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Valley Forge
2018
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Publishers Weekly Reviews

This gripping, panoramic account of the Continental Army's 1777–1778 winter encampment at Valley Forge charts, in lively language, the decisions that allowed the American Revolution to survive. George Washington's ragtag troops had fled the pursuing Redcoats to Pennsylvania, and the Continental Congress was sheltering in York, Pa., after the British occupied the revolutionary capital, Philadelphia. Vicious budgetary squabbles, corruption, and military rivalries proved almost as dangerous to Washington's army as the British. Judicious excerpts from the diaries of enlisted men and officers elucidating the squalid misery and deprivation at Valley Forge nearly waft off the page. But, Drury and Clavin recount, Washington turned the Revolution around. The battles, politics, and diplomacy that kept Washington's troops from faltering—the Battle of the Brandywine and skillful handling of French volunteers—are lucidly recounted. There are valuable insights, too, into the strategic thinking of British general William Howe and admiral Richard Howe, the aristocratic brothers charged with putting down the rebellion. As the authors sketch out the dizzying array of obstacles Washington faced, the reader gains an appreciation for the genuinely heroic role he played in the founding of the United States of America. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber. (Oct.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

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"The #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Heart of Everything That Is return with one of the most inspiring--and underappreciated--chapters in American history: the story of the Continental Army's six-month transformation in Valley Forge. On December 19, 1777, some twelve thousand members of America's beleaguered Continental Army staggered into Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, a small encampment twenty-three miles northwest of British-occupied Philadelphia. The starving and half-naked force is reelingfrom a string of demoralizing defeats at the hands of King George III's army, and are barely equipped to survive the coming winter. Their commander in chief, the focused and forceful George Washington, is at the lowest ebb of his military career. The Continental Congress is in exile and the American Revolution appears to be lost. As the days and weeks passed, however, Washington embarked on a mission to transform his troops from a bobtail army of citizen soldiers into a professional fighting force. Keeping a wary eye out for a British attack, he was aided by a trio of home-grown generals as well as a young coterie of American advisors and foreign volunteers led by Alexander Hamilton, John Laurens, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Within six months Washington had achieved his miracle. Valley Forge is the riveting true story of a nascent United States toppling an empire. Using new and rarely seen contemporaneous documents--and drawing on a cast of iconic characters and remarkable moments that capture the innovation and energy that led to the birth of our nation--Drury and Clavin provide the definitive account of this seminal and previously undervalued moment in the battle for American independence"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

Recounts the Continental Army's six-month stay at their winter camp in Valley Forge, where George Washington took his starving and depleted troops and transformed them into a professional army. - (Baker & Taylor)

The #1 New York Times best-selling authors of The Heart of Everything That Is return with an account of Valley Forge, the Continental Army winter camp where George Washington turned the tide of the American Revolution. - (Baker & Taylor)

The #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Heart of Everything That Is return with one of the most inspiring'and underappreciated'chapters in American history: the story of the Continental Army's six-month transformation in Valley Forge.

December 1777. It is 18 months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and some 12,000 members of America's beleaguered Continental Army stagger into a small Pennsylvania encampment 23 miles northwest of British-occupied Philadelphia. The starving and half-naked force is reeling from a string of demoralizing defeats at the hands of King George III's army, and are barely equipped to survive the coming winter. Their commander in chief, the focused and forceful George Washington, is at the lowest ebb of his military career. The Continental Congress is in exile and the American Revolution appears to be lost.

Yet a spark remains. Determined to keep the rebel cause alive through sheer force of will, Washington transforms the farmland plateau hard by the Schuylkill River into a virtual cabin city. Together with a dedicated coterie of advisers both foreign and domestic'marquis de Lafayette, Baron von Steuben, the impossibly young Alexander Hamilton, and John Laurens'he sets out to breathe new life into his military force. Against all odds, as the frigid and miserable months pass, they manage to turn a bobtail army of citizen soldiers into a professional fighting force that will change the world forever.

Valley Forge is the story of how that metamorphosis occurred. Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, the team behind such bestsellers as The Heart of Everything That Is, The Last Stand of Fox Company, and Halsey's Typhoon, show us how this miracle was accomplished despite thousands of American soldiers succumbing to disease, starvation, and the elements. Here is Steuben, throwing himself into the dedicated drilling sessions he imported from Prussian battlefields. Here is Hamilton, proffering the shrewd advice that wards off his beloved commander in chief's scheming political rivals. Here is Laurens, determined to integrate the Continental Army with freed black men and slaves. Here is Lafayette, thirsting for battlefield accolades while tenaciously lobbying his own king for crucial French aid.

At the center of it all is George Washington, in the prime of his life yet confronting crushing failure as he fends off political conspiracies every bit as pernicious as his incessant military challenges. The Virginia planter-turned-general is viewed by many as unqualified to lead the Continental Army after the humiliating loss of Philadelphia, and his detractors in and out of Congress plot to replace him. The Valley Forge winter is his'and the revolution's'last chance at redemption. And, indeed, after six months in the camp, Washington fulfills his destiny, leading the Continental Army to a stunning victory in the Battle of Monmouth Court House. The momentum is never again with the Redcoats.

Valley Forge is the riveting true story of a nascent United States toppling an empire. Using new and rarely seen contemporaneous documents'and drawing on a cast of iconic characters and remarkable moments that capture the innovation and energy that led to the birth of our nation'Drury and Clavin provide the definitive account of this seminal and previously undervalued moment in the battle for American independence. - (Simon and Schuster)

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