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Redcoats and Rebels: The War for America, 1770-1781 (Penguin Classic Military History) Paperback – 25 Jan 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141390212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141390215
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 3 x 21.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,665,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Christopher Hibbert wrote more than fifty acclaimed books, including The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici and Rome: The Biography of a City. A leading popular historian whose works reflect meticulous scholarship, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He died in December 2008.

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First Sentence
The first reports came from Boston, a town of some sixteen thousand inhabitants many of whom worked in its distilleries, fisheries, rope-walks and shipyards. Read the first page
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
This book provides a thorough introduction to the War of American Independence. Told with great authority and clarity the book describes and details the effects of each notable event from 1770 to 1781.
The book examines each of the major battles and skirmishes but does not get bogged down in deep analysis of battle formations and strategies. Instead the book concentrates on the war as a whole and its political and ecomonic impacts on Britain and America and consequently how each commander's startegy was affected.
The book is littered with anecdotes that helps to give the reader a more clearer understanding and appreciation of how the war affected the lives of those involved.
Although told primarily from a British perspective the American point of view is by no means neglected.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Embra Boy on 13 Sep 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this a fascinating and authoritative book and for me, it balanced perfectly the military side of the campaign with the broader political context. I particularly appreciated the vivid, and sometimes acerbic, portraits he painted of all the major players in the conflict. It is written from the British standpoint, but it is pretty forthright about the British blundering and lack of political clarity about their aims.
And now to a quibble - a minor one perhaps for many readers but one which had me continually irritated. Hibbert refers to the military forces as British, but the political entity is referred to as England (e.g Chapter 15 - The English Debate). This type of sloppy approach was commonplace 50 years ago but is past its sell by date. Hence, he talks about the volunteer regiments raised after Saratoga - in Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of the surge of patriotic enthusiasm in England. Perhaps this is because he just doesn't know his British history - on page 103 he talks about a colony of emigrants from the Scottish Highlands, "predisposed to support the King, who by the act of Union of 1707 was their monarch as much as England's". Tsk. The Union of the Crowns was much earlier - in 1603, and 1707 marked the political union of which he seems unaware!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Alan Lenton on 20 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book. I know quite a lot about the American Civil War, but relatively little about the American revolution. This book rectified that deficit. It also made it clear that my preconceptions - outmoded Brit generals confounded by American sharpshooters - were somewhat inaccurate.
Yes, the British generals were not exactly top quality, but the real problem was the fact that Britain could not find enough troops to fight a war on a continental scale. Add to that the lack of coordination between the armies and you have a recipe for failure.
In real terms the British only lost two major battles - Saratoga and Yorktown - in eight years but that was enough to precipitate a crisis at home and bring conciliators to the fore in Britain.
Perhaps the war is best summed up by the US commander Nathanael Greene, "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." This is a useful book if you want to find out about the revolution and its social, economic and political setting, as well as the basic military information.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Tomlinson on 5 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Christopher Hibbert's offering Redcoats and Rebels is a very interesting, easy to read account of the American War of Independence.

All the protaganists are included, a political and social background of British and American life in the 1770s is examined in an interesting and engaging way.

The difficulty of any war to writeabout is impartiality, but i believe Hibbert gets it about right. Describing the unforgiving climate and unyielding countryside,which offered little food for man, and little forage for beast.

The many smaller scale battles of this war, are described well, the Naval element is covered, the difficulty of raising army's on both sides are prominent.

The British troops were, in my view,very poorly supported by London, always inadequate in numbers, and in some instances poorly led.

The American troops, inadequately fed and clothed, and subjected to the same inhumane discipline as British troops.

All wars are bad, this one seemed avoidable, unfortunately it went ahead.

Great book, a little expensive pehaps, but worth its money. Redcoats and Rebels
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By Dave Edmondson on 24 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is compelling reading as it is the genuine history, supported by academic rigour, but written in readable style. I had a particular reason for reading it, namely Col. Banastre Tarleton, but it is likely to be a good read for someone with no special reason for opening it.
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