Fischer removes the myth from the typical retelling of this amazing military victory. And he provides context of the war to that point. And great work of history, well told and well narrated.
Some of the best parts of the book consisted of the level of detail provided on each of the armies. The background information given consisted mostly of why the British and Hessian armies were more superior to our own. The armies were built up in great details ranging from how efficiently they made camp and stayed clean to their cultures revolving around military careers and lifestyles. I was completely unaware of how big of a part the Hessian armies played in the war, or even that rent-a-armies were a primary source of soldiers for the British force.
As noted in the title, obviously Washington's crossing into Trenton was the most exciting. Hearing how the tattered American army crossed a seemingly impassible Delaware to turn the tide of the war was genuinely exciting.
The narrator had a certain cadence to his reading of this book that I found very annoying. This is the first narrator I've come upon among the many audio books I've listened to that I just couldn't get into. Every time he said 1776 (which was obviously a lot), I wanted to turn the book off. Oddly enough, at the end when he discusses the topic with the author, I found him much more tolerable. His reading style is just not my cup of tea.
Very interesting book which provides a great history of the first year of war. I was hoping for more details of the entire Revolutionary War, but the book ends just as America turns the tide of the war in the winter campaign of 1776-1777. You'll have to read additional books to find out the details of the rest of the war. All in all, it's worth a listening especially if you don't have a problem with the narrator.
Overall this is a great book with just about every kind of detail you could hope for from this fascinating time in history. The only word of warning is that if you are strictly looking for a story, you may find this a little cluttered. If you want to know a ton of cool details and story, like how each army psychologically trained and punished their troops, this is one of the best books you'll find.
In our long audiobook history (yes, all the way back to cassettes), this is the only book my wife and I have finished and immediately begun again. It is that good.
We would love to have audiobook access to ALL his works. The research is of extremely high quality, and Fischer has a true gift for bringing the people and events about which he writes into vivid focus.
Nelson Runger's narrations are always superb, even when his source material is not.
I read this book for Strategy and War class and surprised. I usually read science fiction or technical books.
Fischer is my favorite writer of history, though this book held fewer surprises (events unknown to me) than my all-time favorite non-fiction work, _Albion's Seed_, also by Fischer.
Using untold journals and diaries, plus pensioner's narratives housed in the National Archives, Fischer brings to life events and people that shaped the war, and without too great an exaggeration, our lives today. I will be a bit political here, and add that, in my opinion, Washington and the Continental Congress would be appalled and ashamed of American conduct in the Iraq war.
Although Nelson Runger did a much better job in narrating this book than he did in _The Path Between the Seas_ by David McCullough, there must be a better history reader available. Only once during this long book did I feel like he was speaking through a mouth full of saliva. Don't audio books use directors?
Pursuing my MBA.
the (militia) riflemen: these men were absolutely free and would die before seeing liberty taken from them
mouth noise aaaarrrggggg
I was anticipating the next battle, the next feud, the next crisis. Beyond that I grew frustrated at the narrators use of the dramatic pause for (seemingly) every mark of punctuation. Also, there was a tremendous amount of "mouth noises" i.e. loud sighing, smacking lips.
Despite my frustration with the narrator, the writing quality coupled with the attention to detail made the book well worth the inconveniences. I commend the authors research and accuracy.
If you like the Revolutionary War, this covers a time period rarely written about:
from the Battle of Long Island to the Surprise attack on Trenton.
However, the writing style is very poor with lots of repetition.
The author writes a good basic narrative but then sidetracks from time to time into discussions of aspects of the war that are dry and boring.
He repeats quotes from various characters.
Not one of his better efforts
The reader was o.k.. It was not the reader but the writing that I disliked.
I love history. This book reads like a history text book which is interesting but mostly facts/data. However, I was hoping for a book that gave personal insight into Washington, his life, who he was and the reasons behind his decisions. Thus said, I was fascinated by the history of the painting and the stories behind each countries involvement. I had no idea about the past history of English invasions world wide prior to 1776, very interesting.
Enormously detailed, yet completely gripping, this work brings to life an incredibly important, yet often overlooked, chapter in our nation's history