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The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford History of the United States) Paperback – March 9, 2007
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Finalist, Pulitzer Prize for History
"This is narrative history at its best, written in a conversational and engaging style....A major revision and expansion of a popular history of the American Revolutionary period."--Library Journal
"A tour de force. Middlekauff has the admirable ability to capture historical truths in vivid images and memorable phrases....Middlekauff's empathy enhances this massive book's cumulative power. The cause was glorious; the book is too."--Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World
"The reader in search of a wide-ranging overview of the Revolution would be better off turning to any number of earlier books (from Trevelyan's classic 'American Revolution' to more recent works like 'The Glorious Cause' by Robert Middlekauff)."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Acclaim for the First Edition:
"One of the best one-volume accounts of the Revolutionary war."--The New York Times
"A striking success. Middlekauff is both elegant and eloquent. Whether he is describing the making of British policy, or sketching the character of Washington or Pitt, or explaining why Daniel Morgan positioned the American troops at Hannah's Cowpens so retreat would be impossible, he does in a few paragraphs or pages what others might struggle through a chapter to get right."--The New Republic
"A first-class narrative history. There is probably no history of the Revolution that better combines a full account of the military course of the war with consideration of all the other forces shaping the era." --The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Middlekauff's energy and clarity often make us read as eagerly as if we did not know how this struggle will come out."--The New Yorker
"Writing with a grace and clarity that recall Samuel Eliot Morison, Middlekauff gives us classic entry into the critical period of American history." --The Los Angeles Times
"His narrative account goes along at a fast pace. He moves with agility from profound political and philosophical disputes of the period to the scenes of battle and the problems of military strategy. A welcome addition to the history of the Revolution." --The Washington Post Book World
"First-rate narrative history--one can hardly imagine a better one-volume introduction to the period. Graced with plentiful illustrations, gracefully written and long enough (at nearly 700 pages) to afford ample attention to detail, this book is highly recommended to the general reader."--Newsday
About the Author
Robert Middlekauff is Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. The winner of a Bancroft Prize for The Mathers, he was Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University and also served as Director of the Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens.
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I feel as if in one stroke I have risen several levels in my understanding of our countries origins.
Middlekauff's style and insight are suited well to this task.
One of the most satisfying of the many large narrative history works I have read on any historical period.
Professor Middlekauf is a refreshing wit, which is on light display throughout the work. This text is amply footnoted (much more convenient for reference than endnotes). The author strikes a fine balance (not always an easy task) between providing his interpretations of events and leaving the reader to develop her own thoughts.
This is the first text in a series upon American History by Oxford University Press, and as such, it takes into account a wide range of scholarship. This emphasis makes the book entirely suitable for the layreader who is searching for a single-volume text upon the major (and many of the minor) historical themes. Moreover, Oxford University Press, the publisher, uses an easy-to-read typeset with generous margins, so that this text, though lengthy, is eminently readable.
I would also heartily recommend two other texts in the series, the ones immediately following this one in the historical chronology--that is, the book by Gordon S. Wood, treating of the early Republic (1789-1815), and the book by Daniel Walker Howe, treating of the period from 1815 to 1848.
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