Patriot Battles is a non-academic book but full of interesting content on the American War, a counter-balance perhaps to Spring's "With Zeal And Bayonets Only" which dealt with the Patriot forces only in passing. Michael Stephenson has included a lot of interesting detail and his judgments, even where one does not agree, are at least laid out well. In general, I think he belongs to the Chaos School rather than the Idiot School. The former holds most strange events to be caused by the best intentions mated with disorganisation, the latter than key historical figures are very stupid indeed (if only, we are invited to think, popular historians had been in charge).
The book has the usual mixture of the traditional and the mundane. There are chapters on how both sides fought and why they fought; how they were commanded and how they were fed; the involvement of blacks, women, Indians and Loyalists. It adds both that practical element to heroic battle paintings and reminds us just how hard it is to run a war (then as now). The book ends with a canter through the battles and campaigns.
I found Stephenson a delightful and engaging writer. However, his modern day comparisons have not gone down well on Amazon.com. Such comparisons are always difficult though I doubt the author aimed to annoy (unlike the wonderfully acerbic Hugh Bicheno). I enjoyed the book, found it much wider in range than I had thought, and could overlook the judgments.