The First Salute

The First Salute

Book - 1988
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Barbara W. Tuchman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the classic The Guns of August, turns her sights homeward with this brilliant, insightful narrative of the Revolutionary War.
 
In The First Salute, one of America's consummate historians crafts a rigorously original view of the American Revolution. Barbara W. Tuchman places the Revolution in the context of the centuries-long conflicts between England and both France and Holland, demonstrating how the aid to the American colonies of both these nations made the triumph of independence possible. She sheds new light on the key role played by the contending navies, paints a magnificent portrait of George Washington, and recounts in riveting detail the decisive campaign of the war at Yorktown. By turns lyrical and gripping, The First Salute is an exhilarating account of the birth of a nation.
  
Praise for The First Salute
 
"Nothing in a novel could be more thrilling than the moment in this glorious history when French soldiers arrive [to] see a tall, familiar figure: George Washington. . . . It is only part of Tuchman's genius that she can reconstitute such scenes with so much precision and passion." -- People
 
"Tuchman writes narrative history in the great tradition. . . . A persuasive book, which brings us entertaining pictures, scenes and characters." -- Chicago Tribune
 
"[A] tightly woven narrative, ingeniously structured." --The Christian Science Monitor
Publisher: New York : Ballantine, c1988
Edition: 1st Ballantine books ed
ISBN: 9780345336675
0345336674
Branch Call Number: 973.35 T888
973.35 T888
Characteristics: xiii, 347 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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Dec 19, 2011

The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman
This excellent book about the American Revolution has author Barbara Tuchman at her best. Noted historian whose other works include “A Distant Mirror: the Calamitous 14th Century” as well as “The Guns of August”, a book about WW1 with all its blunders and madness, has put together a book that is easy to read and difficult to put down. The style of her writing is elegant and well crafted. Those who are used to simple sentences take hee: you may find her sentences frighteningly long and convoluted. There's nothing wrond with that: she's writing about a convoluted period in tghe history of the Unbited States. After all: big bird she ain't.
The book seeks the prelude to Independence and finds it in the fractious Dutch republic almost a hundred years before the shot that was heard around the world left the muzzel. . The War of Independence wasn’t so much won by George Washington et al. as it was lost by British incompetence and procrastination. A solid dose of financial, military and naval support from the French who had their own score to settle with Britain didn’t hurt matters either. The irony was that the revolution that the French monarchy so ardently supported in the Americas was going to set the stage for the French Revolution which would be responsible for the fall of the French royal family and turn France upside down.
The book includes a number of precise and relevant maps. The bibliography is immense.
A little slow at first but once we get away from the Dutch Republic “preamble” things heat up pretty fast. An interesting view of American past.

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