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George Washington's Westchester Gamble: The Encampment on the Hudson and the Trapping of Cornwallis (NY) Paperback – May 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (May 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609490398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609490393
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,604,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This fascinating book by Richard Borkow provides a series of riveting chapters that view the U.S. War for Independence from a wide variety of perspectives. Westchester County NY was the middle ground separating the defenders of the Hudson River Valley and the British who wished to split the new-born United States in two. The personal perspectives of Westchester citizens are described in context with the shift of annual campaigns from New England to the Carolinas and with the power struggles between European nations, in whose eyes the U.S. was just one of many contested areas around the globe. The land granted to the U.S. at the peace table would depend on which side dominated Virginia by the end of 1781, and the U.S. race to avoid bankruptcy, mass desertions, and foreign domination is told with conviction and ample documentation." --Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route

"Richard Borkow has done a first-rate job of telling the story of the American Revolution in Westchester County and putting dramatic events there in the context of the larger war--especially the decision to march to Yorktown." --Thomas Fleming, author of The Perils of Peace, America's Struggle for Survival after Yorktown

"Just when it seemed that the subject of the American Revolution had been thoroughly explored, Richard Borkow has given us a fresh look at the war's culminating event--the 1781 march of French and American troops to Virginia." --Joseph Wheelan, author of Jefferson's War: America's First War on Terror, 1801-1805, and Mr. Adams's Last Crusade: John Quincy Adams's Extraordinary Post-Presidential Life in Congress

About the Author

Richard Borkow is the village historian of Dobbs Ferry, New York and a trustee of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society. In 2009 and 2010, he was project director for Noted Historians Reveal Dobbs Ferry's Historic River Connections, a series of video interviews with distinguished historians that was sponsored by the New York Council for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a physician specializing in pediatric rehabilitation medicine and an attending at Blythedale Children's Hospital.

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Customer Reviews

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This book points out lots of them.
Jim Morris
Dr. Borkow should be commended for bringing this excellent account of General Washington's victorious march to Yorktown, Virginia for all of us to savor and enjoy.
prezhistorian
Wonderfully well researched and written, this book describes historical events, the context of the decisions, and the locations where it all happened.
Amie Ziner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Elble on December 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
George Washington's Westchester Gamble: The Encampment on the Hudson River and the Trapping of Cornwallis is one of the most in-depth, exciting books I have ever read about the campaigns of General George Washington. The author, Dr. Richard Borkow, provides highly interesting, informative and spell-binding accounts of the actions and battles leading up to the surrender of General Cornwallis in the Revolutionary War.
Dr. Borkow's descriptions allow the reader to truly feel as if he or she is actually witnessing the events as they unfold. Also of great interest to history buffs is the translating of the battle sites into their modern-day locations and Dr. Borkow's ability to explain the social climate of the day and how it affected the decisions our forefathers had to make during this crucial period in our Country's formation.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in United States History.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By prezhistorian on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
All of us have been taught in school about how General George Washington received the final surrender of General Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia in October of 1781. After 6 1/2 long years of fighting, the United States had finally won their independence from Great Britain.

But, how did General Washington get to Yorktown? Dr. Richard Borkow takes us on a, heretofore, little known, but fascinating tale of the calculated risks that Washington and his army took. In the Summer of 1781, the Continental Army, led by Washington, had been encamped in and around Dobbs Ferry, in Westchester County, New York. New York City, some 20-odd miles south, was occupied by British forces.

From a military standpoint, the very idea of an untrained army of men, from all walks of life, could outlast one of the finest and well-trained military forces of the Western hemisphere was preposterous. Their financial resources were limited, at best, and delegations were sent to France and elsewhere, in an effort to bankroll the patriots' cause. Over the course of the war, the American patriots had tasted the bitter pill of defeat, time and time again.

But, fate has an interesting way of turning things around. Just a few miles north of Dobbs Ferry, British Major John Andre, had been captured, along with his concealed plans to capture West Point with the assistance of American General
Benedict Arnold.

General Washington and his army made the arduous and dangerous journey to Virginia, knowing full well that defeat by the British forces could spell the end of the Americans' dream of independence.

Dr. Borkow ably relates the journey that General Washington and his men took during those months of August through October of 1781.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kim Burdick on June 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
.
"George Washington's Westchester Gamble" is carefully foot-noted, contains some nice black and white photographs, and has an excellent bibliography.

Dr. Richard Borkow, village historian of Dobbs Ferry, New York and a trustee of the Dobbs Ferry Historical Society, does a good job using both primary and secondary sources to back up his points.

If I were to change the book at all, it would be to focus less on the overall context of the war and even more closely on the specifics of what happened in the greater Dobbs Ferry area.

Borkow's vignettes of political infighting and daily life in and around 18th century Dobbs Ferry are excellent. The book will be particularly valuable to Westchester area residents as Dr. Borkow carefully notes where the action takes place in regards to local streets and roads.

Kim Burdick
Stanton, Delaware
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Morris on February 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
George Washington's Westchester Gamble is a riveting and descriptive telling of the story of the American Revolution and Westchester County's role in the Revolutionary War. This book is extremely engaging. I have only a passing, casual interest in history, but I found this book very hard to put down. For the first time I heard of how Bushnell's American Turtle, the world's first submarine, was built to take on the mighty British Navy (and how it met it's ironic demise!). I learned of American John Odell's "Skirmish on the Ice" while horse backing on the frozen Hudson River and of the attack on the Youngs house in central Westchester County. Stories of men and individuals traveling long distances in cold, unbearable weather with little or no provisions before any mechanized transportation. They were really a hearty bunch back then. I really got a sense of what happened in the war and have a greater appreciation of what the people who started this country went through. It's amazing how many Westchester County residents are living, working and traveling past such important places in our country's history every day. This book points out lots of them. Kudos to the author for his detailed research. A really enjoyable read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By pam murrow on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Dr. Borkow should be highly praised for putting into words this excellent account of General Washington's triumphant march to Yorktown. Richard Borkow has thoroughly researched and detailed his book. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Kahn on December 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was a subject that was overdue in needing to be told. Too many have forgotten Westchester's role in the War for Independence. Dr. Borkow has done well in re-introducing Westchester's importance in that war for freedom!

Dr. Borkow articulates clearly that Westchester was a "crossroads" and that most of the major and minor campaigns had a link to Westchester. He also did a fantastic job explaining how Washington was a pragmatic, logical, and politically savy tactician; I say this regards to the ongoing debate about the NYC vs. Virginia plan and how it is explained here in a very logical and chronolgical military steps; I am referring to the ultimate decision that led to the victory at Yorktown, Virginia.

This book demonstrates how any why Washington should get more credit as a strategist/tactician than he is conventionally given. I recommend this book to first time readers on the Revolution and those who think they've read everything on the Revolution.

I look forward to the author's next work!
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