Written in the authoritative and narrative-driven style that made his books The Ascent of George Washington and Jefferson and Hamilton critical and commercial successes, John Ferling's Whirlwind will become the definitive history of the American Revolution for our time.
A master historian and superb teller of history, Ferling illuminates the years 1763 to 1783--from the end of the French and Indian War that left England triumphant in North America to the signing of the Treaty of Paris in September 1783 and the final departure of British troops from New York City in November of that year. Ferling is as astute at analyzing the causes and politics of the American Revolution as he is skilled at narrating the battles of the Revolutionary War. With original insight, he chronicles the myriad and complex events and contentious viewpoints that drove Americans in their insurgency against Great Britain and sustained them in the seemingly quixotic belief that they could win their independence. He takes us to the halls of power in Parliament and the streets of London to view the Revolution from all British perspectives. He presents the individual battles, from Lexington and Concord to Yorktown, in a fresh and dramatic new light.
With a wide scope and penetrating insight, embracing characters both celebrated and unknown, John Ferling brings the most important event in America's history to a new generation of American readers.
1 x 16pp colour plate
1 x 16pp colour plate
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Ferling’s own words, Whirlwind differs from other histories of the American Revolution in emphasizing the causal role of economic factors (along with rage against Britain and a desire for a freer world), its position that Americans were happy with the imperial relationship until the 1760s, it focus on the war rather than the political rebellion, the attention it pays to what was happening in England, and by beginning in the 1760s and ending with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Ferling is also very critical of British handling of the colonies and their prosecution of the war, and he is relatively critical of Washington, especially as a military leader.
The focus on what was happening in England is particularly notable. Unfortunately, much of that attention tails off after war breaks out and from then on we mostly just hear about the generals on American soil. Ferling needs the space, though, because he also hits on the experiences of black Americans, women, the...
First, I am a historian by avocation, rather than vocation. I am especially interested in the period of American history leading up to the Revolution through to the War of 1812. This book grabbed my attention quickly when I first came across a "free chapter" it on a flight, and I bought it as soon as I got home, so I could continue reading. The "behind-the-scenes" look at what was going on politically & militarily just fills in so many holes that we never heard about in our American History classes in High School, and even college. Ferling writes in a no-nonsense, straightforward style, and successfully avoids the professorial temptation to embellish the language. Instead, the story grips you and draws you in. You come away from Whirlwind with a great appreciation of just how tenuous our hard-won liberties really were - and still are.
Ferling captured the reasons for the Revolutionary War, the struggle itself, and the tenuous outcomes in his book, WHIRLWIND.
Until 1760, Americans considered themselves British subjects. England, however, needing more and more money (as all governments do!), and as they imposed more and more taxation and regulations, Americans slowly evolved. John Adams was one of the first to call for freedom and, by the mid-1770s, many Americans agreed that the time for revolution was at hand. There were many opinions of what liberty should look like, but most agreed that England had gone too far. I couldn't put the book down...I wanted to go to war, too!
The war was more horrible, more gruesome, more devastating than I had thought. I'd heard of "The Shot Heard Round the World" and Bunker Hill in school, but not much else. The Revolutionary War was every bit as vicious as the Civil War, with 10s of thousands of dead and wounded on both sides, as well as casualties of...
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