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Dreams of Glory Hardcover – December, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Entertaining in all of the ways readers have come to expect, the prolific Fleming's (The Officers' Wives; Remember the Morning; etc.) newest historical fiction concerns a British scheme to kidnap George Washington. It's the winter of 1780, and Washington's near-mutinous rebel army is stationed in Morristown, N.J., with the Brits across the Hudson. Both sides engage in "intelligence" work; indeed, it seems everyone in Fleming's large cast of characters is a turncoat. When Caesar Muzzey, a slave owned by Flora Kuyper and secret courier for the Redcoats, turns up dead in the American camp, Congressman Hugh Stapleton and Chaplain Caleb Chandler become enmeshed in espionage. Caleb wants justice for the dead slave and begins snooping around; Hugh is uninterested until he meets Flora, a beautiful seductress in the pay of the Brits. Even the meek Yankee chaplain falls in love, though he is coerced by his American superiors into lying to Flora and working with her boss, English spymaster and prospective Washington-kidnapper Walter Beckford, thus becoming an unlikely double agent. A literally explosive twist at the end shows exactly where each character's true loyalties lie. Readers will have no trouble overlooking some inflated writing in favor of the resourceful plot and well-drawn historical figures. It's been two years since Fleming has produced a straightforward historical novel (in the interim, he has authored Hours of Gladness, a contemporary thriller, and Duel, a popular history of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr), and his fans will cheer his return to the genre. (Dec.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Best-selling author Fleming follows Hours of Gladness (1999) with another thriller, this one intriguingly set during the Revolutionary War. Well anchored in accurate historical detail, the novel offers a provocative fictional take on spying and counterspying while General Washington and his ragtag army are holed up in their winter encampment, struggling to survive the harsh conditions. This espionage saga has almost a John le Carre feel to it: intrigue and double cross are center stage, with the Revolutionary War standing in for the cold war. The British and American armies are not the only forces at odds here; colonialists who support the revolution are in conflict with those whose loyalties continue to lie with the British crown. And within these two sets of conflicts, Fleming has fashioned a multilayered plot about the aiding, abetting, and thwarting of British spies and American spies; even a plan for the kidnapping of General Washington is afloat. The many characters, even the great Virginian himself, emerge well-rounded and many-sided. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Forge; 1st Forge ed edition (December 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312877439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312877439
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #790,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"How do you write a book?" 24 year old Thomas Fleming asked bestselling writer Fulton Oursler in 1951. "Write four pages a day," Oursler said. "Every day except Sunday. Whether you feel like it or not. Inspiration consists of putting the seat of your pants on the chair at your desk." Fleming has followed this advice to good effect. His latest effort, "The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers," is his 50th published book. Twenty three of them have been novels. He is the only writer in the history of the Book of the Month Club to have main selections in fiction and in nonfiction. Many have won prizes. Recently he received the Burack Prize from Boston University for lifetime achievement. In nonfiction he has specialized in the American Revolution. He sees Intimate Lives as a perfect combination of his double talent as a novelist and historian. "Novelists focus on the imtimate side of life. This is the first time anyone has looked at the intimate side of the lives of these famous Americans, with an historian's eyes." Fleming was born in Jersey City, the son of a powerful local politician. He has had a lifetime interest in American politics. He also wrote a history of West Point which the New York Times called "the best...ever written." Military history is another strong interest. He lives in New York with his wife, Alice Fleming, who is a gifted writer of books for young readers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David J. Forsmark on December 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Historian/novelist Thomas Fleming is at his best in this spy story set in the American Revolution. Great, complex characters, lots of historical detail and insight-- and a very suspenseful plot. Combines tragedy, patriotism, love, lust, and sudden, savage violence into a rip-roaring story.
Based on true events, Fleming provides insight into historical characters great and small. Towering above them all-- as he does in ANY book that is true to the events-- is George Washington.
A vastly under rated soldier, who learned quickly from his early mistakes, GW was also a brilliant spymaster, who probably integrated intelligence work with the tactical movements of his army, as well as any commander in US history.
Lively, informative, and entertaining, this continuation of Fleming's Liberty Tavern series is as fun a way to learn about American history as has yet been invented.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Carroll VINE VOICE on January 20, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Thomas Fleming captures the duplicity and destructive nature of espionage with this novel of spies during the American Revolution. By utilizing an incredible grasp of the time period, Fleming creates a very plausible scenario, a plot to kidnap George Washington. Caught between British and American spymasters is Caleb Chandler, a minister, who has lost his faith in face of war's destruction. He finds instead a woman of questionable loyalties and this leads him into a world from which he can find no escape. Filled with double dealing and a gamesmanship usually found LeCarre novels, DREAMS OF GLORY gives the reader of what cloak and dagger was like during America's early years. I did have some difficulty accepting some of the personality transformations different characters undergo, they seem to be more for the purpose of moving the plot along as opposed to having real depth, but the real focus here is on the intrigue and the setting. Fleming makes this combination hard to resist.
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