The First Salute

  • by Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by Nadia May
  • 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and best-selling author Barbara W. Tuchman analyzes the American Revolution in a brilliantly original way, placing the war in the historical context of the centuries-long conflicts between England and both France and Holland. This compellingly written history presents a fresh, new view of the events that led from the first foreign salute to American nationhood in 1776 to the last campaign of the Revolution five years later. It paints a magnificent portrait of General George Washington and recounts in riveting detail the events responsible for the birth of our nation.

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What the Critics Say

"Trenchant observations and an exciting climax....Most libraries will want this Pulitzer Prize-winner's latest." (Library Journal)
"Blackstone's inspired pairing of narrator Nadia May with the work of Barbara Tuchman introduces a new generation to...one of the twentieth century's most popular and esteemed historians." (AudioFile)
"[A] brilliant slice of American Revolutionary history....expertly weaving political and military history, Tuchman lets you feel how Washington's victory at Yorktown sent shock waves around the globe." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A brilliant classic

Before I start my review I have to say that I have loved the works of Tuchman since Highschool and owned this same work by the same narrator (on audio tape) for years. It seems that no sooner than I go out and buy a converter to convert my tapes into MP3 than Audible comes out with this ;-).

This is Tuchman's history of the American revolution focusing on the naval aspects. It is an excellent and interesting take on the revolution from an interesting perspective. Tuchman is attracted to the Irrational in Human Affairs and finds much fodder for her interest in the actions of the British during the revolution. This leads her to indulge in sweeping statements of human nature and political philosophy which get a little tedious. She also indulges her tendency to tangential anecdote including a complete history of the Dutch war of independence from Spain and an in depth review of the careers of many actors going back decades before the events at the center of her book. However, this is forgivable as her analysis is interesting, clear, and generally logical. Also, the writing style is brilliant and engaging.

The narration by Nadia May is exceptional (that said, some people do not like her voice -a love it or hate it sort of thing so try the sample). She is clear and easy to understand with very good inflection.

While this is not the best of Tuchman, it is brilliant and interesting and well worth the listening. I can recommend it to anyone with an interest in Naval History, The American Revolution, or European History. The book is good for most reading levels from seniors in high-school on up.
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- Matthew

Deep in History, Not American history

I am an avid reader of history and truly enjoy most of everything written about the American Revolution. This book however was a horrid waste of time if looking for another perspective of the Revolutionary War.
A more apt title would have been "A Brief Naval History of the Dutch and English 1640-1790". Most likely, this WAS the title at some point, but it was changed in order to cash in on the newfound interest in the Revolutionary War created by recent publications on the topic.
This book contained very few and far between references to the War of Independence, concentrating mostly on the Dutch and English Naval exploits taking place before, during and after. In doing so, the story was fragmented and jumped back and forth in time. I must admit that it has a few intersting and little known facts of how the Dutch influenced the war, yet that was not what I thought I was buying.
I enjoy Eurpean History, but not when I have been sold American History by the synopsis of a book.
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- Brian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-19-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.