1776: Year of Illusions by Thomas Fleming is a focused account of the turbulent year on the continent of North America. Mr. Fleming is a historical novelist and historian with special interest in the American Revolution.
1776: Year of Illusions does not pull any punches when describing the political crisis and how each side was seeking victory. For every person who had committed their whole heart to a revolution, there was another who could not fathom being separated from the English crown.
The book mainly focuses on the military campaigns of 1776. However, the fascinating political developments in Philadelphia and London are also addressed. The author follows the American rebels from the disastrous attempt to take over Quebec, Canada, to the amazing victories at Trenton and Princeton.
Mr. Fleming makes it clear that the colonial society was anything but united behind the rebels, but somehow they still managed to win. Loyalists, those who favored British rule, where everywhere and, according to the author, did whatever they could to hamper the revolutionary army.
The sunshine soldiers and patriot leaders serving under General Washington did not measure up to what was demanded of them. The book makes it painfully clear that General Howe’s brother allowed, for political reasons, for Washington’s army to escape time and time again until, by 1777, Washington himself become the rock of the revolution.
This is a well-researched book based on primary material and written in a dramatic style. The narrative is informative and enjoyable in its telling of fascinating events.
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