Washington's General is a good read. It is a fine popular biography of one of the most important military leaders of the American Revolution. Golway traces Greene's life from his youth in Rhode Island, through his service as a major general in the Continental Army to his death at the early age of 44. While all of Greene's most important contributions, as a commander in the New York campaign, as Quartermaster General of the army, and finally commander of the southern army, all seem to be given lip service. There is a lot of narrative here and not much analysis. I feel that there are many missed opportunities for more. While Golway does give some attention to Greene's flaws-his need for respect and acknowledgment by Washington and Congress, some of his unseemly business dealings-there is also a fair amount of cheerleading going on here, which I occasionally found off-putting. A good quick read, but I hoped for more.
Washington's General : Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution
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About This Item
The overlooked Quaker from Rhode Island who won the American Revolution's crucial southern campaign and helped to set up the final victory of American independence at Yorktown
Nathanael Greene is a revolutionary hero who has been lost to history. Although places named in his honor dot city and country, few people know his quintessentially American story as a self-made, self-educated military genius who renounced his Quaker upbringing-horrifying his large family-to take up arms against the British. Untrained in military matters when he joined the Rhode Island militia in 1774, he quickly rose to become Washington's right-hand man and heir apparent. After many daring exploits during the war's first four years (and brilliant service as the army's quartermaster), he was chosen in 1780 by Washington to replace the routed Horatio Gates in South Carolina.
Greene's southern campaign, which combined the forces of regular troops with bands of irregulars, broke all the rules of eighteenth-century warfare and foreshadowed the guerrilla wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His opponent in the south, Lord Cornwallis, wrote, "Greene is as dangerous as Washington. I never feel secure when I am encamped in his neighborhood. He is vigilant, enterprising, and full of resources." Greene's ingenious tactics sapped the British of their strength and resolve even as they "won" nearly every battle. Terry Golway argues that Greene's appointment as commander of the American Southern Army was the war's decisive moment, and this bold new book returns Greene to his proper place in the Revolutionary era's pantheon.
"Washington said if he went down in battle, Greene was his choice to succeed him. Read this book and you will understand why." -- Joseph J. Ellis, author of His Excellency: George Washington
Henry Holt and Co.
|Number of Pages|
Washington's General - Paperback
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
9.00 x 6.00 x 0.82 Inches
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Not many people know much about Nathanael Greene, but if you've read much on George Washington, then you know that General Greene was one of Washington's most trusted men and a key to victory in the South. This is just a great read and is written well, but it might be a little difficult to follow if you haven't read much on Washington or the Revolutionary War.
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