Catalogue


Almost a miracle [electronic resource] : the American victory in the War of Independence /
John Ferling.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
description
xiii, 679 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0195181212 (hardcover : alk. paper), 9780195181210 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
isbn
0195181212 (hardcover : alk. paper)
9780195181210 (hardcover : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8109737
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [653]-661) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-03-01:
Monographs on the military history of the American Revolution are beyond count, but Ferling (emer., Univ. of West Georgia) has put together new and old materials in a compelling way. This book (a companion to his A Leap in the Dark, CH, Feb'04, 41-3629, which covers the political side of the war) takes readers into the camps and winter quarters of the two armies and into the minds of the commanders and the common soldiers. Though the outcome is known, one can sense the uncertainties and confusions of the time. Upon finishing the book, readers will understand how true the title is. George Washington's flaws, the intricacies of congressional relations with the army and navy, the tactics of guerrilla warfare, and the horrors of the battlefield--all are presented in a readable and academically sound manner. The vignette and the broad brushstroke fit together flawlessly. Descriptions of the (likely) weather are sometimes garish, and the role of Native Americans is understated; on the other hand, the participation of women and slaves is conspicuous. General readers and specialists alike will applaud this work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. T. S. Martin Sinclair Community College
Appeared in Library Journal on 2007-05-01:
Ferling (history, emeritus, Univ. of West Georgia; Adams vs. Jefferson: The Tumultuous Election of 1800), a prolific historian of Colonial and Revolutionary America, provides a traditional diplomatic and military history of the Revolutionary War. He focuses on how tightly matched the conflict was, emphasizing the importance of the choices and decisions the commanders made as well as the war's ensuing turning points. Ferling's passion for the topic is obvious. His prose is generally solid, despite some minor annoyances. For example, his repeated references to Washington's "Fabian tactics" get tiresome. His book's primary value is as a modern, accessible survey that incorporates the findings of many scholarly texts from the last few decades. Though the book is marketed as the first authoritative military history of the war in 40 years, Don Higginbotham's The War of American Independence and Robert Middlekauff's The Glorious Cause remain the standards. Recommended for public and academic libraries seeking to expand collections on the American Revolution.-Matthew J. Wayman, Pennsylvania State Univ. Lib., Abington (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2007-04-09:
Ferling, professor emeritus at the University of West Georgia, caps his distinguished career as a scholar and popular writer on the colonial/revolutionary period with arguably the best, and certainly one of the most stimulating, single-volume histories of the American Revolution. Exhaustively researched and clearly written, it stresses the contingent aspects of a war where victory depended on making the fewest mistakes. Despite chances to end the war in battle, by negotiation or by international conference, Britain failed for lack of manpower, the decision to wage limited war and an ineffective central government--and above all, comprehensive underestimation of American military effectiveness and political resolve. America's cause, ironically, nearly foundered on reluctance to support a standing army, and a government that wasn't strong enough to plan and execute a concerted war effort. That popular enthusiasm never broke owed much to a stable French alliance and to George Washington, who was a good diplomat, a better politician and an excellent judge of character. Steadily growing into the responsibilities of commander in chief, he achieved legitimate iconic status by the war's end. Ultimately, Ferling demonstrates that independence was won through the endurance of the American people and their soldiers, who held on for that last vital quarter of an hour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Arguably the best, and certainly one of the most stimulating, single-volume histories of the American Revolution.Exhaustively researched and clearly written..."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"Arguably the best, and certainly one of the most stimulating, single-volume histories of the American Revolution.Exhaustively researched and clearly written..."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review , .."comprehensive and engaging...Grand stuff and sweeping themes...Ferling is particularly strong in recreating the relentless misery of the war in Georgia and the Carolinas, an essential theater that is overlooked in many popular recountings."--Washington Post Book World "John Ferling is a national resource, and Almost a Miracle is a splendid combination of subject with a superb historian writing at the peak of his powers. Ferling's brilliant book makes an important contribution to the scholarship of the Revolution while telling a gripping story that every American must know."--Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 "Highly recommended. This very thoughtful book is informed by many years of teaching on the subject. It judgments are balanced, mature, and enlightening."--David Hackett Fischer, author of Washington's Crossing "In his richly detailed battle-by-battle account of the war, Ferling succeeds where other military histories fail by providing helpful background for those who don't know their flanks from their feints. He also brings the military leaders to life, exploring their backgrounds, their dispositions, their willingness to take risks."--Christian Science Monitor "In Almost a Miracle, John Ferling offers a highly readable, fast-paced account of the military struggle of the War for Independence. He examines the campaigns and takes an unflinchinglook at the commanders on both sides to determine what led to Britain's surprising defeat and Americas seemingly miraculous victory. His study will remind readers of the importance of the southern campaigns in the American victory--and of the delight of a great narrative in the hands of a fine writer."--Caroline Cox, as the author of A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington's Army "No event in our nation's history is more important than the Revolution, and no historian has grasped this epic drama better than John Ferling. This fast paced narrative, anchored in exhaustive research reminds us that the American victory was never certain. A fragile, fractious coalition of thirteen weak states could easily have succumbed to Britain's might had it not been for the persistent courage and determination of the soldiers and sailors who fought in the patriot cause. Ferling is right our triumph was 'almost a miracle.'"-- William Fowler, Northeastern University and former Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society "Revolutions come in two overlapping but distinct parts--a political upheaval and a clash of arms. John Ferling's sparkling treatment of the military components of the American Revolution provides an ideal companion piece to his earlier volume on its political dimensions."-- Lieutenant General (Ret.) Dave R. Palmer, author of George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots "Offering a much-different spin on the American Revolution than in the usual flag-waving narratives, John Ferling persuasively presents an often-outgeneraled George Washington who, despite an undependable armyand a bankrupt Congress, was unexpectedly fortunate in his alliesthe revengeful French, mishandled Loyalists, irreversible British attrition, and the broad Atlantic."--Stanley Weintraub, author of Iron Tears: Americas Struggle for Freedom, Britains Quagmire
"Arguably the best, and certainly one of the most stimulating, single-volume histories of the American Revolution.Exhaustively researched and clearly written..."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review "John Ferling is a national resource, and Almost a Miracle is a splendid combination of subject with a superb historian writing at the peak of his powers. Ferling's brilliant book makes an important contribution to the scholarship of the Revolution while telling a gripping story that every American must know."--Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 "Highly recommended. This very thoughtful book is informed by many years of teaching on the subject. It judgments are balanced, mature, and enlightening."--David Hackett Fischer, author of Washington's Crossing "In his richly detailed battle-by-battle account of the war, Ferling succeeds where other military histories fail by providing helpful background for those who don't know their flanks from their feints. He also brings the military leaders to life, exploring their backgrounds, their dispositions, their willingness to take risks."--Christian Science Monitor "In Almost a Miracle, John Ferling offers a highly readable, fast-paced account of the military struggle of the War for Independence. He examines the campaigns and takes an unflinching look at the commanders on both sides to determine what led to Britain's surprising defeat and Americas seemingly miraculous victory. His study will remind readers of the importance of the southern campaigns in the American victory--and of the delight of a great narrative inthe hands of a fine writer."--Caroline Cox, as the author of A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington's Army "No event in our nation's history is more important than the Revolution, and no historian has grasped this epic drama better than John Ferling. This fast paced narrative, anchored in exhaustive research reminds us that the American victory was never certain. A fragile, fractious coalition of thirteen weak states could easily have succumbed to Britain's might had it not been for the persistent courage and determination of the soldiers and sailors who fought in the patriot cause. Ferling is right our triumph was 'almost a miracle.'"-- William Fowler, Northeastern University and former Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society "Revolutions come in two overlapping but distinct parts--a political upheaval and a clash of arms. John Ferling's sparkling treatment of the military components of the American Revolution provides an ideal companion piece to his earlier volume on its political dimensions."-- Lieutenant General (Ret.) Dave R. Palmer, author of George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots "Offering a much-different spin on the American Revolution than in the usual flag-waving narratives, John Ferling persuasively presents an often-outgeneraled George Washington who, despite an undependable army and a bankrupt Congress, was unexpectedly fortunate in his alliesthe revengeful French, mishandled Loyalists, irreversible British attrition, and the broad Atlantic."--Stanley Weintraub, author of Iron Tears: Americas Struggle for Freedom, Britains Quagmire
"...comprehensive and engaging...Grand stuff and sweeping themes...Ferling is particularly strong in recreating the relentless misery of the war in Georgia and the Carolinas, an essential theater that is overlooked in many popular recountings."--Washington Post Book World
"Ferling's narrative purpose dominates the structure of the book, but he artfully manages to do more than merely retell the events of the war."--Wayne Lee, The Journal of Southern History "Arguably the best, and certainly one of the most stimulating, single-volume histories of the American Revolution.Exhaustively researched and clearly written..."-- Publishers Weekly Starred Review "Comprehensive and engaging...Grand stuff and sweeping themes...Ferling is particularly strong in recreating the relentless misery of the war in Georgia and the Carolinas, an essential theater that is overlooked in many popular recountings."-- Washington Post Book World "In his richly detailed battle-by-battle account of the war, Ferling succeeds where other military histories fail by providing helpful background for those who don't know their flanks from their feints. He also brings the military leaders to life, exploring their backgrounds, their dispositions, their willingness to take risks."-- Christian Science Monitor "Monographs on the military history of the American Revolution are beyond count, but Ferling (emer., Univ. of West Georgia) has put together new and old materials in a compelling way...Upon finishing the book, readers will understand how true the title is. George Washington's flaws, the intricacies of congressional relations with the army and navy, the tactics of guerilla warfare, and the horrors of the battlefield--all are presented in a readable and academically sound manner. The vignette and brushstroke fit together flawlessly. General readers and specialists alike will applaud this work. Highly recommended."-- CHOICE "Rich, detailed, and sound."-- The Weekly Standard "John Ferling is a national resource, and Almost a Miracle is a splendid combination of subject with a superb historian writing at the peak of his powers. Ferling's brilliant book makes an important contribution to the scholarship of the Revolution while telling a gripping story that every American must know."--Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 "Highly recommended. This very thoughtful book is informed by many years of teaching on the subject. It judgments are balanced, mature, and enlightening."--David Hackett Fischer, author of Washington's Crossing "In Almost a Miracle , John Ferling offers a highly readable, fast-paced account of the military struggle of the War for Independence. He examines the campaigns and takes an unflinching look at the commanders on both sides to determine what led to Britain's surprising defeat and Americas seemingly miraculous victory. His study will remind readers of the importance of the southern campaigns in the American victory--and of the delight of a great narrative in the hands of a fine writer."--Caroline Cox, as the author of A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington's Army "No event in our nation's history is more important than the Revolution, and no historian has grasped this epic drama better than John Ferling. This fast paced narrative, anchored in exhaustive research reminds us that the American victory was never certain. A fragile, fractious coalition of thirteen weak states could easily have succumbed to Britain's might had it not been for the persistent courage and determination of the soldiers and sailors who fought in the patriot cause. Ferling is right our triumph was 'almost a miracle.'"-- William Fowler, Northeastern University and former Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society "Revolutions come in two overlapping but distinct parts--a political upheaval and a clash of arms. John Ferling's sparkling treatment of the military components of the American Revolution provides an ideal companion piece to his earlier volume on its political dimensions."-- Lieutenant General (Ret.) Dave R. Palmer
"Ferling''s narrative purpose dominates the structure of the book, but he artfully manages to do more than merely retell the events of the war."--Wayne Lee,The Journal of Southern History "Arguably the best, and certainly one of the most stimulating, single-volume histories of the American Revolution.Exhaustively researched and clearly written..."--Publishers WeeklyStarred Review "Comprehensive and engaging...Grand stuff and sweeping themes...Ferling is particularly strong in recreating the relentless misery of the war in Georgia and the Carolinas, an essential theater that is overlooked in many popular recountings."--Washington Post Book World "In his richly detailed battle-by-battle account of the war, Ferling succeeds where other military histories fail by providing helpful background for those who don''t know their flanks from their feints. He also brings the military leaders to life, exploring their backgrounds, their dispositions, their willingness to take risks."--Christian Science Monitor "Monographs on the military history of the American Revolution are beyond count, but Ferling (emer., Univ. of West Georgia) has put together new and old materials in a compelling way...Upon finishing the book, readers will understand how true the title is. George Washington''s flaws, the intricacies of congressional relations with the army and navy, the tactics of guerilla warfare, and the horrors of the battlefield--all are presented in a readable and academically sound manner. The vignette and brushstroke fit together flawlessly. General readers and specialists alike will applaud this work. Highly recommended."--CHOICE "Rich, detailed, and sound."--The Weekly Standard "John Ferling is a national resource, andAlmost a Miracleis a splendid combination of subject with a superb historian writing at the peak of his powers. Ferling''s brilliant book makes an important contribution to the scholarship of the Revolution while telling a gripping story that every American must know."--Michael Beschloss, author ofPresidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 "Highly recommended. This very thoughtful book is informed by many years of teaching on the subject. It judgments are balanced, mature, and enlightening."--David Hackett Fischer, author ofWashington''s Crossing "InAlmost a Miracle, John Ferling offers a highly readable, fast-paced account of the military struggle of the War for Independence. He examines the campaigns and takes an unflinching look at the commanders on both sides to determine what led to Britain''s surprising defeat and Americas seemingly miraculous victory. His study will remind readers of the importance of the southern campaigns in the American victory--and of the delight of a great narrative in the hands of a fine writer."--Caroline Cox, as the author ofA Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington''sArmy "No event in our nation''s history is more important than the Revolution, and no historian has grasped this epic drama better than John Ferling. This fast paced narrative, anchored in exhaustive research reminds us that the American victory was never certain. A fragile, fractious coalition of thirteen weak states could easily have succumbed to Britain''s might had it not been for the persistent courage and determination of the soldiers and sailors who fought in the patriot cause. Ferling is right our triumph was ''almost a miracle.''"-- William Fowler, Northeastern University and former Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society "Revolutions come in two overlapping but distinct parts--a political upheaval and a clash of arms. John Ferling''s sparkling treatment of the military components of the American Revolution provides an ideal companion piece to his earlier volume on its political dimensions."-- Lieutenant General (Ret.) Dave R. Palmer, author ofGeorge Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots "Offering a much-different spin on the American Revolution than in the usual flag-waving narratives, John Ferling persuasively presents an often-outgeneraled George Washington who, despite an undependable army and a bankrupt Congress, was unexpectedly fortunate in his alliesthe revengeful French, mishandled Loyalists, irreversible British attrition, and the broad Atlantic."--Stanley Weintraub, author ofIron Tears: Americas Struggle for Freedom, Britains Quagmire
"Highly recommended. This very thoughtful book is informed by many years of teaching on the subject. It judgments are balanced, mature, and enlightening."--David Hackett Fischer, author of Washington's Crossing
"In Almost a Miracle, John Ferling offers a highly readable, fast-paced account of the military struggle of the War for Independence. He examines the campaigns and takes an unflinching look at the commanders on both sides to determine what led to Britain's surprising defeat and Americasseemingly miraculous victory. His study will remind readers of the importance of the southern campaigns in the American victory--and of the delight of a great narrative in the hands of a fine writer."--Caroline Cox, as the author of A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in GeorgeWashington's Army
"In his richly detailed battle-by-battle account of the war, Ferling succeeds where other military histories fail by providing helpful background for those who don't know their flanks from their feints. He also brings the military leaders to life, exploring their backgrounds, theirdispositions, their willingness to take risks."--Christian Science Monitor
"John Ferling is a national resource, and Almost a Miracle is a splendid combination of subject with a superb historian writing at the peak of his powers. Ferling's brilliant book makes an important contribution to the scholarship of the Revolution while telling a gripping story that everyAmerican must know."--Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989
"John Ferling is a national resource, and Almost a Miracle is a splendid combination of subject with a superb historian writing at the peak of his powers. Ferling's brilliant book makes an important contribution to the scholarship of the Revolution while telling a gripping story that every American must know."--Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789-1989 "Highly recommended. This very thoughtful book is informed by many years of teaching on the subject. It judgments are balanced, mature, and enlightening."--David Hackett Fischer, author of Washington's Crossing "In Almost a Miracle, John Ferling offers a highly readable, fast-paced account of the military struggle of the War for Independence. He examines the campaigns and takes an unflinching look at the commanders on both sides to determine what led to Britain's surprising defeat and Americas seemingly miraculous victory. His study will remind readers of the importance of the southern campaigns in the American victory--and of the delight of a great narrative in the hands of a fine writer."--Caroline Cox, as the author of A Proper Sense of Honor: Service and Sacrifice in George Washington's Army "No event in our nation's history is more important than the Revolution, and no historian has grasped this epic drama better than John Ferling. This fast paced narrative, anchored in exhaustive research reminds us that the American victory was never certain. A fragile, fractious coalition of thirteen weak states could easily have succumbed to Britain's might had it not been for the persistent courage and determination of the soldiers and sailors who fought in thepatriot cause. Ferling is right our triumph was 'almost a miracle.'"-- William Fowler, Northeastern University and former Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society "Revolutions come in two overlapping but distinct parts--a political upheaval and a clash of arms. John Ferling's sparkling treatment of the military components of the American Revolution provides an ideal companion piece to his earlier volume on its political dimensions."-- Lieutenant General (Ret.) Dave R. Palmer, author of George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots "Offering a much-different spin on the American Revolution than in the usual flag-waving narratives, John Ferling persuasively presents an often-outgeneraled George Washington who, despite an undependable army and a bankrupt Congress, was unexpectedly fortunate in his alliesthe revengeful French, mishandled Loyalists, irreversible British attrition, and the broad Atlantic."--Stanley Weintraub, author of Iron Tears: Americas Struggle for Freedom, Britains Quagmire
"No event in our nation's history is more important than the Revolution, and no historian has grasped this epic drama better than John Ferling. This fast paced narrative, anchored in exhaustive research reminds us that the American victory was never certain. A fragile, fractious coalition ofthirteen weak states could easily have succumbed to Britain's might had it not been for the persistent courage and determination of the soldiers and sailors who fought in the patriot cause. Ferling is right our triumph was 'almost a miracle.'"-- William Fowler, Northeastern University and formerDirector of the Massachusetts Historical Society
"Offering a much-different spin on the American Revolution than in the usual flag-waving narratives, John Ferling persuasively presents an often-outgeneraled George Washington who, despite an undependable army and a bankrupt Congress, was unexpectedly fortunate in his alliesthe revengefulFrench, mishandled Loyalists, irreversible British attrition, and the broad Atlantic."--Stanley Weintraub, author of Iron Tears: Americas Struggle for Freedom, Britains Quagmire
"Revolutions come in two overlapping but distinct parts--a political upheaval and a clash of arms. John Ferling's sparkling treatment of the military components of the American Revolution provides an ideal companion piece to his earlier volume on its political dimensions."-- LieutenantGeneral (Ret.) Dave R. Palmer, author of George Washington and Benedict Arnold: A Tale of Two Patriots
"Rich, detailed, and sound."--The Weekly Standard
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, April 2007
Publishers Weekly, April 2007
Library Journal, May 2007
Washington Post, August 2007
Choice, March 2008
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
Main Description
In this gripping chronicle of America's struggle for independence, award-winning historian John Ferling transports readers to the grim realities of that war, capturing an eight-year conflict filled with heroism, suffering, cowardice, betrayal, and fierce dedication. As Ferling demonstrates, it was a war that America came much closer to losing than is now usually remembered. General George Washington put it best when he said that the American victory was "little short of a standing miracle." Almost a Miracle offers an illuminating portrait of America's triumph, offering vivid descriptions of all the major engagements, from the first shots fired on Lexington Green to the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, revealing how these battles often hinged on intangibles such as leadership under fire, heroism, good fortune, blunders, tenacity, and surprise. Ferling paints sharp-eyed portraits of the key figures in the war, including General Washington and other American officers and civilian leaders. Some do not always measure up to their iconic reputations, including Washington himself. The book also examines the many faceless men who soldiered, often for years on end, braving untold dangers and enduring abounding miseries. The author explains why they served and sacrificed, and sees them as the forgotten heroes who won American independence.
Main Description
In this gripping chronicle of America's struggle for independence, award-winning historian John Ferling transports readers to the grim realities of that war, capturing an eight-year conflict filled with heroism, suffering, cowardice, betrayal, and fierce dedication. As Ferling demonstrates, it was a war that America came much closer to losing than is now usually remembered. General George Washington put it best when he said that the American victory was "little short of a standing miracle." Almost a Miracle offers an illuminating portrait of America's triumph, offering vivid descriptions of all the major engagements, from the first shots fired on Lexington Green to the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, revealing how these battles often hinged on intangibles such as leadership under fire, heroism, good fortune, blunders, tenacity, and surprise. The author paints sharp-eyed portraits of the key figures in the war, including General Washington and other American officers and civilian leaders. Some do not always measure up to their iconic reputations, including Washington himself. Others, such as the quirky, acerbic Charles Lee, are seen in a much better light than usual. The book also examines the many faceless men who soldiered, often for years on end, braving untold dangers and enduring abounding miseries. The author explains why they served and sacrificed, and sees them as the forgotten heroes who won American independence. Ferling's narrative is also filled with compassion for the men who comprised the British army and who, like their American counterparts, struggled and died at an astonishing rate in this harsh war. Nor does Ferling ignore the naval war, describing dangerous patrols and grand and dazzling naval actions. Finally,Almost a Miracletakes readers inside the legislative chambers and plush offices of diplomats to reveal countless decisions that altered the course of this war. The story that unfolds is at times a tale of folly, at times one of appalling misinformation and confusion, and now and then one of insightful and dauntless statesmanship.
Main Description
In this gripping chronicle of America's struggle for independence, award-winning historian John Ferling transports readers to the grim realities of that war, capturing an eight-year conflict filled with heroism, suffering, cowardice, betrayal, and fierce dedication. As Ferling demonstrates, itwas a war that America came much closer to losing than is now usually remembered. General George Washington put it best when he said that the American victory was "little short of a standing miracle." Almost a Miracle offers an illuminating portrait of America's triumph, offering vivid descriptions of all the major engagements, from the first shots fired on Lexington Green to the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, revealing how these battles often hinged on intangibles such asleadership under fire, heroism, good fortune, blunders, tenacity, and surprise. The author paints sharp-eyed portraits of the key figures in the war, including General Washington and other American officers and civilian leaders. Some do not always measure up to their iconic reputations, includingWashington himself. Others, such as the quirky, acerbic Charles Lee, are seen in a much better light than usual. The book also examines the many faceless men who soldiered, often for years on end, braving untold dangers and enduring abounding miseries. The author explains why they served andsacrificed, and sees them as the forgotten heroes who won American independence. Ferling's narrative is also filled with compassion for the men who comprised the British army and who, like their American counterparts, struggled and died at an astonishing rate in this harsh war. Nor does Ferlingignore the naval war, describing dangerous patrols and grand and dazzling naval actions. Finally, Almost a Miracle takes readers inside the legislative chambers and plush offices of diplomats to reveal countless decisions that altered the course of this war. The story that unfolds is at times a tale of folly, at times one of appalling misinformation and confusion, and now andthen one of insightful and dauntless statesmanship.

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