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Almost a Miracle

The American Victory in the War of Independence
Narrated by: David Baker
Length: 26 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: History, American
5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

In this gripping chronicle of America's struggle for independence, award-winning historian John Ferling transports listeners to the grim realities of that war, capturing an eight-year conflict filled with heroism, suffering, cowardice, betrayal, and fierce dedication. As Ferling demonstrates, it was a war that America came much closer to losing than is now usually remembered. General George Washington put it best when he said that the American victory was "little short of a standing miracle."

Almost a Miracle offers an illuminating portrait of America's triumph, offering vivid descriptions of all the major engagements, revealing how these battles often hinged on intangibles such as leadership under fire, heroism, good fortune, blunders, tenacity, and surprise. The author paints sharp-eyed portraits of the key figures in the war, including General Washington and other American officers and civilian leaders. Some do not always measure up to their iconic reputations, including Washington himself.

Others, such as the quirky, acerbic Charles Lee, are seen in a much better light than usual. The book also examines the many faceless men who soldiered, often for years on end, braving untold dangers and enduring abounding miseries. Ferling's narrative is also filled with compassion for the men who comprised the British army and who, like their American counterparts, struggled and died at an astonishing rate in this harsh war. Nor does Ferling ignore the naval war, describing dangerous patrols and grand and dazzling naval actions. Finally, Almost a Miracle takes listeners inside the legislative chambers and plush offices of diplomats to reveal countless decisions that altered the course of this war. The story that unfolds is at times a tale of folly, at times one of appalling misinformation and confusion, and now and then one of insightful and dauntless statesmanship.

©2007 John Ferling (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive introduction to America's independen

This was an excellent introduction for someone who knew his basics about America’s war of independence from films. Some readers complained that the author was somehow biased against Washington. For someone constantly wary of the tiresome bias and revisionism of “modern” historians and “social science” pundits, this book didn’t seem particularly biased; on the contrary, it seemed to present a well-balanced analysis. The prose was good and engaging, made me feel emotional at some points. I am happy to have listened this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I listen to a lot of historic non-fiction, though this one was surprisingly easy to follow, along with unbiased and quite detailed descriptions of battles as well as how events affected commanders and politicians and so forth.

I find this actually driven my interest in the early economics of the US, like how it continued to develop and find its way after the revolution, hopefully there are other such books!

1 person found this helpful

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above average

overall a good account of the war for independence but it was slightly spoiled by sometimes poor recording quality and a slight bias in the narrative toward the American causel

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A great book

I loved this book. It kept me engaged through out and when I finished it I wanted to start all over again.