Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer
(Pivotal Moments in American History)


5 Critic Reviews

He demonstrates mastery of the character of the American, British and Hessian armies...
-Publishers Weekly


Six months after the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution was all but lost. A powerful British force had routed the Americans at New York, occupied three colonies, and advanced within sight of Philadelphia.

Yet, as David Hackett Fischer recounts in this riveting history, George Washington--and many other Americans--refused to let the Revolution die. On Christmas night, as a howling nor'easter struck the Delaware Valley, he led his men across the river and attacked the exhausted Hessian garrison at Trenton, killing or capturing nearly a thousand men. A second battle of Trenton followed within days. The Americans held off a counterattack by Lord Cornwallis's best troops, then were almost trapped by the British force. Under cover of night, Washington's men stole behind the enemy and struck them again, defeating a brigade at Princeton. The British were badly shaken. In twelve weeks of winter fighting, their army suffered severe damage, their hold on New Jersey was broken, and their strategy was ruined.

Fischer's richly textured narrative reveals the crucial role of contingency in these events. We see how the campaign unfolded in a sequence of difficult choices by many actors, from generals to civilians, on both sides. While British and German forces remained rigid and hierarchical, Americans evolved an open and flexible system that was fundamental to their success. The startling success of Washington and his compatriots not only saved the faltering American Revolution, but helped to give it new meaning.

About David Hackett Fischer

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David Hackett Fischer is University Professor at Brandeis University, and the author of such acclaimed volumes as Albion's Seed, The Great Wave, Paul Revere's Ride and Liberty and Freedom
Published February 1, 2006 by Oxford University Press. 576 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, War. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Mar 11 2012
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Washington's Crossing
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0


on May 20 2010

A superb addition to the literature of the Revolution, by one of the best chroniclers in the business.

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Publishers Weekly


He demonstrates mastery of the character of the American, British and Hessian armies...

Read Full Review of Washington's Crossing (Pivota... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Bookmarks Magazine

Reviewed by Jessica on Oct 29 2009

It's a compelling argument, well supported by a cast of vivid, compassionate characters and good writing, even if Fischer sometimes gets carried away. And its message, about Americans fighting "for ideas of liberty and freedom," couldn't be more timely.

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National Review Online

on Apr 30 2004

In Washington's Crossing Fischer has produced a model of modern historical writing.

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on Jun 12 2006

...Washington's Crossing is a superb effort that combines a winning and accessible narrative style with comprehensive research...

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