“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
Authors: Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy
Publisher: Yale University Press
Expected Release Date: July 24, 2013
Summary from Barnes & Noble:
The loss of America was a stunning and unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders in Britain must have been to blame, but were they? This intriguing book makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, historian Andrew O’Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory.
In interlinked biographical chapters, the author follows the course of the war from the perspectives of King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, military leaders including General Burgoyne, the Earl of Sandwich, and others who, for the most part, led ably and even brilliantly. Victories were frequent, and in fact the British conquered every American city at some stage of the Revolutionary War. Yet roiling political complexities at home, combined with the fervency of the fighting Americans, proved fatal to the British war effort. The book concludes with a penetrating assessment of the years after Yorktown, when the British achieved victories against the French and Spanish, thereby keeping intact what remained of the British Empire.
Maybe it’s the minor in history or the heavy pro-American slant I eagerly studied in military history that drive me to see things from another perspective. I began to discover that completely different view while serving with British officers during my various NATO missions. So it’s refreshing to see an academic opinion on the matter, and one presented with a more entertaining flow than you’d see in a college text. While I have a penchant for fiction, I’m dedicated to lifelong learning so it’s great to be able to enjoy the process – and this seems to be the best of both worlds.