• Winning Independence

  • The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778-1781
  • By: John Ferling
  • Narrated by: Rhett Samuel Price
  • Length: 24 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Winning Independence  By  cover art

Winning Independence

By: John Ferling
Narrated by: Rhett Samuel Price
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Publisher's summary

Co-Winner of the 2022 Harry M. Ward Book Prize

From celebrated historian John Ferling, the underexplored history of the second half of the Revolutionary War, when, after years of ­fighting, American independence often seemed beyond reach.

It was 1778, and the recent American victory at Saratoga had netted the U.S a powerful ally in France. Many, including General George Washington, presumed France’s entrance into the war meant independence was just around the corner.

Meanwhile, having lost an entire army at Saratoga, Great Britain pivoted to a “southern strategy.” The army would henceforth seek to regain its southern colonies, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, a highly profitable segment of its pre-war American empire. Deep into 1780 Britain’s new approach seemed headed for success as the U.S. economy collapsed and morale on the home front waned. By early 1781, Washington, and others, feared that France would drop out of the war if the Allies failed to score a decisive victory that year. Sir Henry Clinton, commander of Britain’s army, thought “the rebellion is near its end.” Washington, who had been so optimistic in 1778, despaired: “I have almost ceased to hope.”

Winning Independence is the dramatic story of how and why Great Britain—so close to regaining several southern colonies and rendering the postwar United States a fatally weak nation ultimately failed to win the war. The book explores the choices and decisions made by Clinton and Washington, and others, that ultimately led the French and American allies to clinch the pivotal victory at Yorktown that at long last secured American independence.

©2021 John Ferling (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic reviews

"Writing with his usual verve and imagination, Ferling demonstrates that the second half of the Revolutionary War possessed as much pathos, drama, and intrigue as the first part of the conflict. Winning Independence will undoubtedly appeal to both scholars and the general public. It's political and military history at its finest." (Stephen R. Taaffe, author of Washington's Revolutionary War Generals)

"A mesmerizing historical adventure. Focusing on the southern campaigns of 1778-1781, Ferling luminously unravels the story of how the American colonists finally beat the odds and gained their independence from Great Britain. Certainly one of the most engaging books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in years." (James Kirby Martin, author of the award-winning Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero)