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Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History…
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Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge (original 2005; edition 2005)

by Thomas Fleming

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334657,940 (3.95)4
The defining moments of the Revolutionary War did not occur on the battlefield or at the diplomatic table, claims Thomas Fleming, but at Valley Forge, where the Continental Army wintered in 1777-78. WASHINGTON'S SECRET WAR tells the dramatic story of how those several critical months transformed a beaten, bedraggled group of recruits into a professional army capable of defeating the world's most formidable military power. While the British Army relaxed in Philadelphia only 20 miles away, George Washington trained his army under brutal conditions. Fleming reveals that during this difficult winter Washington was simultaneously fighting another war - one for his political life as members of the Continental Congress hatched a plot to unseat him and others plotted to betray him. For the first time, WASHINGTON'S SECRET WAR reveals how Washington's genius at negotiating the gray world of spies, double agents, and palace intrigue vaulted him from losing general to the charismatic father of his country.… (more)
Member:dgreaham
Title:Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge
Authors:Thomas Fleming
Info:Collins (2005), Hardcover
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Washington's Secret War by Thomas Fleming (2005)

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If you wish to learn of the power struggle between the Continental Congress, a newly formed, standing Continental Army, and his "Excellency" General George Washington, this book is a great read. English tradition had no trust in a standing army, militias that quickly formed to face a threat and just as quickly disbanded as soon as the threat was over were the preferred defense. The new Continental Army flew in the face of this notion. A power struggle between the individual states and the Continental Congress led to numerous policies with no way of being enforced which caused the soldiers to go in want of uniforms, blankets, shoes, and food. A General, who's series of defeats starting with the Battle of Long Island, whose ability to lead was questioned by delegates and others yearning to be given the mantel of power. A great read about all of these subjects - The commissary department, the ill-named Conway Cabal, and the reasons that all these obstacles were ultimately overcome to allow our new nation to survive its first military test. ( )
  trueblueglue | Jan 9, 2021 |
Very enjoyable book. It clearly shows the pressure General Washington was under not just because his soldiers at Valley Forge lacked proper clothing, heat, or food. There were many people, both in Congress and in his own army, who were out to dethrone him. The book highlights Washington's political as well as military talents as he often subtly and diplomatically impunes those who are trying to damage his reputation by making false assumptions or outright dishonest claims against him. ( )
  Jarratt | Aug 3, 2017 |
Wow. I've been coming to respect George Washington more and more, and this book just elevated him in my esteem even higher. I am stunned to discover that Congress was as divisive and idiotic as it is today, with ruinous zealots on both sides. Washington gave us our liberty from England; if any of these other idiots had had their way, we'd be speaking English today! Wait... We'd be paying our respects to the Queen! There we go. Anyway, George Washington was an amazing leader. ( )
1 vote VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
This book recounts the tale of Valley Forge from a political, rather than militaristic, viewpoint. The author does a great job a showing why Valley Forge happened. This is a good book for anyone who is interested in the Revolutionary War. ( )
1 vote torrey23 | Jul 8, 2014 |
- My first book by Thomas Fleming and as a result I hope to read many more
- Great book detailing GW struggle to maintain his army and his internal battles against Congress/Generals who were determined to see GW replaced
- Tremendously researched book that provides evidenced that GW was indeed our most critical founding father and highlights GW leadership/ethics
- I loved the short chapters used in this book
- This book adds further evidence to the greatness of GW ( )
2 vote CritEER | Aug 23, 2007 |
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After forty years of reading and writing about the American past, I have reached one undebatable conclusion: history is full of surprises. (Introduction.)
On December 19, 1777, beneath lowering gray skies, with snow swirling in a savage north wind, soldiers of the Continental Army of the United States of America trudged up the narrow sloping Gulph Road -- a rutted dirt track whose modern concrete descendant bears the same eerily symbolic name.
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The defining moments of the Revolutionary War did not occur on the battlefield or at the diplomatic table, claims Thomas Fleming, but at Valley Forge, where the Continental Army wintered in 1777-78. WASHINGTON'S SECRET WAR tells the dramatic story of how those several critical months transformed a beaten, bedraggled group of recruits into a professional army capable of defeating the world's most formidable military power. While the British Army relaxed in Philadelphia only 20 miles away, George Washington trained his army under brutal conditions. Fleming reveals that during this difficult winter Washington was simultaneously fighting another war - one for his political life as members of the Continental Congress hatched a plot to unseat him and others plotted to betray him. For the first time, WASHINGTON'S SECRET WAR reveals how Washington's genius at negotiating the gray world of spies, double agents, and palace intrigue vaulted him from losing general to the charismatic father of his country.

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