NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
2019 GEORGE WASHINGTON PRIZE FINALIST
"Nathaniel Philbrick is a masterly storyteller. Here he seeks to elevate the naval battles between the French and British to a central place in the history of the American Revolution. He succeeds, marvelously."The New York Times Book Review
The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Valiant Ambition.
In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army's movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeakefought without a single American shipmade the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.
In a narrative that moves from Washington's headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette's brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane's Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.
About the Author
Nathaniel Philbrick is the author of In the Heart of the Sea, winner of the National Book Award; Mayflower, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Valiant Ambition, winner of the George Washington Prize; Bunker Hill, winner of the New England Book Award; Sea of Glory; The Last Stand; Why Read Moby Dick?; Away Off Shore; and Second Wind.
Date of Birth:June 11, 1956
Place of Birth:Boston, Massachusetts
Education:B.A., Brown University, 1978; M.A., Duke University
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Excerpted from "In the Hurricane's Eye"
Copyright © 2018 Nathaniel Philbrick.
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Table of Contents
Preface The Land and the Sea xi
Part I "Against the Wind"
Chapter 1 The Building Storm 3
Chapter 2 "An Enemy in the Heart of the Country" 22
Chapter 3 "Delays and Accidents of the Sea" 47
Chapter 4 Bayonets and Zeal 73
Chapter 5 The End of the Tether 104
Part II "The Ocean of History"
Chapter 6 "A Ray of Light" 129
Chapter 7 "The Spur of Speed" 153
Chapter 8 "Ligne de Vitesse" 179
Chapter 9 Yorktown 204
Chapter 10 "The North River Captain" 239
Epilogue Aftermath 263
Illustration Credits 347
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Two (if) by sea! Wishing to update my own book “George Washington’s Liberty Key,” I very much enjoyed Philbrick’s outstanding book, where I found lots of “Wow, I didn’t know thats!” While the book is wide-ranging in Revolutionary War coverage, it essentially covers: 1. Washington’s leadership (including deception) in getting his (French included) men to Yorktown before Clinton knew what was up. 2 (hence my headline). the events at sea (hurricanes, sea strategy, a Spanish diplomat, etc) which led to that crucial but lesser known aspect of what resulted in Cornwallis’ surrender and the Americans winning the Revolutionary War. If the author ever updates his book, here are some recommendations: 1. page 20. “1790 Overmountain Men” are probably just 900-1000 men, about the same size as the British force. 2. page 30 and elsewhere. Portsmouth. Unfortunately, on the inside covers the map includes Norfolk but does not include Portsmouth, just a little south. 3. page 261. King George III said, “[If] he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.” Actually, as reported by Rufus King in 1797 about what George III allegedly told Benjamin West: "that act closing and finishing what had gone before and viewed in connection with it, placed him in a light the most distinguished of any man living, and that he thought him the greatest character of the age.” 4. page 273. “…his son George Washington Lafayette scattered soil from Bunker Hill over his casket.” My research shows that King of the French Louis-Philippe was hostile to a celebratory funeral for Lafayette. As a result of rushed services, the soil from Bunker Hill did not make it to the burial, but was sprinkled later over Lafayette's grave. 5. page 279. “Thomas Jefferson overheard him say,…‘he had made up his mind to remove and be of the Northern [portion].” Actually, this was hearsay, Jefferson’s speaking with Edmund Randolph, who heard Washington say this. 6. page 19 and elsewhere. “King’s Mountain” should be Kings Mountain. 7. Throughout the book, Philbrick occasionally takes what some might argue as unfairly harsh views of George Washington's actions regarding slavery. As balance, I would recommend reading another excellent book "Ties That Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves," which details the immense friction Washington experienced on positive movement coming from family, friends, community, and state. This all said, I very much enjoyed Philbrick’s well-written book. Very highly recommended!!