Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Book Review: Washington's Immortals by Patrick K. O'Donnell

Title: Washington's Immortals
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Publication Date: 1 March 2016
Pages: 478
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction / History
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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In August 1776, little over a month after the Continental Congress had formally declared independence from Britain, the revolution was on the verge of a sudden and disastrous end. General George Washington found his troops outmanned and outmaneuvered at the Battle of Brooklyn, and it looked like there was no escape. But thanks to a series of desperate rear guard attacks by a single heroic regiment, famously known as the “Immortal 400,” Washington was able to evacuate his men and the nascent Continental Army lived to fight another day.

Today, only a modest, rusted and scarred metal sign near a dilapidated auto garage marks the mass grave where the bodies of the “Maryland Heroes” lie—256 men “who fell in the Battle of Brooklyn.” In Washington’s Immortals, best-selling military historian Patrick K. O’Donnell brings to life the forgotten story of this remarkable band of brothers. Known as “gentlemen of honour, family, and fortune,” they fought not just in Brooklyn, but in key battles including Trenton, Princeton, Camden, Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, and Yorktown, where their heroism changed the course of the war.
(Goodreads Synopsis)



Washington's Immortals was a riveting read from start to finish. The American Revolution is a subject in which I have developed a strong interest over the last year. Most of my research has been centred on John André, but I am also keen to learn more about the Revolution in general. What impressed me about this book, aside from O'Donnell's approachable prose, was the fact he concentrated on his topic and didn't veer off to discuss some of the more famous events happening elsewhere at the same time. I've read countless tales of Benedict Arnold etc. and it was wonderful to hear stories of the other battles and stand-offs going on at the same time. I would recommend this book for those who already have an overview of the Revolution and are looking for something more in-depth in relation to the Patriot view of the battles.

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