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Publisher's Summary

Between 1775 and 1783, some 200,000 Americans took up arms against the British Crown. Just over 6,800 of those men died in battle. About 25,000 became prisoners of war, most of them confined in New York City under conditions so atrocious that they perished by the thousands. Evidence suggests that at least 17,500 Americans may have died in these prisons---more than twice the number to die on the battlefield. It was in New York, not Boston or Philadelphia, where most Americans gave their lives for the cause of independence.

New York City became the jailhouse of the American Revolution because it was the principal base of the Crown's military operations. Beginning with the bumper crop of American captives taken during the 1776 invasion of New York, captured Americans were stuffed into a hastily assembled collection of public buildings, sugar houses, and prison ships. The prisoners were shockingly overcrowded and chronically underfed---those who escaped alive told of comrades so hungry they ate their own clothes and shoes.

Despite the extraordinary number of lives lost, Forgotten Patriots is the first-ever account of what took place in these hellholes. The result is a unique perspective on the Revolutionary War as well as a sobering commentary on how Americans have remembered our struggle for independence---and how much we have forgotten.

©2008 Edwin G. Burrows (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[A] very interesting and well-written book. Highly recommended." ( Library Journal Starred Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Phillip
  • GRANT, AL, United States
  • 05-15-09

Great audiobook

First, the narration is fabulous, as was the other book that I listened to that was narrated by Norman Deitz, The Drillmaster of Valley Forge. This book was very interesting and was easy to follow.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carroll
  • Hilo, HI, United States
  • 09-17-11

Unique untold story

Even for a Rev war history buff, the aspects of the HUGE number of colonial POWs held (brutally) by the British is very interesting... a good listen!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • B. Glynn
  • Naperville, IL United States
  • 09-21-12

Interesting perspective on the Revoluntary War

I had just finished listening to a book on George Washington's life, so I thought this would be a good tie in to the knowledge gained from that book. References to Gen. Washington are minimal in this book, but it does present an aspect of the Revoluntary War (behind the scenes look at the men captured by the enemy) that I had never given any thought to before. This narrative has also given me a perspective on Tory activities during this war that I was unaware of. That said, this book contains disturbing facts about how badly the American captives were treated by the Britisth, and goes on and on and on presenting those facts. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars, because I feel that there is valuable information presented, but it does get a bit dull at times, but then held my attention again in the last 3 chapters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling

This book tells a compelling tale of how social stratification and the politics of war influenced the treatment of prisioners during the American Revolution and how they were and are remembered.

Admittedly, my knowledge of the American Revolutionary War is abysmal. In school I learned that it happened, and that's about it (I obviously lived in a brilliant school district). There were no people (I don't even remember a discussion of Washington, and I live in a town named for the man!), dates, or locations, simply, "There was a war, we won."

Luckily, I have a geeky mom, unfortunately she's a product of the same school system, so the information she provided was spotty. Everything I know of the subject has been cobbled together over the years from books and visits to historical sites, all of which assumed a basic knowledge of the subject. All of this is to say that I had a bit of trouble piecing some of the information together, but that I don't think it is a problem with the book, but with the reader (listener). More importantly, it means that I was completely blown away by this story. I am ashamed that I not only knew so little, but that I knew nothing at all of the prisioners of war. It never occurred to me that they would have been treated so badly because they were viewed as traitors rather than opposing soldiers.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest interest in the American Revolutionary War. While I can't attest to the accuracy of the book, I can say there was nothing particularly suspect (to a person with limited knowledge on the subject).

The narration suited the material nicely, which is a far bigger compliment than it may appear.





1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

<br />

A great eye opener as to history not mentioned in school. A great read essential for historical reenactors and anyone else.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit too long

It's an untold story, horrific in every way. But after 6 hrs of listening, it's a bit overkill. Still, I recommend it just for its historical account of a murderous phase in the war for independence. And the black eye it gives the red coats.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • Mechanicsburg, PA, United States
  • 08-27-12

Loooonnnnngggggggg

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Detailed history teachers.

What could Edwin G. Burrows have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

edit half the book

Would you be willing to try another one of Norman Dietz’s performances?

maybe

What character would you cut from Forgotten Patriots?

no one character was the main person though out story, perhaps that why it lacked direction.

Any additional comments?

no

0 of 1 people found this review helpful