The American Revolution 1774-83

Review by Martin Koenigsberg

The American Revolution is the creation myth of America, and most Americans have only a hazy understanding of what actually happened. Here, Daniel Marston, an author and academic on Military and Colonialism in history gives the war the “Essential Histories” treatment and the result is a taut but full discussion of the war and it results. Lots of pictures, maps and diagrams help bring the reader along at a good pace. I’ve read a lot of books on this war, so there were few surprises, but I think Marston does a great job explaining the global nature of the war because of Spanish and French Colonial ambitions- and how that did most of the heavy lifting for the nascent USA. America might be full of Britons who formed a decent market- but the colonies did not generate the sort of profits that Indian, Southeast Asian, or even Caribbean possessions did. Ben Franklin had been right- a French alliance could free the US- either directly or indirectly. Once France- and her Ally Spain got into the Game- the British Colonies all over the globe were in play- and this was not a high point for the Royal Navy. In fact, the aggressive, well funded, well crewed, and well resourced Royal Navy we see in the “Revolutionary” or “Coalition” War from 1789- 1915 – is a direct reaction to this period – where the Royal Navy lost several battles to the French. That incurring the debts to pay for this “victory” would lead directly to the French Revolution that would unseat the French King is the irony of the whole war. But worth it to best the old enemy, he might have felt. There are few adult themes save those of politics, and no graphic injury passages, so Junior Readers over about 10/11 years will be able to get value from this book. For the Gamer/Modeler/Military Enthusiast, more of a book fo familiarise oneself with the conflict, rather than actual Scenario/Campaign/Build/Diorama development material. This might be the book you give to a RPG guy down at the club who wants to join the AWI Campaign – cuz he liked your dank Hessian Minis- but has never read about the war. For the Military Enthusiast, understanding the basis and effects of any conflict is a useful thing- and this book delivers. A good package on a topic many don’t know as well as they think they do. #WhatAreYouReading #BookReviews #18thCenturyHistory #MilitaryHistory #AmericanHistory #BritishImperialHistory #FrenchImperialHistory #SpanishImperialHistory #AmericanColonialHistory #Imperialism #Colonialism #AmericanRevolution #AmericanWarOfIndependence #AWI #ARW #WargameResearch #TheAmericanRevolution1774to83 #DanielMarston #EssentialHistoriesSeries #OspreyPublishing #Lexington #Concord #Washington #Cornwallis #July4th #Tricorn #BlackPowder #18thCenturyWargames

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