Catalogue


The men who lost America [electronic resource] : British leadership, the American Revolution, and the fate of the empire /
Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2013]
description
xiv, 466 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 27 cm.
ISBN
9780300191073 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2013]
isbn
9780300191073 (hardcover : acid-free paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
abstract
"The loss of America was a stunning and unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders in Britain must have been to blame, but were they? This intriguing book makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, historian Andrew O'Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory. In interlinked biographical chapters, the author follows the course of the war from the perspectives of King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, military leaders including General Burgoyne, the Earl of Sandwich, and others who, for the most part, led ably and even brilliantly. Victories were frequent, and in fact the British conquered every American city at some stage of the Revolutionary War. Yet roiling political complexities at home, combined with the fervency of the fighting Americans, proved fatal to the British war effort. The book concludes with a penetrating assessment of the years after Yorktown, when the British achieved victories against the French and Spanish, thereby keeping intact what remained of the British Empire"--
catalogue key
12014368
 
Includes bibliographical references (pages 427-448) and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A delightfully myth-shattering book." Open Letters Monthly
"Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy brings the human experience of the Revolutionary era to life in these graceful sketches of ten British political and military leaders. To see the period from the perspective of the able, earnest men who struggled to hold the British Empire together is to understand the origins of the United States in ways that Americans have seldom tried to imagine them. It's about time we did, and there's no better place to start than with this book."--Fred Anderson, University of Colorado, Boulder
"Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy brings the human experience of the Revolutionary era to life in these graceful sketches of ten British political and military leaders. To see the period from the perspective of the able, earnest men who struggled to hold the British Empire together is to understand the origins of the United States in ways that Americans have seldom tried to imagine them. It's about time we did, and there's no better place to start than with this book."-Fred Anderson, University of Colorado, Boulder
"Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy has written a remarkable book about an important but curiously underappreciated subject: the British side of the American Revolution. With meticulous scholarship and an eloquent writing style, O'Shaughnessy gives us a fresh and compelling view of a critical aspect of the struggle that changed the world. This is a great book."--Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
"Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy has written a remarkable book about an important but curiously underappreciated subject: the British side of the American Revolution. With meticulous scholarship and an eloquent writing style, O'Shaughnessy gives us a fresh and compelling view of a critical aspect of the struggle that changed the world. This is a great book."-Jon Meacham, author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
"[An] engaging study. . . based on an extensive reading of the vast literature and of many original sources."Brendan Simms, The Wall Street Journal
"Beautifully written and deeply researched, The Men Who Lost America is a great achievement. It will provide any interested reader with a delightfully user-friendly way of understanding how and why the British lost the revolutionary war."--Pauline Maier, author of Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788
"Beautifully written and deeply researched, The Men Who Lost America is a great achievement. It will provide any interested reader with a delightfully user-friendly way of understanding how and why the British lost the revolutionary war."-Pauline Maier, author of Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788
"Deeply researched, carefully argued, and clearly written, The Men Who Lost America cuts through the thick crust of romantic myths to cast the American Revolution in a refreshing new light. Blessed with an impartial, open mind, Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy reveals the talents as well as the human foibles of a rich cast of intriguing characters including America's last king. In the end, O'Shaughnessy gives the American revolutionaries exactly what their story has so long needed: worthy adversaries who fought hard and well."--Alan Taylor, author of The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies
"Deeply researched, carefully argued, and clearly written, The Men Who Lost America cuts through the thick crust of romantic myths to cast the American Revolution in a refreshing new light. Blessed with an impartial, open mind, Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy reveals the talents as well as the human foibles of a rich cast of intriguing characters including America's last king. In the end, O'Shaughnessy gives the American revolutionaries exactly what their story has so long needed: worthy adversaries who fought hard and well."-Alan Taylor, author of The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies
"Much of [the book's] value lies in the sheer volume of engaging material it brings together and in the originality of its organization and approach to a much studied question, namely why Britain lost the War of the American Revolution. . . . A treasure-trove of information on the British operation of the War."--Richard Johnson, University of Washington
"Much of [the book's] value lies in the sheer volume of engaging material it brings together and in the originality of its organization and approach to a much studied question, namely why Britain lost the War of the American Revolution. . . . A treasure-trove of information on the British operation of the War."-Richard Johnson, University of Washington
"[O'Shaughnessy] shatters entrenched stereotypes."William Anthony Hay, The National Interest
"Scrupulously researched and superbly written, these humanizing portraits of conventional cardboard figures from American history offer, like all great history, lessons for today: military might does not guarantee political success; do not try to govern that which you do not own; and resist empire's temptations."--Gary Hart, United States Senator (Ret.)
"Scrupulously researched and superbly written, these humanizing portraits of conventional cardboard figures from American history offer, like all great history, lessons for today: military might does not guarantee political success; do not try to govern that which you do not own; and resist empire's temptations."-Gary Hart, United States Senator (Ret.)
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This unique account of the American Revolution, told from the perspectives of King George III, Lord North, General Burgoyne, and other British leaders, brings to light the real reasons behind the British Empire's stunning and unexpected loss.
Main Description
The loss of America was a stunning and unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders in Britain must have been to blame, but were they? This intriguing book makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, historian Andrew O'Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory. In interlinked biographical chapters, the author follows the course of the war from the perspectives of King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, military leaders including General Burgoyne, the Earl of Sandwich, and others who, for the most part, led ably and even brilliantly. Victories were frequent, and in fact the British conquered every American city at some stage of the Revolutionary War. Yet roiling political complexities at home, combined with the fervency of the fighting Americans, proved fatal to the British war effort. The book concludes with a penetrating assessment of the years after Yorktown, when the British achieved victories against the French and Spanish, thereby keeping intact what remained of the British Empire.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
The View from London
"The Tyrant." George III.p. 17
The Prime Minister: Lord North.p. 47
Victory and Defeat in the North (1776-1778)
The Peace Commissioners? The Howe Brothers.p. 83
"The Old Gamester." John Burgoyne.p. 123
"The Achilles of the American War." Lord George Germain.p. 165
Victory and Defeat in the South (1778-1781)
"The Scapegoat." Sir Henry Clinton.p. 207
"Bagging the Fox." Charles, Earl Cornwallis.p. 247
Victory Against France and Spain (1782)
"Saint George." Sir George Rodney.p. 289
"Jemmy Twitcher." The Earl of Sandwich.p. 320
Conclusionp. 353
Notesp. 363
Bibliographyp. 427
Indexp. 449
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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