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Washington's Crossing (2004)

by David Hackett Fischer

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1,519208,683 (4.36)80
Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.… (more)
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» See also 80 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This was good, even very good, but not "fantastic" in the way it seemed to be hyped up. There's a bit of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" to the whole thing that I find a bit off-putting, but maybe that's just me. ( )
  dmmjlllt | Nov 10, 2018 |
Great story telling ( )
  ibkennedy | May 13, 2017 |
This book was selected in my top three books for the first quarter of 2012.

Why study history? What does it matter to me? Because it shows the contingency in events that unfold in time and place. The book explores the author's viewpoint on a contingency in history; "people making choices, and choices making a difference in the world."363. The choices were made from what the participants felt about the events that were unfolding. The Brits viewed the rebels as a bunch of yeoman farmers. The Americans viewed the British as an enormous dinosaur that did not know its tail form its nose.

Had Washington not been General? Had General Charles Lee not been captured? (Lee would have stalled Washington from crossing the river, as he was the typical overcautious general.) Had the Hessian Forces and Brits not been overconfident? Had a woman not kept the Hessian General at home, instead of in his key position on the battle front? Then the American Story would have been quit different.

The book was great in displaying the way that Washington's Story was told by different authors with different purposes. He shows with honesty how the facts can be skewed to prove the point of any political platform. Before reading this book I always believed that the Hessian Army was drunk when Washington attacked it. From the facts assembled this has proven to be not true. But somewhere the myth has replaced the facts. We now believe that the Hessian Army was a bunch of drunken dolts.



I loved this book. I discovered a lot about this event that I did not know before. He writes in a way that is truly a pleasure to read.



The only draw back was that on my kindle the maps were hard to read. But that is what they created magnifying glass for. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
This book was selected in my top three books for the first quarter of 2012.

Why study history? What does it matter to me? Because it shows the contingency in events that unfold in time and place. The book explores the author's viewpoint on a contingency in history; "people making choices, and choices making a difference in the world."363. The choices were made from what the participants felt about the events that were unfolding. The Brits viewed the rebels as a bunch of yeoman farmers. The Americans viewed the British as an enormous dinosaur that did not know its tail form its nose.

Had Washington not been General? Had General Charles Lee not been captured? (Lee would have stalled Washington from crossing the river, as he was the typical overcautious general.) Had the Hessian Forces and Brits not been overconfident? Had a woman not kept the Hessian General at home, instead of in his key position on the battle front? Then the American Story would have been quit different.

The book was great in displaying the way that Washington's Story was told by different authors with different purposes. He shows with honesty how the facts can be skewed to prove the point of any political platform. Before reading this book I always believed that the Hessian Army was drunk when Washington attacked it. From the facts assembled this has proven to be not true. But somewhere the myth has replaced the facts. We now believe that the Hessian Army was a bunch of drunken dolts.



I loved this book. I discovered a lot about this event that I did not know before. He writes in a way that is truly a pleasure to read.



The only draw back was that on my kindle the maps were hard to read. But that is what they created magnifying glass for. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
Fischer is my favorite writer of history, though this book held fewer surprises (events unknown to me) than my all-time favorite non-fiction work, [Albion's Seed], also by Fischer.

Using untold journals and diaries, plus pensioner's narratives housed in the National Archives, Fischer brings to life events and people that shaped the war, and without too great an exaggeration, our lives today. I will be a bit political here, and add that, in my opinion, Washington and the Continental Congress would be appalled and ashamed of American conduct in the Iraq war.

Although Nelson Runger did a much better job in narrating this book than he did in [The Path Between the Seas] by David McCullough, there must be a better history reader available. Only once during this long book did I feel like he was speaking through a mouth full of saliva. Don't audio books use directors? ( )
1 vote kaulsu | Aug 16, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Fischer has devised a storytelling technique that combines old and new methods in a winning way.
 
At the core of an impeccably researched, brilliantly executed military history is an analysis of George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in December 1776 and the resulting destruction of the Hessian garrison of Trenton and defeat of a British brigade at Princeton.
added by readysetgo | editPublishers Weekly (Jan 12, 2004)
 
Six months after the Declaration of Independence, America was nearly defeated. Then on Christmas night, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River to destroy the Hessians at Trenton. A week later Americans held off a counterattack, and in a brilliant tactical move, Washington crept behind the British army to win another victory. The momentum had reversed.

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