George Washington's Surprise Attack

  • by Phillip Thomas Tucker
  • Narrated by Dennis Holland
  • 27 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Like many historical events, the American Revolution is sometimes overlooked, ignored, or minimized by historians due to being shrouded in romantic myth and stubborn stereotypes. Here historian Phillip Thomas Tucker provides an in-depth look at the events of the Battle of Trenton, weeding out fiction and legend and presenting new insights and analysis. Stories from many forgotten individuals of the war, including officers and soldiers from both sides, bring to life the Continental army’s desperate circumstances and shocking victory. Myths that Tucker debunks include the Hessians’ slovenly drunkenness, Washington acting alone in creating the attack strategy, and Rall’s incompetence as a leader contributing widely to his troops’ defeat.
By exploring the forgotten aspects of one of America’s most famous battles, Trenton’s story proves to be even more revealing and fascinating. In the end, America’s founding was nothing short of miraculous, and no chapter of America’s story was more miraculous than Washington’s improbable success at the battle of Trenton, where America’s fate was decided to almost everyone’s amazement on a dark, snowy morning.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Unbearably Tedious

What disappointed you about George Washington's Surprise Attack?

Washington's Crossing is one of the most exciting stories in American history. This book contains nuggets of insight that get buried under mind-numbing repetition.

Not only does the author restate his key points again and again, there are entire sentences that are restated again and again! I have to wonder if there was an editor working on the final copy.

Here is an example. Early on, the author states that the Battle Of Trenton is the first example of urban warfare in the Revolution. Interesting point! The phrase "urban warfare" is then repeated more than 50 times! Imagine a book on D-Day constantly reminding you that the battle took place on a beach. We got it. move on.

A second example: In one chapter, he mentions 16 times that John Stark - a great hero - was "Scots-Irish." The problem is that Stark was born in America. While his background is Scotch/Irish, after mentioning it once, what is its importance? Would a book on the preparations for D-Day mention that Patton was Scotch/Irish 16 times?

Additionally, in creating a picture of the battle, the author provides a confusing narrative. Again and again he reiterates how many bodies were left on the streets, how much blood flowed in Trenton. He describes "killing fields" and deadly close in attacks that left the town littered with bodies. And then at the end, he mentions the total number of Hessians killed in combat was 22.

There are several other books written about the Battle Of Trenton. Choose one of them!

Has George Washington's Surprise Attack turned you off from other books in this genre?

It has turned me off to other books by this author.

What aspect of Dennis Holland’s performance would you have changed?

It is more the fault of a droning and repetitive narrative. I suppose Holland did the best he could with the material before him.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Honestly, for all the fresh insights on this book, ones not covered by other authors, it could have been a long magazine article.

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- Barry


Would you try another book from Phillip Thomas Tucker and/or Dennis Holland?


What was one of the most memorable moments of George Washington's Surprise Attack?

An appreciation of how massive artillery followed up by a spirited attack won the day.

Which character – as performed by Dennis Holland – was your favorite?


Did George Washington's Surprise Attack inspire you to do anything?

Learn more about Washington's 2nd crossing back to New Jersey.

Any additional comments?

Washington's Crossing by Hackett is one of my favorite audible books.I highly reccomend you listen to it first before you purchase Surprise Attack.I have listened to it several times. One thing I didn't know was that after Washington successfully attacked Trenton and recrossed the Delaware river back to Valley Forge,based on reports and requests from partisans and elements of his army who remained on the New Jersey side,Washington RECROSSED a 2nd time,REOCCUPIED and fortified Trenton against the British rushing up from Princeton.He harassed the British on their forced march from Princeton to Trenton only to deal them a humiliating bloody nose at the end.WOW!! It was my desire for more details about this and the initial attack why I purchased Washington's Surprise Attack.Details I got.For that reason it was a good listen in that I learned and appreciated more.However there is little emphasis on the 2nd crossing which is every bit as exciting as the 1st one.For that reason I think you should listen to Washington's Crossing first.You won't be disappointed and if you then want to get more of the minutiae
[I did] then listen to Washington's Surprise Attack

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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-14-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios