and brings into focus the ideological confusion and political disunity that hampered the American cause throughout the eight-year struggle. The author lays more stress on French intervention in accounting for the ultimate American triumph than our historians are wont to do. He also points out that the 1781 battle of Coppens was one of the few times the Redcoats were tactically outwitted. Photos. (Aug.)