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Publisher's 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-22-15

Dramatic Backstory of The War for Independence

An impressive work that draws upon recent historical analysis to show that there was every reason to suppose at the time that the war effort would fail, but that owing to curious juxtapositions of people and events, all the evidence of a miraculous intervention, the darkest prospects suddenly turned to the most glorious triumph. The book conveys an understanding of that crucial period that underlines the hard challenges that Americans faced and the inspiration of George Washington's stellar perseverance and upright character that enabled both military and civilian segments of the population to endure. A most interesting aspect of the book is the insight into the political situations in England, especially after the British disaster at Yorktown. If you want a sweeping understanding of the miracle that established American independence, you would not be disappointed in taking the time to read or listen to this book.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Lil Tiger on 10-04-16

Tells a story we should all know.

I am unabashedly a history buff. This book of our beginning is so greatly defined that I found one thing missing for me ... a map to follow and mark as the story unfolded. No sugar coating here, just a darned good story! Oh yes, and loved the ending.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ariel on 08-31-17

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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