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Editorial Reviews

Why You Should Download This Audiobook: Many of us know Washington's river crossing simply as an image. David Hackett Fischer brings the image to life, exploring this iconic moment in American history with great insight and enthusiasm, so that we understand its importance to the events Washington was confronting at the time and its influence in inspiring the nascent republic from that moment on.

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize, History, 2005

This New York Times best seller is a thrilling account of one of the most pivotal moments in United States history. Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.

The “Pivotal Moments in American History” series seeks to unite the old and the new history, combining the insights and techniques of recent historiography with the power of traditional narrative. Each title has a strong narrative arc with drama, irony, suspense, and – most importantly – great characters who embody the human dimension of historical events. The general editors of “Pivotal Moments” are not just historians; they are popular writers themselves, and, in two cases, Pulitzer Prize winners: David Hackett Fischer, James M. McPherson, and David Greenberg. We hope you like your American History served up with verve, wit, and an eye for the telling detail!

©2004 David Hackett Fischer; (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

  • Pulitzer Prize Winner, History, 2005

"An impeccably researched, brilliantly executed military history." (Publishers Weekly)
"An eminent, readable historian, Fischer here delivers an outstanding analytical narrative....Fischer's exhaustive research, right down to the Americans' collection of supplies, captures the utter precariousness of the Americans' situation. A must-read for military history fans." (Booklist)

What members say

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  • Tom
  • Maplewood, NJ, United States
  • 11-10-11

Compelling history, not a novel

From the description and glowing reviews about this book, I was expecting it to "read" like historical fiction. It's more accurate and educational than historical fiction but not as engaging. With that said, Washington's Crossing was a very good listen, it held my attention and significantly broadened my knowledge.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Masterful!

It's easy to see why this book won a Pulitzer. Fisher is a master historian, and this is one of those cases where you may think you know the story, but you know only a smidgen. Fisher weaves the tale of events leading up to Trenton in illuminating fashion, and it actual crossing event is a fascinating story in and of itself - so many things went wrong that night. The portrait of Washington is illuminating, and the reader's respect for the man can only grow as one sees his wisdom, adaptability, and character shine through along with his humanity. There is still so much to be learned from him if we were only paying attention.

The story is so fascinating and rich in detail, I'm not sure I can even comment on the audio part. It must have been good because this was a "can't turn it off/put it down" experience.

As a history buff and occasional teacher, I highly recommend this book as well as Fisher's book on Champlain. Fisher is really a national treasure, in the same elite class of writers with David McCullough, Gary Wills, Ron Chernow, and Gordon Wood

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  • Story

Wonderful book

Before listening to this book, I wondered how good it could be if the entire subject was the few days directly around the crossing. How much can anybody say? However, I bought it on the strength of the reviews and my growing interest in the Revolutionary era.

It turns out that someone can write a very good book indeed! It actually starts in Boston, then follows Washington through the New York debacle and the New Jersey retreat. This is not filler; it's necessary background for the situation W. found himself in at Christmas, 1776. After an excellent description/analysis of the crossing, Fischer goes further and explains how the rest of that year's campaign in New Jersey followed from and expanded the victory at Trenton.

In short, the narrator was great, the book is a wonderful piece of historical writing, and it definitely increased my knowledge of the Revolutionary War and Washington as a leader.

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  • Performance
  • Story

The truth is better than the myth

What did you love best about Washington's Crossing?

This is not just the story of Washington's crossing.This a very interesting snapshot of the major players[who they are and how they got there] and events [the how and why of what has happened so far] in the American revolution.The amount of detailed information that I had only the sketchiest idea of was amazing.The great thing about this book is that the author spares you a lot of the minutetia that bogs down some history books and gives a good interesting story that continually had me saying to myself......that's interesting,I didn't know that etc.<br/>Most important is the significance and insights he gives you of the crossing itself .<br/>We all know the basics but supposing 300 years from now somebody was trying to explain to someone who just knew the basics of Pearl Harbor or Dolittle's raid on Japan or 911 or Gettysburg etc.......and did a very good job.......That's what this book is like...............<br/>If you enjoy history and a good story,listen to this one.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Washington.you realize even more what a great man he was.<br/>The other characters,like the Howe brothers,the Hessians ,various Americans are also very interesting

What does Nelson Runger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The difference between hearing a good story and reading a good book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Perhaps, My listens tend to be no longer than 30 to 45 minutes while traveling in my job.<br/>I actually enjoyed re-playing many of the chapters and passages again the next day after thinking about them.

  • Overall
  • MS
  • Plymouth, MA, United States
  • 08-17-11

Worth the ride across with Washington!

This book is a wonderful listen. You'll have a new respect for George Washington and the remarkable feats he accomplished. The pre and post crossing stories are great too. Runger first class job as narrator.

  • Overall

New Material Updated Research

Using "Washington's Crossing" as the nexus, the author develops the personalities and positions of the major players and then brings them together at the hub of the action. Several surprises; previously unpublished material, make this a great read. Don't hesitate...Washington didn't.

  • Overall

highly recommended

illuminating account of the early battles around new york and new jersey. well read and very entertaining. you will not be dissapointed.

  • Overall
  • Chris
  • Willits, CA, United States
  • 02-09-09

Problems...

Not a bad book, but my download was missing a good part of the end of the second file, which left out most of the batle of Princeton. Besides Audible's flaw (one of few) the author is fairly preachy and both the intro and conclusion are a bit long for my tastes. He seems to have the need to tells us the story and then explain to us what it means. I don't disagree with his conclusions, but I didn't need him to explain it to me.

  • Overall

Washington's Crossing

I love historical fiction, and this is the very best of its genre, a dramatic story splendidly told. Any American who listens to this will be chilled in the spine, both figuratively and empathically, as Fischer describes the incredible feats of perseverence and courage of the foot soldiers. But the greatest thrill is to hear of the indefatigable George Washington, who in the bleakest personal and national moment, had the brilliance and dash to conceive and lead the desperate, freezing but still faithful men in this remarkable and heroic enterprise. If you ever needed to know why he was the father of our country, this account gives ample justification.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • Wellsville, UT, USA
  • 11-03-06

Astounding

I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I finished it in three days!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful