Friday, September 23, 2011

"American Crisis"

New from Walker and Company: American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781-1783 by William Fowler Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:
The story of the dramatic two years (October 1781 to November 1783) after Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, when the nascent United States was on the brink of immediate collapse.

Most people believe the American Revolution ended in October 1781, after the Battle of Yorktown; in fact, the war continued for two more traumatic years. During that time, the Revolution came as close to being lost as at any time since it began.

As 1781 ended, the British still held New York, Charleston, and Savannah; the Royal Navy controlled the seas; the states—despite having signed the Articles of Confederation earlier in the year—retained their individual sovereignty and, largely bankrupt themselves, refused to send any money in the new nation's interest; members of Congress were in constant disagreement; negotiations in Paris for peace with England were interminable; and, most dangerous of all, the Continental army remained unpaid and on the verge of mutiny.

In American Crisis, distinguished historian William M. Fowler Jr. vividly chronicles this critical, rarely documented period through the eyes of those who lived and influenced it. He skillfully reveals the internal and personal tensions that paralyzed both the British government and Congress, antagonized loyalists and patriots still reeling from the years of conflict, and roiled the army from its leadership through the ranks. In doing so, Fowler brings original insight to the events and forces through which our independence was preserved.