Angel in the Whirlwind is the epic tale of the American Revolution, from its roots among tax-weary colonists to the triumphant Declaration of Independence and eventual victory and liberty, recounted by Benson Bobrick, lauded by The New York Times as “perhaps the most interesting historian writing in America today.” Overwhelmed with debt following its victory in the French and Indian Wars, England began imposing harsh new tariffs and taxes on its colonists in the 1760s. Rebellion against these measures soon erupted into war. Bobrick thrillingly describes all the major battles, from Lexington and Concord to the dramatic siege of Yorktown, when the British flag was finally lowered before patriot guns. At the same time he weaves together social and political history along with the military history, bringing to life not only the charismatic leaders of the independence movement, but also their lesser-known compatriots, both patriot and loyalist, English and American, whose voices vividly convey the urgency of war.
Illuminated by fresh insight, Angel in the Whirlwind is a dramatic narrative of our nation’s birth, in all its passion and glory.
At a time when America's most mythic figures are subject to character assault, revisionist ideology and general bad press, Bobrick (East of the Sun) appears as a formidable defense counsel for the Founding Fathers, delivering a deft consolidation of the facts of the Revolution. Many of the stories are familiar--Paul Revere's ride, Arnold's descent into infamy--but the book's strength lies in its many lesser-known details on the battlefield and beyond. Tenuous diplomatic ties that kept the crucial American-French alliance intact are examined, as are battles within nascent America's leadership. Bobrick goes well beyond the standard arguments, and when he ventures to analyze, he is convincing. Superior American ballistics and France's rout of the British fleet at Yorktown are duly noted as linchpins of American victory--though not new ideas, they are often overlooked. And though the format demands only brief treatment of complicated issues, what emerges is a highly impressive show of exhaustive research and engaging storytelling about this greatest of American legends.