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Washington's Crossing

by David Hackett Fischer

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Well-written, pro-American historical account   (2007-01-20)

Very Good

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by vleighton

This text of this book is about the crossing of the Delaware and the two battles of Trenton and the battle of Princeton. The subtext, however, is that George Washington was an exemplar of current management fashions. His army was a Learning Organization, where the commander-in-chief listened to his subordinates and kept his strategy flexible. The British, meanwhile, were commanded by a top-down style that was inflexible. And the head of armed forces was absent, enjoying the comforts of New York City.Another theme of the book is that the Hessians were not incompetent drunks, but a well-trained, seasoned force that was fairly beaten. By comparison, the Americans were ragtag. Another theme was that luck plays a large role in critical affairs of men. Everything went wrong with the crossing of the Delaware, and the result was complete victory. Washington was hoping for no skirmishes before the attack, but they had been occurring daily, and had desensitized the Hessian sentries. Washington hoped for a dawn strike, but it didn't happen until hours later. Most of the transports failed to show. He hoped for good weather, and it was the blizzard that hid his forces until their attack. Another theme of the book is that even when the commander of an occupying force means well, the ground troops sometimes behave so poorly that the local populous is motivated to continue the rebellion. The harsh occupation of New Jersey helped fuel the revolution. All in all, well written.


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