In Rise to Rebellion, bestselling author Jeff Shaara captured the origins of the American Revolution as brilliantly as he depicted the Civil War in Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure. Now he continues the amazing saga of how thirteen colonies became a nation, taking the conflict from kingdom and courtroom to the bold and bloody battlefields of war.
It was never a war in which the outcome was obvious. Despite their spirit and stamina, the colonists were outmanned and outfought by the brazen British army. General George Washington found his troops trounced in the battles of Brooklyn and Manhattan and retreated toward Pennsylvania. With the future of the colonies at its lowest ebb, Washington made his most fateful decision: to cross the Delaware River and attack the enemy. The stunning victory at Trenton began a saga of victory and defeat that concluded with the British surrender at Yorktown, a moment that changed the history of the world.
The despair and triumph of America’s first great army is conveyed in scenes as powerful as any Shaara has written, a story told from the points of view of some of the most memorable characters in American history. There is George Washington, the charismatic leader who held his army together to achieve an unlikely victory; Charles Cornwallis, the no-nonsense British general, more than a match for his colonial counterpart; Nathaniel Greene, who rose from obscurity to become the finest battlefield commander in Washington’s army; The Marquis de Lafayette, the young Frenchman who brought a soldier’s passion to America; and Benjamin Franklin, a brilliant man of science and philosophy who became the finest statesman of his day.
From Nathan Hale to Benedict Arnold, William Howe to “Light Horse” Harry Lee, from Trenton and Valley Forge, Brandywine and Yorktown, the American Revolution’s most immortal characters and poignant moments are brought to life in remarkable Shaara style. Yet, The Glorious Cause is more than just a story of the legendary six-year struggle. It is a tribute to an amazing people who turned ideas into action and fought to declare themselves free. Above all, it is a riveting novel that both expands and surpasses its beloved author’s best work.
Shaara's hefty fifth novel, the second in a two-volume series about the American Revolution, is an epic saga of what Shaara calls our first civil war and the first truly world war, told with emotion, energy and historical precision. Using the formula of character-driven fiction employed by his father, Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels), Jeff Shaara presents the dramatic history of the revolution as seen through the eyes of the major players. In describing the battles, skirmishes, victories, defeats, blunders, intrigues, treason and bickering, Shaara illuminates the circumstances whereby a rebel collection of motley amateurs dared to confront a mighty empire and its vaunted army. The narrative establishes immediacy in its colorful profiles of the participants. Shaara depicts George Washington as a general whose force of will and strong character earn the loyalty of soldiers who are defeated by the British again and again. Washington's relationships with other principals are profound and surprising. Having regarded Gen. Charles Lee as a friend, he is stunned by the behavior of his second-in-command on the battlefield and behind his back. He thinks highly of Gen. Nathaniel Greene and the Marquis de Lafayette, and neither will disappoint him. Having enjoyed the "pleasantly sociable" company of Benedict Arnold, Washington discovers too late that there are two traitors at West Point. He also learns firsthand how "Mad Anthony" Wayne earned his nickname. Shaara takes equal pains to characterize the British, men like dawdling Gen. William Howe, arrogant Henry Clinton and the capable but hapless Charles Cornwallis. This is vivid and compelling historical fiction, but also a primer on leadership and the arts of war and diplomacy. Shaara reaches new heights here, with a narrative that's impossible to put down.
The Glorious Cause
Insightful and an easy read which brings history to life. It is history for the non-historian in the same manner Allen Echert's The Frontiersman and other writings aid in recreating a time and setting.
Highly recommend for the ability to present simplified chronology and geography.
Entertaining and Accurate
I'm not normally a big fan of historical fiction. However, having previously read many books on the American Revolution, I found Glorious Cause to be very entertaining and factually accurate. I recommend this one, as well as Rise to Rebellion, for anyone interested in learning more about this important period of American history.