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Nathanael Greene: A Biography of the American Revolution Hardcover – June 24, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0230602717 ISBN-10: 0230602711 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; First Edition edition (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230602711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230602717
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A top American commander throughout the War of Independence, Greene here inspires a second biographical rendering, following Washington’s General, by Terry Golway (2004). Less analytical than Golway’s portrait, Carbone’s version is more journalistic, reflecting its origin in a series the author wrote for newspaper readers in Rhode Island, Greene’s home colony/state. The benefit in book form is a brisk march through Greene’s short life (44 years) but action-packed military career. Born a Quaker, Greene, perhaps, was not meant to be a Friend: he rocketed from private to general in 1775, when Washington recruited Greene for his ability to run a tight regiment as well as his aggressiveness in the field. Greene is recognized in military history for saving Washington’s army at Brandywine in 1777 and Monmouth in 1778. His major strategic contribution to American victory was his independent command that drove Cornwallis out of the Carolinas and toward eventual defeat at Yorktown. Arranging events in a chronological illustration of Greene’s canniness in the duel with Cornwallis, Carbone’s informative portrait should connect with the American Revolution readership. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

"The personality of George Washington has so dominated the story of the American revolution that many of his able lieutenants have been relegated to history’s sidelines. One of these, Nathanael Greene, is now the subject of…a engaging new biography by Rhode Island journalist Gerald M. Carbone…[who] has made extensive use of the Greene papers, and these afford a rounded portrait of his subject." – The Washington Times

"Carbone gives a little-known Revolutionary War leader his due in this admiring biography... [A] lucid account of the Revolutionary War from the point of view of its most successful general." -- Kirkus

“A brisk march through Greene’s short life (44 years) but action-packed military career…Arranging events in a chronological illustration of Greene’s canniness in the duel of Cornwallis, Carbone’s informative portrait should connect with the American Revolution readership.” -- Booklist
 
"Although Nathanael Greene's miliary accomplishments generally receive less attention than Benedict Arnold's or Lafayette's, historians consider him the better general. Journalist Carbone's lively chronicle corrects this neglect...He should be known better, and this well-researched chronicle...is a good first step." -- Publisher's Weekly
 
"To this much-needed new biography of America's most unjustly neglected Revolutionary War hero, Gerald Carbone brings a journalist's concision, a storyteller's eye for illuminating detail, a wry New England sensibility, and a historian's diligence.  The result is a compelling account of how Nathanael Greene, the self-taught former Quaker ironmaster from Rhode Island, made himself over into the Continental Army's finest strategist and one of the best minds of Enlightenment America.  Carbone carries us deftly through the triumphs and tragedies of this remarkable life, offering us a Founder of flesh, blood, acumen and ambition who, had he lived longer and his luck been kinder, might even have become president." --Charles F. Price, award-winning author of Freedom's Altar and of Nor the Battle to the Strong
 
"Ged Carbone has written a lively, accessible biography of one of the truly great strategists in American history, Major General Nathanael Greene, second only to Washington in the pantheon of heroes of the War of the Revolution." --John Buchanan, author of The Road to Guilford Courthouse

"Nathanael Greene remains one of the American Revolution's most compelling yet unsung heroes. In Nathanael Greene Gerald Carbone provides a complex and absorbing portrait of a resourceful general, a devoted husband, an unfortunate businessman and an ardent American patriot. Carbone cleary admires his subject but also portrays his all-too-human human sides. Well-researched, the general's story is told against a backdrop of dramatic battle scenes, wonderful characters and revolution that seems on the verge of collapse if not for the extraordinary sacrifices of figures such as Greene, to whom all Americans will be forever indebted."--Mark Puls, award-winning author of Samuel Adams and of Henry Knox
 

“With a journalist’s eye for telling anecdote and pithy, but illuminating, quotation, Ged Carbone makes Nathanael Greene come alive in this lively, readable biography that is also very good history.” --Dennis Conrad, Editor, Papers of General Nathanael Greene


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Customer Reviews

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It is a well written, easy read.
JLL from NC
Nathanael Greene (Nate the Great) is often overlooked because his post war contributions were cut short by his early death.
Raven Ranch
I highly recommend this book for all that are interested in American history.
MCON

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By T. Wray on July 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It is amazing that after hundreds of years of review and many factual accounts being written that an author can bring new life and perspective to the American Revolution....but Gerald Carbone has done it with this book.

This review of the General Nathanael Greene's personal life and war time thoughts and actions are documented in letters to his family, friends, General Washington, and other major military players. These letters are woven into historical accounts of this war providing a play by play to the game of cat and mouse he played with British Generals in both the northern and southern fronts over many years. The race to victory over the second half of the book is especially exciting for a story which we already know the outcome.

Over and above the insight into Greene's thoughts and never ending planning for the war, the book provides an interesting perspective of the communication, travel and logistics of operating a war in that time period. His personal thoughts of balancing the responsibility of leading an army in war time and family duties are also intriguing.

Definitely worth reading for the whole family.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jay Stephens on July 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In "Nathaneal Greene: A Biography of the American Revolution", Gerald Carbone provides the reader with an outstanding view of the American struggle for independence, at the same time providing tremendous insight into one of our country's most significant (and perhaps tragic) figures.
The author's skillful use of the subject's own writings, as well as those of his contemporaries, provides the reader with an exceptional insight into both the characters and the tenor of the times. Exceptionally well researched and well written! An excellent read!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Raven Ranch on December 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well written account of one of the most important figures in the American victory in the revolutionary war. Nathanael Greene (Nate the Great) is often overlooked because his post war contributions were cut short by his early death.

The author uses Greene's military career as a guide for understanding the revolutionary war and the many hardships the continental army faced. If you've not read much about this part of American history this would be a good book to provide an overview of the conflict. But, if you consider yourself well read I think you'll also find the book to be entertaining. I was personally fascinated by Greene's life after the war. I was unaware of his involvement with slavery, his mountainous debt, and the circumstances of his death.

In summary, I think the best aspect of the book is that it made me want to know even more about General Greene. Any book that opens new interests is a good book by me. Now, I need to order "Caty", the story of Greene's wife!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MCON on June 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After reading Mr. Carbone's Nathaniel Greene series in the Providence Journal, I contacted him and asked if he had plans for a book. I felt that it was extremely well written. It kept my interest so much that I was anxious for the next morning's paper to arrive. It was written in such a way that you feel that you are there. As a big history buff and with the success of HBO's John Adams, I think that this book should be made into a major movie. Congratulations, GED!
I highly recommend this book for all that are interested in American history.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A. R. Westra on June 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Gerald Carbone writes that Nathanael Greene's involvement throughout the entire war results in the general's biography being quite similar to that of the American Revolution itself. This is a good summary for the book. In fact, Carbone even provides a refresher on the litany of acts imposed by Parliament that precipitated the war and discusses some of the battles in which Greene was never even involved.

The writing is succinct and moves quickly through the events. Largely, based on Greene's Letters (but, unfortunately, not those of many others), Carbone describes Greene as a meticulous tactician and fervent patriot. The reader learns exactly how Greene was so successful in battle. After initial defeats in New York and Pennsylvania, perhaps due to over-optimism, Greene distinguished himself in New Jersey - at Springfield and in a victory of sorts at Monmouth. His ability to impose discipline and thoroughly understand local geography and use it to his advantage was extraordinary.

The second part of the book deals with Greene's Southern command leading to the British surrender at Yorktown. This is quite a thrilling read about partisan warfare and daring tactics. For a further account of the less discussed, but highly important Southern Campaign, refer to Walter Edgar's Partisans and Redcoats.

Through all the battles, however, the reader learns little about Greene's character. Why was this man, raised as a Quaker, so intent on leaving his new wife and family and successful business to fight against the British? Was it ambition and glory that propelled him to seek positions of authority? Or was it genuine support for the Patriot cause? And if so, what had turned him against the British?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grant H. Sitler on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Carbone writes in an easy to understand manner. The flow of his narrative is easy follow. However, it lacks some of the finer literary style points of other, more experienced history writers. He writes in an informal style, not hesitant to use contractions and informal speech ("It's said that...." pg. 42 et al). He also interchanges written numbers and Ariabic at random: ""twenty-eight cannon" (pg 58) but "the barrels of 2 regiments" (pg 61). Fun reading overall. I wish the paper had been of higher quality, however, as my pen bled through when underlining. Overall, considering that Greene is my relative, it is an excellent report.
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