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Winning Independence

The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778-1781

John Ferling



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03 August 2021
From celebrated historian John Ferling, the underexplored history of the second half of the Revolutionary War, when, after years of fighting, American independence often seemed beyond reach. It was 1778, and the recent American victory at Saratoga had netted the U.S a powerful ally in France. Many, including General George Washington, presumed France's entrance into the war meant independence was just around the corner. Meanwhile, having lost an entire army at Saratoga, Great Britain pivoted to a southern strategy. The army would henceforth seek to regain its southern colonies, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, a highly profitable segment of its pre-war American empire. Deep into 1780 Britain's new approach seemed headed for success as the U.S. economy collapsed and morale on the home front waned. By early 1781, Washington, and others, feared that France would drop out of the war if the Allies failed to score a decisive victory that year. Sir Henry Clinton, commander of Britain's army, thought the rebellion is near its end. Washington, who had been so optimistic in 1778, despaired: I have almost ceased to hope. Winning Independence is the dramatic story of how and why Great Britain-so close to regaining several southern colonies and rendering the postwar United States a fatally weak nation ultimately failed to win the war. The book explores the choices and decisions made by Clinton and Washington, and others, that ultimately led the French and American allies to clinch the pivotal victory at Yorktown that at long last secured American independence.
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 58mm
Weight:   1.210kg
ISBN:   9781635572766
ISBN 10:   1635572762
Pages:   736
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

John Ferling is professor emeritus of history at the University of West Georgia. He is the author of many books on the American Revolution, including The Ascent of George Washington; Almost a Miracle; A Leap in the Dark; Whirlwind, a finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Book Prize; and, most recently, Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, and the Struggle Against the Old Order in America and Europe. He and his wife, Carol, live near Atlanta.

Reviews for Winning Independence: The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778-1781

Impeccably researched . . . the book is a must-read for any student of Revolutionary history. Yet another excellent work of early American history from one of its best practitioners. --Kirkus Reviews Writing with his usual verve and imagination, Ferling demonstrates that the second half of the Revolutionary War possessed as much pathos, drama, and intrigue as the first part of the conflict. Winning Independence will undoubtedly appeal to both scholars and the general public. It's political and military history at its finest. --Stephen R. Taaffe, author of WASHINGTON'S REVOLUTIONARY WAR GENERALS A mesmerizing historical adventure. Focusing on the southern campaigns of 1778-1781, Ferling luminously unravels the story of how the American colonists finally beat the odds and gained their independence from Great Britain. Certainly one of the most engaging books I've had the pleasure of reading in years. --James Kirby Martin, author of the award winning BENEDICT ARNOLD, REVOLUTIONARY HERO Extraordinary. Ferling's observations on the rival commanders are genuinely thought-provoking and challenging. Deeply researched, impartial, and elegantly written, Winning Independence is nothing short of an instant classic-one of the truly essential works on America's founding struggle. --Mark Edward Lender, author of CABAL! THE PLOT AGAINST GENERAL WASHINGTON

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