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on January 17, 2015
They said this book was new & unread. The cover looked like it had been wet. Also there was black magic marker on the pages! My husband loved reading the book but we were disappointed in it's condition.
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on March 20, 2013
I cannot verify the historic accuracy of this volume but can verify that it was exciting listening which propelled me several hundred miles while learning facts(?) about the Civil War previously unknown to me.
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on July 27, 2012
I enjoyed reading about the courage of the men who not only survived the winter camp in Valley Forge, but also the extreme heat of battle to follow. It is amazing to see the politics of 1777 is the same politics of 2012. The strength of character of His Excellency General Washington & his men is inspiring. If you are an American, you must read this book to remember the sacrifices our forefathers endured to win liberty for the generations to come. This war was fought to throw off oppressive government interference in the lives of American people. I wish I could get every person who believes that the government needs to take care of their needs to read this book. Thank you for this excellent work.
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on December 4, 2010
I have read much about the American Revolution as history and as in novels. First of all this is a novel but it gives such an insight to the condition of the poor , unequipped Americans during this time of our history. Just to imagine walking with now shoes, bare foot. I had 20 degree weather yesterday and tried imagine how it was to get to Valley Forge and find nothing there to help the Army to survive that winter. The entire arc of the story shows what hardships the Americans who were with George Washington went through. I can only admire the courage and sacrifice of our forefathers. Thank you for such a great book.
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on April 9, 2013
I truly appreciated this book and the trials and tribulations of the early days of the Revolution, both from the British side and of course, the Americans who fought on with courage and leadership from Washington's staff, von Steuben and Lefayete. The Americans overcame disease, lack of supplies and food, screwed-up officers, and cold, cold Mother Nature. Of couse, we also saw (and knew) about the quibbling and disorganization of Congress. This is a page-turner ---enjoy!
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on January 16, 2011
VALLEY FORGE: GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE CRUCIBLE OF VICTORY offers a fine novel sequel to the best-selling TO TRY MEN'S SOULS, picking up where the narrative left off and starting a year after Washington's surprise attack on Trenton. Set in the winter of 1777, this follows the suffering and strategies of Washington and German volunteer Baron von Steuben, offering a vivid story highly recommended for any military or general lending library.
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on January 21, 2014
If you are a history buff this will be good reading for you. Mr.'s Gingrich and Forstchen have put together another story of the American Revolution. It is obvious that their research is extensive. The story flows and the reading is easy. I have a hard time putting it down to go to supper!
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on May 9, 2013
Great historical fiction ... well researched ... well written ... lots of pages but well worth the read. It was hard for me to put this book down and I don't even like fiction. The truth is, Newt Gingrich puts more truth into his books than imagination. I may just have to read them all.
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VINE VOICEon November 29, 2010
Perhaps, just perhaps, we have lost our understanding of our ancestors, for how many of us truly understand the crucible of pain upon which this country was forged, the last best hope of the world for two centuries. In the last ten years we have engaged in two wars, and yet only those on the battlefield have sacrificed. Well, this book has come at a good time. It is here to remind all of us, of a time long, long ago when 12,000 not yet Americans gathered at Valley Forge in the terrible winter of 1777-1778, and tried to make it through the winter, to live to fight the British after the winter encampment. More than 3,000 of the 12,000 would not survive that winter while the British just 18 miles away in Philadelphia our largest city at the time, would party, dance, and frolic.

There was no food, no shelter, a lack of clothing that was only exceeded by the numbers that had no shoes. Morale, what could morale have been like in such an environment. It was a living hell, and there in the center of it was George Washington, a man of enormous presence, and consequence. Could America have come to be without General Washington stepping forward and assuming responsibility for the war - probably not? Only a minority of Americans supported the war. Funds promised by the young Congress never arrived, nor the supplies. At one point there was potentially a coup against the great General by politicians not fully supporting Washington, who wanted to place General Horatio Gates in his place.

This is their story of survival, great courage, and sheer tenacity. It is written in the novel format and is historically accurate. The novel technique allows the authors to exercise certain prerogatives including the need to create drama that might not otherwise have been available.

The General realized that he could never win this war unless he could win a conventional battle against the British. Washington was America's leading proponent of guerilla war, even though that term would not be created until a generation later in Spain when Napoleon's armies would be stopped dead in its tracts by a war of attrition. Modern warfare during our Revolution required a steady infantry, with volley fire power that would be termed disciplined, backed up by accurate and unwavering artillery support.

The General knew he needed to teach, convey, or train his troops for such modern warfare. How could he do it in a Valley Forge environment, in the terrible cold? He knew this modern army was required for success against the British in the spring, if even there was going to be a spring. Washington could not do it himself. He did not know how. There was such a man that could get this done, only one man, and he was a German. His name was Baron von Steuben who became General von Steuben. Working through interpreters von Steuben in record time created a model company. This was a handpicked group of 120 men. He enforced discipline, and used profanity in different languages. He made every officer accountable for a select portion of men. The best sergeants that could be found were the object of the training. He then used the 120 men to train the next group, and the next group, enforcing discipline, and creating a potent fighting force in record time, one winter, despite the weather and cold going against him.

What we view as basic concepts like sanitation were non-existent back then. Simple things like putting the food stations on one side of the camp and latrine facilities on the other were alien during our revolution. The general was also a master of the bayonet, a weapon that had never been used by our soldiers until Valley Forge. Subsequent to the training, the soldiers would win battles solely based on the use of the bayonet, gutting the enemy while he was attempting to load his muskets.

As the winter encampment broke, the British were forced to pull out of Philadelphia and retreat to New York because the British needed to re-enforce their positions in the Caribbean because of French entry into the war. The British army representing the greatest empire in the world at the time met with the American army in Monmouth, New Jersey. If you look at history, some believe the British won the battle because they were able to successfully disengage from the Americans but that's not the point. It was a massive American tactical victory because for the first time, the Americans DROVE the British from the FIELD of BATTLE.

SUMMARY:

It's all here, the details, the pain, the anguish, the hunt for victory, and vindication. I loved the book, and the pride I felt that these were our ancestors; these were the founders and defenders of America, who led a revolution in the best sense of the word. At Monmouth we fought the famed British unit, known as the Blackwatch, a unit that had never backed down in a battle, until they fought the Americans. For the next 200 years they would fight at our side on other fields of battle.

If you want a great read, if you want to read living history that is compelling but still using the format of the novel, than you want to order this book. There are so many stories that very few of us have ever heard before. There were 500 women at Valley Forge that volunteered to keep it all going. From cooking, to nursing, to cleaning, to just boosting morale, maybe they were the difference, but only through a book like this do we even know they existed. I would urge you to run to get a copy of Valley Forge, and thank you for reading this review.

Richard C. Stoyeck
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on December 7, 2010
Great reading. Although this book is under Fiction, I believe it to be more truth than fiction, knowing about our Patriot forefathers and what they endured during this war for Freedom.
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