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Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783 (2005)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743226879, Hardcover)Iron Tears examines the Revolutionary War primarily from the perspective of British politicians, soldiers, citizens, and the royal court of King George III. In this enjoyable and enlightening book, American historian Stanley Weintraub looks at myopic King George and his ambition to hold the colonies at any price, discusses how antiwar opposition in Parliament gradually gained momentum, and studies the sentiments of the general population who were forced to pay heavy taxes to support the conflict, causing resentment and, in 1780, a riot. Despite such rumblings all around him, the insulated king failed to realize how much the situation in far-off America affected domestic issues in England and was shocked enough when he lost America that he considered abdicating his throne. Most British citizens did not take it nearly as hard; many, in fact, welcomed the chance to get back to business with the Americans, feeling that commerce had been interrupted long enough by an expensive and unnecessary war.
Weintraub also covers the battles on the other side of the Atlantic and offers profiles of the major players, particularly George Washington, who became a folk hero in Britain, earning the admiration of even those ardently against the American cause. The consequences of Britain's hiring of thousands of foreign mercenaries, some of which ended up deserting and settling permanently in America, are also discussed, along with the issue of why loyalists in the colonies failed to join the redcoats in significant numbers. Most importantly, in detailing the strategic and tactical mistakes made by Britain, the author highlights the various circumstances that greatly favored the rebellious colonies from the beginning, including the sheer vastness of America and the maddening logistical difficulties involved in sending soldiers, provisions, and messages across the ocean. Weintraub makes a compelling case that the mighty British Empire never really had a chance. --Shawn Carkonen
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:13 -0400)
'Iron tears' offers the first account that examines the Revolutionary War from three divergent and distinct vantage points :the battlefields, the American leadership under George Washington, and most originally - that of England, embroiled in controversy over the war. Colonial America was England's Vietnam.Although Washington's army, with France's help, won the war, it is equally significant - both then and now - that Britain lost it. The British found themselves overwhelmed by the geographic and time constraints that prevented their military from holding on to the eighteen-hundred-mile length of the thirteen colonies, from across three thousand miles of ocean during the cumbersome era of water travel.
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