This is the story of America’s first civil war – the vicious struggle between brothers, friends and families which forged a new nation. Using the latest scholarship, vivid eye-witness accounts and original documents, this book tells the history of the passionate, violent and bloody events of the 1770s. The book argues against the commonly held view that the War of Independence was the American people’s struggle for liberty against an oppressive colonial power. The truth is far more fascinating. Many Americans were loyal to the Crown throughout the war. Men and women often chose sides not because they wanted freedom, but because they wanted their neighbour’s land. This book explores intriguing paradoxes through personal stories of women such as Jane McCrea, whose fiancé was a British officer but whose brother was a rebel soldier. There are stories representing every interest group: Redcoats, loyalists, rebels, neutrals, French soldiers, Indian warriors, slaves, landed gentry and sharecropper, touching on issues such as that: • the real victors of the War of Independence were the French not the Americans; • the British Army could have continued the land war and intervention by the French Navy was decisive in the British defeat; • slave uprisings were supported the British against the rebels, because of their brutal treatment by the colonists; • many Native American tribes remained loyal to the British but both loyalists and rebels betrayed the tribes who had supported them; • when the conflict began very few in Britain or America believed the 13 colonies would gain independence; • there were many mutinies in the rebel army including one in New Jersey which had to be put down by a large force sent by General Washington. http://www.harpercollins.com.au/title.cfm?ISBN=0007156251&Author=0021078 A DELIGHTFUL SUBVERSION I also read Hugh Bicheno's Rebels and Redcoats this week. A revisionist history of the American Revolution, it is a must-read... quite possibly the most anti-American screed I have read in some time, systematically dismantling the American founding myth from the ground up. The introduction alone is devastating to anyone's pretense of Yankee exceptionalism, written by an author and skilled historian who doesn't just detail his personal contempt for what he sees as the layers of propaganda slathered on the "Founding Fathers," but positively revels in it. It is not only that remarkable thing, readable military history in the Keegan-Holmes vein; it is also probably the most subversive paperback in the bookstores today. A few other thoughts on Bicheno: <continues> http://www.snappingturtle.net/flit/archives/2004_03_12.html http://books.ontheweb.co.uk/ukshop/rebels-and-redcoats.html An old friend of mine who is a military historian loaned me this book after he heard I participated on an American message board. That would be this board. Anyway I was a bit surprised this recent controversial book hadn't been ranted about around here. After all books that describe John Adams as the American Abu Nidal don't get published every day by serious historians.