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In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George…
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In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at… (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Nathaniel Philbrick (Author)

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5372139,557 (4.19)16
"The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Valiant Ambition In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake--fought without a single American ship--made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability. In a narrative that moves from Washington's headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette's brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea"--… (more)
Member:WendyZachariah
Title:In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown (The American Revolution Series)
Authors:Nathaniel Philbrick (Author)
Info:Viking (2018), Edition: Illustrated, 384 pages
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In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown (The American Revolution Series) by Nathaniel Philbrick (2018)

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In the Hurricane’s Eye focuses on the importance of the sea to the American revolutionary war. It opens with vivid descriptions of the hurricanes that took place in the Caribbean in 1780, leading the French navy to move its fleet north for the next year, thus enabling them to participate in two critical naval battles that paved the way for the defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. This book highlights the French and Spanish contributions, which tend to be glossed over in many accounts of this period of American history. One of the primary take-aways from this book is the importance of the Battle of the Chesapeake, which was fought by the French against the British, to American independence. Philbrick examines the many moving parts that needed to come together for the Americans, which at many points seemed rather improbable. It is enlightening to hear about the efforts of Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, a Spaniard, who convinced the businessmen in Cuba to raise and lend money to the French fleet, which proved critical to their participation in the Battle of the Chesapeake. We also learn about the contributions of French generals de Grasse and Bougainville at that important battle. This is the third of Philbrick’s three-book series on the American revolutionary war, but they can be read in any order or as a stand-alone. The first is [b:Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution|16158546|Bunker Hill A City, a Siege, a Revolution|Nathaniel Philbrick|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1385966057i/16158546._SY75_.jpg|21998962] and the second is [b:Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution|26109390|Valiant Ambition George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution|Nathaniel Philbrick|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1440441461i/26109390._SY75_.jpg|46054779].

This book is well-researched, well-written, and engrossing. The titular “hurricane’s eye” may imply there would be more weather-related discussion, but it could be seen as a symbol of the larger war that had stalled out for quite a while before coming to an action-packed conclusion. Philbrick skillfully inserts quotes from letters, nautical logs, journals, and memoirs to support his conclusions and illustrate the participants’ personalities. This method is very effective in bringing these historical people to life. For example, the author gives the reader a more intimate picture of Washington by describing his emotional state. At one point, he is described as jumping up and down waving his handkerchief when he learns that the French have sailed into Chesapeake Bay. At another, we find him being embraced by the French generals. While the subtitle implies the reader will learn of Washington’s “genius” it is more focused on highlighting his excellent leadership skills, such as being able to see the big picture, employing the diverse talents of individuals, and putting aside his personal desires for the benefit of the country. It is clear that Washington understood the importance of the French navy to an American victory. Philbrick also reveals the difficulties and frustrations caused by slow communications and differences of opinion.

This book is particularly effective in showing how America was dependent on help from other nations from the very beginning, a fact that remains just as true today. I listened to the audiobook read by Scott Brick, who does an excellent job with the various French, English, and Spanish names. It kept me entertained during an eight-hour driving trip. Recommended to anyone that wants to learn more about the last year of the American revolutionary war.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Solid popular history ( )
  LordPetros | Sep 11, 2022 |
I really, really enjoyed this! I anticipated that it would be well-written, having read Philbrick in the past ([b:In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex|17780|In the Heart of the Sea The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex|Nathaniel Philbrick|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1335902168l/17780._SY75_.jpg|1640941]). And when this book came up as a source in [b:A Furious Sky: The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes|53121652|A Furious Sky The Five-Hundred-Year History of America's Hurricanes|Eric Jay Dolin|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1571125597l/53121652._SX50_SY75_.jpg|75843924], I realized I already owned an audio copy and decided it needed to be my next read.

The other thing that made this a must-read for me is that I’ve been to the Yorktown Battlefield a number of times; we now live only 1.5 hours away. So I was more or less familiar with the specifics of the battle, but I didn’t know that much about events in the year leading up to it.

Philbrick’s writing made learning about that history enjoyable. His characterizations of key players - British generals Cornwallis and Tarleton, British naval commanders Rodney, Hood and Graves, French general Rochambeau, French naval commanders D’Estaing and De Grasse, Lafayette, and of course Washington - added vivid touches to what could have been a boring recitation of facts.

All out recommendation to anyone interested in American Revolutionary history! ( )
  BarbKBooks | Aug 15, 2022 |
I wonderful history teacher. ( )
  ibkennedy | Feb 1, 2022 |
I learned much from this book, especially the role of the Spanish and French in ending the American Revolution. It explores the uneven relationship of Washington and the French and what he had to do to convince them to properly blockade the Chesapeake. ( )
  prepper | Jan 8, 2022 |
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"The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Valiant Ambition In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake--fought without a single American ship--made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability. In a narrative that moves from Washington's headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette's brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea"--

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In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake--fought without a single American ship--made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.

In a narrative that moves from Washington's headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette's brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.
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