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Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes Paperback – January 23, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (January 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322934
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British historian Hibbert's narrative of the War of Independence from the British and Loyalist viewpoint is lively, beautifully written and freshly informative. Tracing events from the colonists' unexpected outrage over the 1765 Stamp Act to the Treaty of Paris in 1783, he describes the bitter foreign policy debates in London and the escalating logistic difficulties of supporting a war in North America while conducting far-flung campaigns against the French and Spanish as well. In his evenhanded account of operations from Canada to the Carolinas, Hibbert analyzes British attempts to achieve a unified strategy against the rebels, and brings into focus the ideological confusion and political disunity that hampered the American cause throughout the eight-year struggle. The author lays more stress on French intervention in accounting for the ultimate American triumph than our historians are wont to do. He also points out that the 1781 battle of Coppens was one of the few times the Redcoats were tactically outwitted. Photos.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- The story of our struggle for independence from the Boston Tea Party to Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown is among the most familiar in American history. The key events and personalities have been described in popular fiction, history, and movies. Hibbert's unusual and interesting book takes readers through the familiar chronology from the English point of view. The result deepens one's appreciation of the obstacles that faced the British in their attempts to maintain control of North America. Their strategy and tactics are especially understandable when presented in this context. The blunders of English decision-makers in both the government and the army are given the prominence they deserve. Sam Adams and George Washington appear briefly as their enemies saw them. British leaders appear as complete figures with both flaws and strengths. By providing the often overlooked side of an important and commonly told story, this book offers new insights and pleasurable reading.
- Paul Haskell, Edison High School, Alexandria, VA
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book is great for any one who is interested in American history, or one who just enjoys a well written book.
Nathan Hale
I found this account very interesting especially the quotes from letters by ordinary soldiers describing eye witness descriptions of events that they saw.
Stan Beckman
I found this book to be engrossing and written in a style unlike some history books - it reads more like a novel than a "textbook".
Eric Hobart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Christopher Hibbert's "Redcoats and Rebels" is a book that would probably not have been published a quarter-century ago: it takes the most sacred of all political events, the American Revolution, and shows it through the eyes of the losing side. By the time this wonderfully readable history is finished, you are not impressed by the British side: they made one dumb mistake after another. But at least now a reader can be aware of precisely why the Americans won, and why George Washington is still to be admired. He lost battle after battle after battle after battle: and yet he won the war. He kept the army together, against all odds, and with the invaluable aid of the French, put together a coup de grace that ended the British political dominion over the newly born United States. This is a book for all lovers of political and military history, and in that, a very old-fashioned book. But anybody wanting to understand the American Revolution, the single most important armed struggle in our history (and I include the Civil War), has to take into account Hibbert's book.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on December 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Redcoats and Rebels is a succinct history of the American Revolution as told primarily from the British perspective. Like the United States, Great Britain has lost only one major war in the last three centuries, and such a singular defeat begs for close examination. Christopher Hibbert, a renowned professional historian, provides the British perspective on the war with his typical pithy style and insights. While there is nothing radically new in this book, Hibbert succeeds in providing a narrative with great insight into the decision-making processes and senior leadership on both sides. Redcoats and Rebels is suitable for either general audiences or specialists who desire background on the British high-level conduct of the war. However, American readers may notice certain sensitivities that have not faded with time and Hibbert fails to ask the hard questions about why Britain lost its American colonies.
Redcoats and Rebels consists of 25 short chapters, each covering a specific phase or episode in the war. In addition to illustrations, some simple but decent maps and a detailed bibliography, Hibbert provides an interesting appendix on the post-war careers of the major participants. Overall, the narrative is well written and flows smoothly. These pages are obviously written by a professional historian.
Ultimately, Hibbert points to three reasons for the British defeat: poor leadership, the difficulty of the terrain and the tenacity of the American rebels. Hibbert is particularly scathing throughout the book in his criticism of the senior British commanders who fought the war: Howe, Clinton, Burgoyne and Cornwallis, as well as the senior political leadership in London.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mcgivern Owen L on September 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This reviewer made an erroneous initial assumption about "Redcoats and Rebels": He thought that since RR was authored by a Brit that the final product would be a snide, avuncular, anti-American treatment of the Revolutionary War. Wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth. Author Hibbert is far tougher on his fellow countrymen than on the American colonists. With the author's able retrospect, one could almost state that the British effort was doomed from the start. Among the factors burdening the British Army were the following: >Uncertain military leadership made worse by some truly surprising infighting. >Difficulty raising a sufficient number of troops to fight a foreign war in a large, distant colony > Very poor communication among the commanders (John Burgoyne, William Howe, Henry Clinton) once they encamped in America > The mistaken impression that many American Loyalists would rally under the Union Jack. Relatively few did. > What this reviewer would term concentration on the "good life". General Burgoyne took 30 carts (!) of personal goods on his fateful trek to Saratoga. And during the fateful Winter of 1777-1778, General Howe remained closeted in the comforts of Philadelphia-with his mistress! Not 30 miles away, Washington's men were enduring the cruel season at Valley Forge. Why didn't Howe attack? > The Brits allowed themselves to be trapped in a war of attrition in which they won most battles but were sucked dry. >Lukewarm support for and even opposition to the war effort in Parliament. Author Hibbert lays bare all of these factors squarely for the reader to absorb. The author has little use for the squabbling, halting British leadership; only Charles Cornwallis receives his due.Read more ›
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
History that reads like an adventure novel. Great stuff. Being a Canadian living in the US, and looking forward to citizenship here, I found this book to be a fascinating perspective on the Revolution. Unlike some reviewers, I did NOT come away with a pro British feeling. In fact I was rooting for the rebels, and very much feeling that, if I had lived in that era, I would have been right there with them. So, it seems would some free thinkers in Britain at the time. The personal details about the participants makes the story come alive. Stimulated by this, I will read more about this period from other points of view, as one must do with all history. But, as a way to get into the picture, I think this is hard to beat. I guess my only complaint would be that the supporting maps could have been better laid out, with more details showing where, geographically, things were happening.
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