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Tuchman's great talent, the The First Salute. Barbara Wertheim Tuchman. From Barbara W. Tuchman, turns her sights homeward with this brilliant, insightful narrative of the Revolutionary War. Tuchman often goes off on tangents and does not seem to firmly regain her thesis until the commencement of a new chapter. This book was well-intended to provide a glance on the international opinions of the 'Rebels in the British Colonies,' but was severely diverted in the process. Tuchman's language is enjoyably smooth, however, much like a fictional narrative, as opposed to the commonly dry history texts.

Guest More than 1 year ago Tuchman provides a global view of the Revolution with keen insight into the lives of the major players. Excellent documentation, but an easy read for non historians. Guest More than 1 year ago I found this bok to be an excellent read. I simply could not put it down the writing is done very well and moves fluidly throughout the work.

It also explains the history of the Netherlands, which I really never understood. All that stuff about Isabella's progeny who became involved. Why there are still Netherlands territories in the Caribbean. There is also a very good explanation of the battle of Yorktown and the end of the Revolution, including the debts that led France to the French revolution.

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Tuchman always seems to pick good topics and have a good take on them. She is one of my favorite authors. One of the things I liked about her is that she was not an academic but she was a very good history writer. This book is about the American Revolution and Tuchman's approach is at least mildly unusual. The title refers to a salute given to the American ship Andrew Doria at the port of St.

Eaustatius, a Dutch island in the West Indies. This took place on November 6, and was the first recognition by a foreign country of the United States. From that moment Tuchman goes back to the 17th century and comes forward with a brief history of the Netherlands.


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The action of St. Eaustatius and the island's use as a center for smuggling goods into America prompted the English to send a fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney to capture the island for England. This is accomplished in short order and the focus shifts to the American Revolution.

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Tuchman begins her story of the American Revolution after the American defeat of the British at the Battle of Saratoga. The American victory convinces the French to sign a treaty of alliance with America and begin sending them supplies and money. The final third of the book tells of the Battle of Yorktown which ended the Revolution. The American General Nathaniel Greene doesn't win many battles but he keeps his army intact. Cornwallis is frustrated by the lack of loyalist support and moves to Virginia to establish a base at Yorktown on the Chesapeake Bay.

A French fleet comes to America in to coordinate with American troops to defeat the British. The French make it clear that this expedition will be the last of its kind and Washington understands that this is his hour for victory. General Washington agrees and a combined French and American force of 20, moves against Cornwallis and his army of army of 8, at Yorktown. Yorktown is a battle where everything works out just as planned for the Allies.

Admiral Rodney, the most capable English naval officer had to go to England for surgery and is not available to direct the English fleet. Cornwallis is now stuck between the French fleet and the Allied troops with no hope for relief. The Allied forces now begin the siege of Yorktown.

The First Salute

Clinton in New York promises but never sends any reinforcements for Cornwallis. The allies steadily tighten their siege of Yorktown until Cornwallis has no choice but surrender. At P.


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  4. Cornwallis pleads ill health and sends General O'Hara forward to make the surrender for the English. Washington in response to Cornwallis' show of disrespect for the Americans directs O'Hara to surrender to his second in command. It convinces the English that they cannot defeat the Americans and there is no point in spending more treasure when the result will be the same. After lengthy negotiations the Treaty of Ghent in ends the war.

    This book is not the usual narrative history of the American Revolution. I enjoyed the narrative on the Battle of Yorktown and the rel. It's why I enjoy her books. She doesn't stint on facts, but she doesn't stint on personalities and ideas either. She has an eye for the telling detail, and she's not afraid to gore anyone's ox. Easy reading, informative, and surprising. What more can a non-academic hist'ry reader ask for? Interesting and less-often-seen information. Tuchman mentions many of the "miraculous" events that propelled the Rebels to victory, but stops short of ascribing them to God.

    Style: Needed serious editing. Chronology is out of joint, some sentences approach incomprehensible. NOTES: see book.

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    Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago This is a pretty good book, Barbara Tuchman did a decent amount of research and did give a new and different look at the American Revolution. It's not a long book and I think it is worth the read. Anonymous More than 1 year ago "Ill go. Im small and sneaky. Anonymous More than 1 year ago "Great idea, Owl. Related Searches. Because Tuchman writes with such verve and apparent pleasure, readers will probably notice, but not complain, that they are now two-thirds of the way through her book and she has said almost nothing about its ostensible topic, the American Revolution.

    Otherwise, as in most of her earlier work, it is Europe that holds her imagination in thrall. At the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, her artful storytelling in that book was vivid enough to President John Kennedy that he quoted it to his brother Robert and vowed that he would not let America and Russia blunder into war as Europe had done in Rodney will not be joining us there. The chapters about him turn out to have been something of a digression, since Rodney has sailed to England for surgery to correct a painful prostate condition.

    Barbara W. Tuchman

    Henry Clinton in New York and Adm. Thomas Graves outside Chesapeake Bay. When she heeds her own advice in this book, her writing is stirring:. The taller figure of an officer waving a handkerchief in lieu of a white flag emerged from the Hornwork and walked toward the American lines with the drummer boy along side, still furiously beating his drum. Upon this apparition, now both audible and visible, Allied guns ceased their fire.