The Perils of Peace: America's Struggle for Survival After Yorktown (Hardcover)
On October 19, 1781, Great Britain's best army surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown. But the future of the 13 former colonies was far from clear. A 13,000 man British army still occupied New York City, and another 13,000 regulars and armed loyalists were scattered from Canada to Savannah, Georgia. Meanwhile, Congress had declined to a mere 24 members, and the national treasury was empty. The American army had not been paid for years and was on the brink of mutiny.
In Europe, America's only ally, France, teetered on the verge of bankruptcy and was soon reeling from a disastrous naval defeat in the Caribbean. A stubborn George III dismissed Yorktown as a minor defeat and refused to yield an acre of "my dominions" in America. In Paris, Ambassador Benjamin Franklin confronted violent hostility to France among his fellow members of the American peace delegation.
In his riveting new book, Thomas Fleming moves elegantly between the key players in this drama and shows that the outcome we take for granted was far from certain. Not without anguish, General Washington resisted the urgings of many officers to seize power and held the angry army together until peace and independence arrived. With fresh research and masterful storytelling, Fleming breathes new life into this tumultuous but little known period in America's history.
About the Author
Thomas Fleming is the author of more than 40 books of fiction and history. He was born in Jersey City, N.J., the son of a powerful local politician, who gave him a lifelong interest in politics and history. He is the only writer in the seventy year history of the Book of the Month Club to win main selections in both fiction and nonfiction. His 1981 novel, "The Officers' Wives, won international acclaim, selling more than 2,000,000 copies." Liberty! The American Revolution was listed as one of the eight best books of 1997 by the History Book Club.
Fleming has made the Revolution his special field.
Three of his books have won best-book-of-the-year citations from the American Revolution Round Table of New York. He has also demonstrated a sweeping grasp of the entire course of American history in West Point: "The Men and Times of the U.S. Military Academy, The New Dealers' War and other books. Fleming is a senior scholar on the board of the National Center for the American Revolution. He is also a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He often appears as a commentator on PBS, the History Channel and A&E. He lives in New York.
“As riveting and suspenseful…it is ultimately inspiring, this is history the way we all wish it could be written.”
-Richard N. Smith, author of Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation and Scholar in Residence, George Mason University
“No one understands the Revolutionary Era better. No one brings it to life with such amazing insight and intimacy.”
-John C. McManus, author of The Deadly Brotherhood: The American Combat Soldier in World War II
“A remarkable achievement, brilliant in conception and illuminating in the way in which heroes and villains…walk off the page.”
-Charles Bracelen Flood, author of Rise, and Fight Again, winner of the American Revolution Round Table AwardCharles Bracelen Flood, author of Rise, and Fight Again, winner of the American Revolution Round Table AwardCharles Bracelen Flood, aut
“[A]n engaging and lively narrative.”
-Tom McGuire, author of Battle of Paoli and The Philadelphia CampaignTom McGuire, author of Battle of Paoli and The Philadelphia CampaignTom McGuire, author of Battle of Paoli and The Philadelphia CampaignTom McGuire, author of Battle of Paoli and Th
“[A] meaningful story about America’s past that compels readers to rethink their understanding of American identity.”
-Michael P. Federici, professor of Political Science, Mercyhurst College