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Publisher's Summary

Amid a great collection of scholarship and narrative history on the Revolutionary War and the American struggle for independence, there is a gaping hole - one that John Ferling's latest audiobook, Whirlwind, will fill. Books chronicling the revolution have largely ranged from multivolume tomes that appeal to scholars and the most serious general listeners to microhistories that necessarily gloss over swaths of Independence-era history with only cursory treatment.

Written in Ferling's engaging and narrative-driven style that made books like Independence and The Ascent of George Washington critical and commercial successes, Whirlwind is a fast-paced and scrupulously told one-volume history of this epochal time. Balancing social and political concerns of the period and perspectives of the average American revolutionary with a careful examination of the war itself, Ferling has crafted the ideal book for armchair military history buffs, a book about the causes of the American Revolution, the war that won it, and the meaning of the revolution overall.

Combining careful scholarship, arresting detail, and illustrative storytelling, Whirlwind is a unique and compelling addition to any collection of books on the American Revolution.

©2015 John Ferling (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Jodie
  • Middletown, NY, United States
  • 08-12-15

Thorough...I got a lot out of it.

I have an undergrad in American History, but I still learned a lot from this book. Interestingly enough, although I always knew how long the war lasted, this book put it into perspective for me. It must have been grueling for those living through the war - the men who were fighting lived in horrid conditions and the women and children they left at home suffered greatly as well. I put myself back in the time and wonder if I would have been strong enough to fight the crown and risk losing everything. Life was hard during this war. We owe our easy lives to all who sacrificed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Truly a Whirlwind read!

This book is perfect for this time of year the age of great challenges and sacrifices. After you hear this or read it you should take a patriotic trip to the countryside of Philly to feel the woods in which these men fought and struggled to begin our country.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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clear, easy to understand enjoyable

I had no trouble listening to this. the narrator had I had a pleasant clear voice.. the chapters progressed an easy to understand through line

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Comprehensive and engaging

Tremendous presentation of the Revolutionary war clear concise comprehensive and entertaining. More than a simple foundation complexities and nuances made very understandable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An amazing read for history nerds like me

Love this book!!! Well written and engaging, though punctuated by stretches that seem to deviate from the main important narrative. Helped me visualize the war and gave many new facts on the Founding Fathers. Great read! Highly recommended!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating, well-written book. HORRIBLE narrator.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. The narrator mispronounces ridiculous words. "Herth" for "hearth"? "Denzinens?" Seriously? I would, however, recommend a copy of the book, just not this recording.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Neil Hellegers?

ANYONE ELSE

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Good book poorly read

I knew little of the American Revolution. After reading Valiant Ambition I wanted to know more. I chose this book looking for a compromise between a book oriented heavily toward the military aspect or the political aspects. I think it did a good job of that.

My problem is that I found the narration to be abysmally bad. It was so bad that I had a hard time getting through the book. His voice is so flat and monotone I wondered if I accidentally bought a text-to-speech version. His habit of making long pauses in the reading to indicate quotations, then heavily accentuating the next section, was terribly jarring to my ears. Initially I kept wondering if there had been a malfunction. I was so distracted by the poor narration that I lost focus for long stretches of the book, and think I probably missed some important stuff as a result.

For that reason I recommend a different title about the war if what you want is an audio book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good story, bad narration

A well paced story of the causes and events of the American Revolution. The narration is difficult at times due to miss pronounced names and terminology not to mention slurs and occasional word replacements. For instance dr. Joseph Warren is referred to as physicist (text says physician), a novel profession in 1775!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • B Taub
  • Ann Arbor, MI United States
  • 07-12-16

History of the revolution but a bit dry in places

This book provided a good overview of the revolution and I learned a lot from it. For example, I never realized how pivotal the fighting in the South was to the ultimate victory. I, also, didn't realize that activity in the North was largely dormant after 1779.

However, I felt there were a few shortcomings:

1) It was a bit dry in places, particularly in the parts leading up to the war. This was, perhaps, necessary but it was long and it became hard to follow all the characters. I guess I could have used a bit more condensation of the prewar period.

2) I felt (although it might have been there and I just missed it) that the story glossed over a major point about taxation in the prewar colonies. There was a good deal said about how the colonists objected to this or that tax but I didn't hear anything about alternatives. The British were providing some services to the colonists and, presumably, the colonists saw the value in the services. So, how were they to be paid for? I'm sure the topic came up at the time and it could have used a bit more attention here.

3) Some reviewers complain about the narrator. To me his voice was pleasant and his reading style fine. My problem with him was that he seemed to badly mispronounce a number of words. I didn't catch it until a few chapters in but, then, almost every chapter had one or more fairly obvious mispronunciations.

Anyhow, the book wasn't my favorite but I am much more educated from having listened to it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a strong overview of the history of the American Revolution.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful