Just another book about the revolutionary war? Not really. Top gun historian David Hackett Fischer won the Pulitzer Prize for Washington’s Crossing. There must have been something special about it. There was.
Professor Fischer follows General Washington as he led the crossing of the iced Delaware River during Christmas 1776. On the surface, it seemed insane to cross to the other side to face an alleged much superior force of professional enemy soldiers. However, the author shows that the overwhelming odds were in reality not quite so insurmountable. During much of the year, the American rag tag army developed a new form of hit and run fighting. It was suited to the Americans capabilities and resources. It also lacked rigidity of the British troops and their Hessian mercenaries. Some myths that Professor Fischer debunks include the Hessians were not drunk, but bone weary from constant assault from guerillas and the weapon differential between the two forces was not even close to the legends
Thanks to modern computing and research methods, we know more about the past than ever before. This allows the best historians to present fresh insights in long ago events.
More importantly Washington's Crossing is a nonfiction book that reads like fiction. It represents the best of modern American history writing. Original, insightful, well researched , and best of all, so well written as to be what is called in the book trade, a page turner. Really!
The New Yorker covers: July 2, 1932
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