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Brutal Virtue: The Myth and Reality of Banastre Tarleton Paperback – July 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0788420993 ISBN-10: 0788420992 Edition: n

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Heritage Books; n edition (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0788420992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0788420993
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,498,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Much mythology has been written about Banastre Tarleton, the best
cavalryman of the american revolution. Anthony Scotti has finally separated fact from fantasy and has shown that his style of warfare was typical of his time. In fact his counterpart on the American side was Light Horse Harry Lee, whose style was the same. Both were "brutal" in their method of fighting. Since Tarleton was on the losing side, he has been demonized. Lee on the other side is considered an American hero. This book is a
very welcome addition to the literature on the American Revolution and is an excellent read. It should be in everone's library who has any interest in this war.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nickibockers on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Not only a fabulous study on the life and career of the most demonized character in the Revolutionary War, but a fascinating look into the reasons why myths are created, and the perseverance of myth and romanticizing American History, especially Revolutionary War History in the U.S.

An indispensable, extremely well-written and exhaustively researched book.

True that there are few, if any, real saints or demons in history, but Mr. Scotti blows away the lingering perception of "devil incarnate" of Ban Tarleton. Highly, highly recommended to anyone interested in this era and Tarleton. Bravo.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MCB on December 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
In my opinion the author did a fine job of dispelling many of the myths surrounding this very controversial figure.
Sadly most people's opinion have been formed by the character in Mel Gibson's The Patriot.
The author provides superb footnotes for the information presented for further reading or research.
I strongly recommend the book and while we are on the subject may I also recommend the very excellent web site banastretarleton.org
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
Although not an actual biography or military history (at least it is does not read very well that way), this book seems to try a bit too hard to rationalize many of the actions of the British Legion and its controversial commander, Banastre Tarleton. When his troops admittedly misbehaved, was he really just too far away, not watching or unable to control them? Was he really such an innocent victim of a vast post-war public relations conspiracy -- or perhaps where there was smoke there also some fire? Very few "saints" fought on either side in the nasty civil war in the Carolinas during the American Revoltion, and the Legion's lot was further complicated by the fact that many of the men were from northern colonies. It is unfortunate that with so much well-researched, detailed and useful information presented on the Legion's activities, it gets somewhat of a "denial" spin at times regarding some of the unit's off-the-battlefield behavior. Maybe this is a partial response to the almost ridiculously Nazified Tavington character in the recent movie, "The Patriot." However, a significant amount of scholarship by respected historians supports a contrary or more balanced view (not only Robert Bass' 1957 biography, "The Green Dragoon").
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark A., Costa on January 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Atrocities were committed by both sides during the revolutionary war. This is not in doubt, and historian's tend to forget the American ones. Tarleton's record HAS been misinterpreted over the centuries, but I felt that the author spent too much time trying to exonerate his idol from obvious charachter flaws. The bottom line is that the British Legion used very harsh tactics during the war and the commander WAS responsible for his men, whether he was there or not. I found myself thinking of the excuses used at Nuremberg in 1945-46. The author did dispell many of the myths but the idol worship needed to be toned down a bit. To this reader another opportunity to put the real Tarleton in perspective was lost.
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