The Perils of Peace by Thomas Fleming
America's Struggle for Survival After Yorktown

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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 Thomas Fleming

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New York Times bestselling author Thomas Fleming is one of the most distinguished and productive historians and novelists of our time. He has written 20 nonfiction books that have won prizes and praise from critics and fellow historians, many with a special focus on the American Revolution. He has also written 23 historical novels, many of them bestsellers.
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 369 pages
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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In France, 75-year-old Ambassador Benjamin Franklin delivered a virtuoso performance, cajoling the government to allow the colonies to make peace (despite an earlier promise to stick with the French till the end) and charming British negotiators.

Oct 09 2007 | Read Full Review of The Perils of Peace: America'...

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