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The Glorious Cause (The American Revolutionary War) Mass Market Paperback – June 3, 2003


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Shaara's hefty fifth novel, the second in a two-volume series about the American Revolution, is an epic saga of what Shaara calls our first civil war and the first truly world war, told with emotion, energy and historical precision. Using the formula of character-driven fiction employed by his father, Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels), Jeff Shaara presents the dramatic history of the revolution as seen through the eyes of the major players. In describing the battles, skirmishes, victories, defeats, blunders, intrigues, treason and bickering, Shaara illuminates the circumstances whereby a rebel collection of motley amateurs dared to confront a mighty empire and its vaunted army. The narrative establishes immediacy in its colorful profiles of the participants. Shaara depicts George Washington as a general whose force of will and strong character earn the loyalty of soldiers who are defeated by the British again and again. Washington's relationships with other principals are profound and surprising. Having regarded Gen. Charles Lee as a friend, he is stunned by the behavior of his second-in-command on the battlefield and behind his back. He thinks highly of Gen. Nathaniel Greene and the Marquis de Lafayette, and neither will disappoint him. Having enjoyed the "pleasantly sociable" company of Benedict Arnold, Washington discovers too late that there are two traitors at West Point. He also learns firsthand how "Mad Anthony" Wayne earned his nickname. Shaara takes equal pains to characterize the British, men like dawdling Gen. William Howe, arrogant Henry Clinton and the capable but hapless Charles Cornwallis. This is vivid and compelling historical fiction, but also a primer on leadership and the arts of war and diplomacy. Shaara reaches new heights here, with a narrative that's impossible to put down.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Shaara here concludes his epic series on the American Revolution that began with Rise to Rebellion. As with his previous historical novels (he's adamant that they are just that and not histories), this one is told from the perspectives of various historical players. George Washington is prominent, as are Benjamin Franklin, the under-appreciated Nathanial Greene, and, intriguingly, Britain's Lord Cornwallis. Some decry the author's creation of internal and external dialog, but the Founding Fathers were human beings who had doubts and who did not always give speeches or make pronouncements. The dialog rings true, and the history, aside from a glitch or two (grenadiers are infantry, not cavalry), is accurate. Rich, exciting, and compelling, The Glorious Cause will inform and entertain. Shaara has now written about the Mexican War, the Civil War, and the Revolution, and his many fans hope that he will continue to write about American history in the same skillful and exciting manner. For all collections. Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: The American Revolutionary War (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345427580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345427588
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure-two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father's Pulitzer Prize--winning classic The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives in Gettysburg.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 76 people found the following review helpful By MG on November 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is perhaps the finest novel Jeff Shaara has written to date. I am a fan of all of Mr. Shaara's novels but this is the best one in my opinion. He does a great job making the mythical figures of the Revolution come to life. There has been alot written about the major players of the Revolution but Mr. Shaara puts a human character with these individuals that show the fears and concerns they must have felt during these trying times.
The novel looks at the Revolution through the eyes of Washington,Greene,Franklin, and Cornwallis and their reactions to the events that transpire. I particularly like the way the author focuses on Hathaniel Greene who is an often overlooked but integral part of this period. He also does an excellent job looking at the war from the British General Cornwallis' perspective. Often times books about the American Revolution focus completely on our point of view and its good to get some insight into a British soldiers life.
Shaara's characters jump off the page and make this a hard book to put down. You will not be disappointed with this book and it most likely will energize you to find more information on our Revolutionary period.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Chris D. Keeton on November 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The fifth novel by Jeff Shaara is perhaps his best work to date. Many people, including yours truly, waited what seemed like many years for the release of 'The Glorious Cause.' It was well worth the wait.
The American Revolution poses an interesting challenge to an author, since the action sequences and attitudes of the day are so different from later times. However, this challenge was masterfully met by Mr. Shaara, who truly surpassed my expectations. Shaara truly explored the personalities of the key players in the Revolution (Washington, Franklin, Cornwallis, et al). A few scenes in this novel actually moved me to tears.
The American Revolution has all but disappeared from today's historical landscape. Besides names we were all taught in school who were important to America, like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, most people are still (and woefully) unaware of the struggles these men and others faced to bring into existence the United States of America. Mr. Shaara's unique abilities as a storyteller have served to make this and future generations understand the conflict and those involved in it. While this is still a novel, historical fiction, Shaara transports the reader back in time over 200 years, and helps us grasp the vast complexities and heart-wrending hardships that faced our gallant ancestors as they forged the American Experiment.
I would highly recommend 'The Glorious Cause,' along with volume one 'Rise to Rebellion.' Both novels can easily be read time and again, each time opening up more of our hallowed past. I'm sure each reader will gain a greater appreciation for the events that changed the world forever, and brought us to our current place in history.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By George Webster, Ph.D., VINE VOICE on February 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a splendid book. I thought that Jeff Shaara did a great job in Rise to Rebellion, the first book in this series, that began with the Boston Massacre and ended with the Declaration of Independence. In The Glorious Cause, we see the infant United States facing the might of a furious King George and an aroused British people. The Americans are ill-trained and ill-equipped, but they have two things going for them - their determination and their military leader, George Washington. He is the dominant figure in Shaara's picture of the revolution. I think we sometimes forget how great this man was, but he was every bit as great as most Americans regard him. Shaara protrays Washington's courage, his moral standards, his kindness, his sometime doubts in himself, and above all, his brilliance on the battlefield, where he successively outmaneuvered British Generals Howe, Clinton, and Cornwallis. We also see how the Americans used guerilla tactics to kill British soldiers at every opportunity all over the nation in bitter, little fights. Finally, the French make America's independence possible by supplying powerful aid to bring Cornwallis, and really the British Army, to defeat at Yorktown. In 638 pages, Jeff Shaara tells a fascinating and inspiring story.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Smallchief on October 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I never realized how little I knew about the Revolutionary War until I read this novel. The battles, the strategy, the leaders were all a blur to me. The story in this volume begins after the first clashes of the war near Boston and continues on until the end with the surrender of General Corwallis at Yorktown.

Shaara makes George Washington into a real person -- and the results are impressive. Washington's patience and perseverance, his management of his army, his steadfast ability to avoid disastrous military defeats and take advantage of small opportunities for victories reconfirm him in my heart as the greatest of Americans. Other characters are the aged Benjamin Franklin practicing diplomacy in France, Generals Greene, Wayne, Lee, Cornwallis, and foreign volunteers such as Lafayette and Baron von Steuben. I particularly enjoyed a brief scene in which von Steuben, a Prussian, confronts the job of turning an unruly mob of American soldiers into an army. This is a miitary history. Short shrift and unkind words are given to the political efforts of the Continental Congress and its members.

Shaara writes fiction about as close to fact as it can be. The book includes all-essential maps of major battles and the descriptions of battles can be taken as authentic -- although Shaara gets inside the head of major characters to sketch motivation and character. This is one of few books I have read on the American Revolution -- and certainly is the best I have read.

Smallchief
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