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The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire Audiobook

The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire: The Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History

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 audiobook makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men historian Andrew O'Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve victory.
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Publisher's Summary

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 audiobook makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of 10 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 audiobook 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.

©2013 Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy (P)2013 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"[An] engaging study . . . based on an extensive reading of the vast literature and of many original sources." (Brendan Simms, The Wall Street Journal)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Matt 04-28-15
    Matt 04-28-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "It didn't lose me"
    What did you love best about The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire?

    Excellent story that was well researched, performed, and organized.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Always interesting or entertaining.


    Which character – as performed by Gildart Jackson – was your favorite?

    Most of them come off as sympathetic, though Lord North was especially so. When taunted by an opposition member with North's habit of sleeping in the House, “Even now, in the midst of these perils, the noble lord is asleep,” North replied, “I wish to God I were,”.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Moved to know as a longtime American History buff there is still plenty to learn.


    Any additional comments?

    Probably one of the best audiobooks I have ever read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodney W. Schmisseur Dallas TX 08-09-15
    Rodney W. Schmisseur Dallas TX 08-09-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting, but more a series of biographies"
    What did you love best about The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire?

    You are presented with a cavalcade of characters, starting with King George, Cornwallis, Burgoyne, etc., who led the British efforts during the American Revolution. It's very easy to jump for character to character as the features are self-contained and presented essentially from the start of the revolution (earlier if cogent) thru their deaths.


    What other book might you compare The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire to and why?

    Difficult to say -- perhaps books like "Hitler's Generals", "Churchill's Generals", etc.


    What about Gildart Jackson’s performance did you like?

    He provides an engaging narration, slipping into French where needed effortlessly and the British accent seemed to be almost obligatory for a book like this!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It's almost like a reference book or a "Biography Channel" for the British cast of characters for the American Revolution.


    Any additional comments?

    I was expecting something very different but I'm not disappointed at all. As the author lays out in the initial chapters, British knowledge of many of these individuals is limited -- I knew very little of the naval leaders, or some of the more scandalous affairs of these individuals during the Caribbean battles between France, Spain, and Britain during the war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy 05-05-15
    Nancy 05-05-15
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    "Pay Attention or You're a Goner"

    I first became aware of, and interested in, this book after hearing a podcast of Mr O'Shaughnessy speak to the Virginia Historical Society, which was quite good. I hurried to purchase the book which, at 21 hours in length AND featuring George Washington in a starring role, was right down my alley.

    I admit that I was riveted, or should I say, could have been riveted, by the story, had it been in a different format. The author chose to write it in acts, for lack of a better description. So we were always back and forth with 4 and and 2 and..., which was very distracting. We were talking about North and then Germaine and then suddenly, we were back at North. I was constantly saying, "wait... what?" I got lost very quickly and unless you pay close attention, so will you.

    That nik-pickery aside, who knew? Fascinating. The loss of America was completely unexpected and as an American, I am again amazed at the incredible victory which laid the bounty of America at our feet.

    Excellent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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