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The First Salute by Barbara W. Tuchman

The First Salute (1988)

by Barbara W. Tuchman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Thirty years later, Tuchman's Whiggish teleology of the actions of great men in furtherance of progress is a bit hard to accept. It's still wonderfully written, and nothing of the facts included is particularly incorrect. But beyond a few lines in the epilogue that address the imperfections of the American legacy, it's largely a recounting of the brave boldness of the Americans and the French, and the sluggish complacency of the British commands.

Tuchman's analysis of the development of Dutch beliefs that led to events at St. Eustatius, and of the efforts of Rodney, are a notable departure from the book as a whole, and some of the traditional elements of American Revolution history are left out in favor of a clearer description of naval actions and geopolitical effects. These are welcome, but still don't quite make up for the lack of nuanced interpretations or social history--details that have been become all but required in the years since Tuchman's book was published. ( )
  omphale23 | Jun 2, 2015 |
Boooorrrrrrinnnng ( )
  buffalogr | Nov 1, 2012 |
The American Revolution is so often romanticized and distorted by the political needs of Government and Policy that its reality, a ragtag rebellion of seditious wealthy men subsidized by the long-term enemies of England, gets completely lost. Tuchman, in her trademark popular-narrative, chatty style, reminds us that, had things gone a different way, we'd be *horrified* at the foolhardy yahoos who thought they could break the safe, profitable cocoon of Empire.

It's why I enjoy her books. She doesn't stint on facts, but she doesn't stint on personalities and ideas either. She has an eye for the telling detail, and she's not afraid to gore anyone's ox.

Easy reading, informative, and surprising. What more can a non-academic hist'ry reader ask for? ( )
1 vote richardderus | Aug 31, 2010 |
Substance: Describes the American Revolution through the connections with the Dutch and French vis-a-vis Britain. Interesting and less-often-seen information. Tuchman mentions many of the "miraculous" events that propelled the Rebels to victory, but stops short of ascribing them to God.
Style: Needed serious editing. Chronology is out of joint, some sentences approach incomprehensible.
NOTES: see book ( )
  librisissimo | Aug 5, 2010 |
This is a good take on the relationship of the West Indies and the American Revolution. It also explains the history of the Netherlands, which I really never understood. All that stuff about Isabella's progeny who became involved. Why there are still Netherlands territories in the Caribbean. There is also a very good explanation of the battle of Yorktown and the end of the Revolution, including the debts that led France to the French revolution.

Tuchman always seems to pick good topics and have a good take on them. ( )
1 vote carterchristian1 | Mar 10, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara W. Tuchmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hess, Richardsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, NadiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my grandchildren, Jennifer, Nell, Oliver and Jordan, lights of the new generation.
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Weiße Wölkchen aus Pulverdampf über dem Türkis des Meeres, gefolgt vom dumpfen Widerhall der Kanone, erhoben sich über einer bescheidenen Festung auf dem winzigen holländischen Eiland St. Eustatius in der Westindischen Inselkette.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345336674, Paperback)

"Narrative history in the great tradition . . ." Chicago Tribune
Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and bestselling author Barbara W. Tuchman analyzes the American Revolution in a brilliantly original way, placing the war in the historical context of the centuries-long conflicts between England and both France and Holland. This compellingly written history paints a magnificent portrait of General George Washington and recounts in riveting detail the events responsible for the birth of our nation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:14 -0400)

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Examines pivotal events of the American Revolution and how Europe was affected by it.

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