In The Hurricane’s Eye: the genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

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Adult , History , Nonfiction

In The Hurricane’s Eye: the genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

Title: In the Hurricane's Eye: the genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown
By: Nathaniel Philbrick
Published: 2018
Call #: 973.337 Philb. N

In The Hurricane’s Eye opens five years into the Revolutionary War , with a stalemate.

The rebels had the advantage on the land. They usually lost their battles, but when the battles were done, they could retreat to the countryside and await another chance. There was too much land for the Empire to occupy to prevent this.  The Empire had the advantage at sea — they could attack the coastal rebel cities at will. Two years before the Empire’s rival had joined the side of the rebels and sent a fleet that should have enabled the rebels to even the playing field. Over and over, hurricane season had prevented the rival from supporting the rebels.

The above paragraph is a summary of the book’s first page — don’t you want to read more? Nathaniel Philbrick returns to the revolutionary war (he wrote the brilliant Bunker Hill about the beginning of the war and then Valiant Ambition about the middle of the war) to finish the story! One of the biggest surprises to me was the incredibly important role played by Francisco Saavedra, who was the Spanish emissary who singlehandedly assisted the French fleet to sail to Yorktown that made the victory there possible, which in turn ended the war.

Washington is eminently quotable, too: “We…may find by our own unhappy experience that there is a natural and necessary progression, from the extreme of anarchy to the extreme of tyranny; and that arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused.”  That is advice, I think, for this age!

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