- Series: Campaigns and Commanders Series (Book 54)
- Hardcover: 624 pages
- Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (April 28, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0806153350
- ISBN-13: 978-0806153353
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle (Campaigns and Commanders Series) Hardcover – April 28, 2016
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
—Wayne E. Lee Crowds and Soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina: The Culture of Violence in Riot and War
About the Author
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The background: British commanding general, Henry Clinton, had been headquartered in Philadelphia after the British army had captured the Americans' capital. The victory was somewhat barren, however, and it was decided that the British forces, including German troops and Tories, should return to New York. Some forces traveled by ship; the bulk of Clinton's army marched from Philadelphia to New York.
The forces of Washington had spent a hard winter in Valley Forge.. However, the German von Steuben had "coached up" the colonial troops over the winter. They were a better trained body than before.
Washington left Valley Forge on June 18, 1778. He wished to, if possible, develop a battle against Clinton's army. The American army shadowed the retreating British horde. Near Monmouth, Washington took action. He sent an advance force under Charles Lee to--if sensible--engage the British rear guard. Lee engaged in battle, and here the book portrays Lee somewhat differently in other renderings of this battle. Makes for some provocative thinking, although Lee did not end up being portrayed positively in the aftereffects of the battle. In the end, the American forces rallied and treated the British rear guard somewhat roughly. The battle would probably be best described as a draw--with the Americans gaining more from the draw as the British.
This a well told history of this conflict. We get a good sense of key players on both sides of the field. We also come to be aware of the political side of a rear guard action.
All in all, a satisfying tale of a battle that was more important than one might have guessed from a "rear guard action."
Part of this work is an hour-by-hour, and sometimes minute-by-minute, narrative of the battle. I must admit that it took me sitting down and comparing the convenient timeline with several of the maps to be able to say I understood the sequence of events in time and space.
Perhaps more importantly the book seeks to rehabilitate the reputation of Major General Charles Lee, Washington's second-in-command. The authors argue convincingly that Lee performed well given the circumstances, but that his lack of tact and political savvy cost ran him afoul of General Washington. Lee made a convenient foil; Lee the villain enhanced the reputation of Washington the "indispensable man."
Ultimately Monmouth was a tactical draw which Washington turned into a decisive political and strategic victory.
The Monmouth of popular memory would be unrecognizable to the participants. Fatal Sunday brings us a little closer to that blistering day in June when armies clashed under the New Jersey sun.
I was interested in the subject, because we live near the battlefield. I thought this might be a rather dry read - but it's riveting.
The book is well researched and very well written - I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the era.
Most recent customer reviews
'The authors, respectively professor emeritus of history at Kean State University and former official historian for the...Read more