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Valley Forge (Revolutionary War #2)

4.19  ·  Rating Details  ·  679 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
A riveting, personal look at one of our country's first heroes in the second captivating novel of the George Washington series by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen, the New York Times bestselling authors of To Try Men's Souls

It's the winter of 1777, a year after Washington's triumphant surprise attack on Trenton, and the battered, demoralized Continental Army retreats
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published November 9th 2010)
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The story of George Washington’s fateful winter at Valley Forge is remarkable…singularly remarkable.

Undermined by the majority of his subordinate generals, conspired against by powerful political rivals, hindered and ignored by a Congress that was either profoundly inept or maliciously obstructionist, Gen. George Washington took a malnourished, dreadfully equipped and woefully under-supplied rag-tag group of brave but morale-diminished men and, in one fateful winter of 1777-78, forged them into
WC Beaver
Newt Gingrich and William R Forstchen have outdone themselves with this remarkable tale of the trials and tribulations of the greatest man in American history. For without the dogged perseverance of this relentless warrior during the 1777-78 winter at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, we Americans would be extending our pinkies while drinking a spot of tea.

Hassled by a powerless and broke congress, penniless colonies, betrayal from subordinate generals, and many Tories in New York and Philadelphia,
Another excellent book from Gingrich and Forschten. The genius of their books is to provide an individual and human context to historical events that we often know about at a very high level and at the level of leaders, dates, and results. This book brings to life the sufferings of the men at Valley Forge, the deep division within Americans between loyalists and revolutionaries, and the toll that the suffering and death took on the generals and officers on both sides of the conflict.

The battle
Steve Jenkins
Feb 02, 2012 Steve Jenkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Valley Forge is an account of one of the key periods of the revolutionary war. It chronicles the struggles faced by the Continetial Army as they attempt to survive at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777. These include brutal weather, primitive living conditions, a lack of supplies, and limited support from congress. As winter turns toward spring, conditions slowly start to improve. However, the army is still dispirited and poorly trained. Perhaps the turning point of the story occurs when the ...more
Feb 24, 2013 Sim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All Americans know about Valley Forge and the overwintering stay of the Continental Army from middle school and high school American History classes. What Gingrich and Forstchen accomplish as historians writing a fictional account is to make this very real. I bet you don't associate Valley Forge with lice, smallpox, starvation, and leg amputations from frostbite. Nor do we associate this situation with political positioning and infighting within the newly constituted congress. These writers brin ...more
Kevin Hammond
Apr 24, 2012 Kevin Hammond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Newt Gingrich has a very easy way with words. This is his seventh novel, and the second in a projected "George Washington series". This is also a sequel to "To Try Men's Souls."

The winter of 1777 was outrageously brutal. Washington's bone-weary Continental Army endured privation, in stark contrast to the luxury of Loyalists in Philadelphia. The will of the Continentals to press on in the face of these contrasts is core to why Valley Forge has become such hallowed ground. Historical figures and i
Jan 31, 2011 jallioop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, inspiring! Once again, Washington has to overcome meddling from Congress and American generals that are either power-hungry, foolish or cowardly. If Gingrich is accurate about what Washington had to overcome, and in how he always managed to have just the right judgment and approach to win over his foes (British and American), then Washington totally deserves his reputation as a hero. Would be interesting to read about the same events written by a historian who is less of a GW fan - i ...more
Mar 17, 2013 Burt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another winner from Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen. I will steal a sentence from my review of their novel, "To Try Men's Souls." This book, notwithstanding the fictional approach, can really help you understand the almost unbelievable physical, mental, and emotional commitment and perseverence of the colonial "citizen soldier." These authors continue to come together and produce works that actually make what is so often 'dry military history' such that it becomes fun and exciting to rea ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book. I wanted to read it after helping my son with a project detailing Washington's struggles in Valley Forge. I found the writing well developed and enjoyed the different viewpoints; Washington and his personal struggles, Allen and the Loyalist side, as well as the vignettes of the common soldiers like Peter. I especially enjoyed the presentation of Baron Von Steuben and the miracle he wrought forging a ragtag bunch of farmers into an army.
Though a work of fiction, the historica
Steve Li
Feb 23, 2015 Steve Li rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gingrich and Forstchen have produced a magnificent and attention keeping account of the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. It is not only the story of 12,000 men who entered Valley Forge demoralized, untrained, unsupplied but under the leadership of Washington and the shear force of will and skill of Generals Wayne, Lafaayette and Von Steuben that they marched out of Valley Forge as a true army finally equipped with enough training, supplies and pride to take on the British.

Although generally
Dec 21, 2010 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, I enjoy historical fiction and non-fiction about the Revolutionary War. I really enjoy Newt Gingrich's fiction writing. His non-fiction/political books I can take or leave, but his fiction is a different story. This book is great. It brings readers into the story of Valley Forge and the story reveals little tidbits of trivia not known about various relationships at the camp.
Nov 25, 2010 Lobstergirl marked it as will-never-read  ·  review of another edition
I've never understood why Newt Gingrich, supposedly a lobe of the brain trust of the Republican Party, and a college professor, can't write books on his own.
Feb 03, 2013 Gary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I actually read a book that Newt Gingrich coauthored. I just kept telling myself the other guy probably did all the work.
T Taylor
Aug 10, 2012 T Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine trying to feed and shelter 12,000 men in a frozen, snowy field in 1777... Truly unbelievable how America survived and won the war.
Nov 20, 2012 Melisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, easy to follow. Hard to imagine what soldiers went through.
Oct 12, 2014 Dlytle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on CD, and it was slow starting with the prologue and background. Once the story started, I got more into the time and the characters. My knowledge of history isn't strong, so some of the side stories and maneuverings of Congress were new to me, and I enjoyed listening and then googling to see if they were historically accurate. It is, of course, a biased depiction of the times and battles, but well written, and I was drawn into caring about the characters. I liked it well eno ...more
Jan 23, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the story of George Washington and the long winter at Valley Forge. It's the follow up book to the popular To Try Men's Souls, which I loved.

I was blown away by the horrible conditions that these soldiers barely survived in, and they continued to fight.

This was a really good book and I learned a great deal. The pace of this book was slower because there was not much fighting, until the end that is. It was also a darker, sadder book because the reader saw so much pain and suffering with
This is historical fiction about the winter of 1777 at Valley Forge where General Washington attempted to turn a ragtag bunch of misfits into a lean, mean fighting continental fighting force capable of taking on the British. This was done against nearly insurmountable odds....starvation, dysentary, lice, disease, freezing temperatures and threadbare clothes. The authors populate the story with historical figures as well as fictional ones. They imagine conversations, interpersonal relationships, ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gingrich and Forstchen have a wonderful knack for making history come to life, bringing drama and emotion to our jaded view of historical fact. While the textbooks tell us that Valley Forge was cold in the winter of 1777 - 1778, this book spells out what that meant to the men and women stationed there. We know many froze or starved to death, but here we get a picture of what it's like to find a sentry dead at his post in the midst of a blizzard. We hear the screams of a drummer boy whose frozen ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, us-history
This second Revolutionary War book by Newt Gingrich and others follows the transformation of the Continental Army from a rag tag army to a disciplined fighting force during the hard winter at Valley Forge. It tells of the trials of the soldiers to survive the harsh winter while the British are getting fat in Philadelphia. It follows the arrival of the Drillmaster Baron Von Steuben who helps transform the soldiers into a fighting force to be reckoned with. It follows the so called Conway Cabal wh ...more
Lora Innes
First: This book is Historical Fiction.

Now that that is out of the way, it was an entertaining read, and it brought to light the plight of the Continental Army during their first winter at Valley Forge.

If you're interested in history but just cannot make your way through a real non-fiction history book, I recommend it. If you're interested in history and need a break from all your real non-fiction history books, I also recommend it.

That being said, it was overly sentimental. I got bored with all
William Young
Apr 03, 2012 William Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I thought this book was over-written. The details of the first few months in Valley Forge seemed to be repeated every fifth paragraph as a means of beating it into the reader's head that it was cold, terrible, cold, freezing, sleety, snowy and miserable. I got the point. Otherwise, it was a well-written, well-paced story that follows the birth of the "professional" Continental Army during the stay at Valley Forge while telling the parallel tell of the British in Philadelphia going soft ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 25, 2015 Scotty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading 1776, I began searching for something in the same kind of frame and found this book. I must admit that I knew Gingrich was brilliant in history, but I was stunned at how smoothly this book read. Valley Forge is the absolute crucible of our nation. It was literally at this point where things could have gone either way. It took a superb leader to keep a baby nation's eye on the prize. 1777 was THE year our nation was born, in my very humble opinion.
Fernando E.
Mar 26, 2016 Fernando E. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction - as good as anything from John Jakes or William Martin. This is not a "what if..." alternative history, a style that the authors also excel in. I listened to this one on audio discs. The reader was superb, using a wide variety of voices, inflections, and accents that brought the characters to life. Recommend this one to any history lover and learner!
Dec 09, 2014 K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I liked this book. My husband got it for Christmas years ago and after reading Written in my Own Heart's Blood, I became more interested in reading more about the Revolutionary War. The characters were pretty flat and the rah rah America as the perfect paragon of freedom felt a little like propaganda. But I thought the book brought history to life in a way I hadn't been exposed to before.
May 08, 2012 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction is a tricky genre-- plot, accuracy, characters (real and not) can make the read enjoyable, interesting and illuminating. The Authors of Valley Forge make this a worthwhile form of entertainment, providing a sense of the struggles of the soldiers through a brutal winter, the involvement/interefernce of Congress, the multi-facted conflicts between the Americans who were rebels and those who remained loyal, the leadership of Washington, the value of van Stuben's training and the ...more
Jan 09, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it took about 60 pages to pull me into Valley Forge & get used to Gingrich & Forstchen's narrative style & writing, once engaged I enjoyed the book & learned a lot. This book made me see & feel the miserable conditions at Valley Forge, despair at the political intrigue & manuvering that decimated the revoluntionary army & marvel at General Washington's strength & cunning. It shows flaws, sometimes misplaced trust & unwavering belief in the values of this ...more
Aug 19, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit I might be biased about this book. I think I found it so interesting because I live so close to almost every place mentioned in the story (opening battle scene is right down the road and Valley Forge itself is about 15 minutes away). I was afraid this was going to read like a text book but was pleasentaly surprised when it didn't. Gingrich and Forstchen key in on a few main characters and build the story around them and their "experiences" before, during and after Valley Forge. A ...more
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Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich (born Newton Leroy McPherson) is an American politician who served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. In 1995, Time magazine selected him as the Person of the Year for his role in leading the Republican Revolution in the House, ending 40 years of the Democratic Party being in the majority. During his tenure as Speaker, he re ...more
More about Newt Gingrich...

Other Books in the Series

Revolutionary War (3 books)
  • To Try Men's Souls (Revolutionary War, #1)
  • Victory at Yorktown (Revolutionary War, #3)

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“Do you men still know how to fight?” he (GW) roared.
A primal cry erupted around him.
“Then fall in and show those redcoats over there” — he pointed back to the advancing British — “how Americans can stand and fight for their freedom!”
More quotes…