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Valley Forge

A Novel
Series: Revolutionary War, Book 2
Length: 18 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (251 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In To Try Men's Souls, Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen cast a new light on the year 1776 and the man who would become the father of our nation, George Washington.

Valley Forge picks up the narrative a year after Washington’s triumphant surprise attack on Trenton, and much has changed since then. It’s the winter of 1777, and Washington’s battered, demoralized army retreats from Philadelphia. Arriving at Valley Forge, they discover that their repeated requests for a stockpile of food, winter clothing, and building tools have been ignored by Congress.

With no other options available, the men settle down for a season of agony. For weeks, the dwindling army lives under tents in the bitter cold. Food runs out. The men are on the point of collapse, while in Philadelphia the British, joined by Allen van Dorn, the Loyalist brother of the dead patriot, Jonathan van Dorn, live in luxury.

In spite of the suffering and deceit, Washington endures all, joined at last by a volunteer from Germany, Baron von Steuben. Von Steuben begins the hard task of recasting the army as a professional fighting force capable of facing the British head-on - something it has never accomplished before - and in the process he will change the course of history.

Valley Forge is a tour-de-force about endurance, survival, transformation, and rebirth. Washington and his Continental Army, against all odds, will be forged into a fighting force that will win a revolution.

©2010 Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding book overall.

Great writing, excellent story telling, excellent narration (with the exception of Martha Washington) her reading is bland, it of sync, it just does not seem to fit, almost monotone. She sounds like she's "reading it".
Thankfully, there isn't much of that.
I really enjoyed all the of these in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Forging of America

Gingrich and Forstchen have produced a magnificent account of the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. It is not only the story of 12,000 men who entered Valley Forge demoralized, untrained, unsupplied but under the leadership of Washington and the shear force of will and skill of Generals Wayne, Lafaayette and Von Steuben that they marched out of Valley Forge aa a true army finally equipped with enough training, supplies and pride to take on the British.

Although generally familiar with the Valley Forge story, I was left with a sense of pride, awe and inspiration of what Washington and his men were able to accomplish. Gingrich and Forstchen have a way of making you feel like you are actually there - feeling the cold, snow and hunger. You can imagine the suffering even the healthy men endured let alone those who were injured or stricken with diseases.

Besides Washington, the other key characters are Lafayette, Baron Von Steuben and a ficitonal character Allen Van Dorn. Washington provided the leadership, Lafayette the heart and Von Steuben the knowledge for colonists to march out of Valley Forge as real army with a real chance to stand toe to toe with the British for the first time. Van Dorn is a colonist who joined the British army. Through his eyes, you can experience the decisions that the colonists had to make on who to support.

If you like history and historical novels you will love this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JARID
  • GENEVA, IL, United States
  • 12-23-10

A+++

A terrific book! The narration brings the pages to life. Goose bumps and nervous anticipation leave you on the edge of your seat wanting to hear more, faster. It’s a wonderful distraction from everyday whatever. Download it to your smartphone, put on your slippers, and close the study door. Like “To Try Men’s Souls”, this book teaches you the history you may have missed growing up. At the end of the audible you’ll be filled with pride and very proud to be an American! What a great nation we live in, what a rich history we have.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Should be required reading in schools.

I absolutely loved this book. I wish it could be required reading or listening to students in high school. It would put them right in the middle of what happened during that time and perhaps help them understand what made this country great. Instead if destroying paintings of Washington, they would come to understand just how great this man was. The character of Vin Steuben was portrayed so well, I was very entertained and want to learn more about him. Thanks Newt and William. Currently finishing Yorktown.

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Eye Opening

This is a great story intertwining fictional and non-fictional events. An eye opening insight to events that gives the reader a different aspect of history. A look into the Declaration of Independence and ensuing events as few have.

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best book I've read in a long time

I just moved to the Valley Forge area and I I'm awe struck by the courage of the men and the leadership of George Washington and others to bring about what is today the United States of America.

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Author adds flakey details

I liked a lot of the book, but thete some details that didn't make sense. Here's one example from the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse. The book says it was a hot day made hotter by constant firing of muskets. It says that the musket barrels when heated by constant firing would restrict the loading of balls so that infantry would have to really press hard on the ramrods to push the ball down the barrel. When metal is heated it will expand, not contract. A hot musket barrel should allow the ball to go in easier. I don't understand the discrepancy in physics or why the author devoted so much this detail. There are other flaky details in the book. I can only imagine how the historical facts are also distorted.

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Good

I like the style. An interesting story of history that shows what the country really was founded on.

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Eye opener for history of the American Revolution

If you could sum up Valley Forge in three words, what would they be?

Confusion to order

Who was your favorite character and why?

Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was one of my favorites as he was arguably the best man Washington could get to organize the revolutionary army. Washington is of course a favorite too and quite fascinating to see what hardship he and his army had to face on the way to freedom.

Which character – as performed by William Dufris and Callista Gingrich – was your favorite?

Marquis de Lafayette and Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben as I enjoyed listening to other accents perfect or not.

If you could take any character from Valley Forge out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I see my self eating in very posh stile with British Cornwallis, French Lafayette, German von Steuben and American Washington.

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Callista Gingrich is horrible

I'm sorry for William Dufris who did a great job narrating. Callista Gingrich is amateurish at best. She is painful to listen to and puts me in mind of a kindergarten teacher reading to me.