1777 by Dean Snow
Tipping Point at Saratoga

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The two battles that were fought in Saratoga, New York in the fall of 1777 marked the turning point in the American Revolutionary War. An inexperienced and improvised American army led by Horatio Gates faced off against the highly trained British and German forces led by "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne, whose strategy in confronting the Americans in upstate New York was to separate rebellious New England from the other colonies. Despite inferior organization and training, the Americans were able to exploit access to fresh reinforcements of men and materiel, and ultimately handed the British a stunning defeat. For the first time in the war, the American victory confirmed that independence from Great Britain was all but inevitable.

Dean Snow's 1777: Tipping Point at Saratoga offers a detailed narrative of the final thirty-three days of the Saratoga campaign. Assimilating historical archaeology and the many letters, journals, and memoirs of the men and women who served in both armies, Snow provides an intimate retelling of the two battles. While the contrasting personalities and fates of Gates and Burgoyne are well known, they are but two of the actors who make up the larger drama of Saratoga. Snow highlights famous and less well-known participants alike, from the brave but, later, disloyal officer Benedict Arnold to Frederika von Riedesel, the wife of a major general in the British army whose eyewitness account of the battles is an important source. Snow, an archaeologist who excavated on the Saratoga battlefield, combines a vivid sense of time and place - weather, terrain, technology - with a keen understanding of the adversaries' motivations, challenges, and heroism into a narrative that resembles an historical novel.

A must-read for anyone with an interest in the American history, 1777 is a thorough and engaging account of the battles that tipped the balance of the American War of Independence.

About Dean Snow

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Dean Snow received his BA from the University of Minnesota and his PhD from the University of Oregon. He served on the faculties of the University of Maine, the University at Albany SUNY, and Penn State. He has served as president of the Society for American Archaeology and the American Society for Ethnohistory. He has also served as an officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other organizations. His most recent book, Archaeology of Native North America, is the first truly continental synthesis of North American archaeology in forty years. He splits his time between Pennsylvania and Florida.
Published October 3, 2016 by Oxford University Press. 456 pages
Genres: History.

Unrated Critic Reviews for 1777

In his latest book, Snow (Archaeology of Native North America) takes a magnifying glass to the Saratoga campaign, which lasted from June to October 1777, examining the individuals who participated (or didn't). A chronologically structured narrative presents Horatio Gates and John Burgoyne not as ...

Jul 29 2016 | Read Full Review of 1777: Tipping Point at Saratoga