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Nathanael Greene: A Biography of the American Revolution

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews

When the Revolutionary War began, Nathanael Greene was a private in the militia, the lowest rank possible, yet he emerged from the war with a reputation as George Washington's most gifted and dependable officer--celebrated as one of the war's three most important generals. Upon taking command of America's Southern Army in 1780, Nathanael Greene was handed troops that cons

Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published June 24th 2008)
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Nov 23, 2011 Arminius rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nook-book
Nathaniel Greene was a surprisingly portly Quaker from Rhode Island. He inherited a foundry business from his father in 1770. In 1774 he married a local girl named Catherine “Caty” Littlefield. He also organized a local militia in 1774 called the Kentish Guards.

When the British seized Boston Greene was appointed General by the Rode Island Government. In 1776 the Continental Congress appointed him a Brigadier General. He arrived at Boston after the Boston Massacre and after the British evacuated
David P
Nov 28, 2012 David P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The subtitle is ambiguous: "A Biography of the American Revolution." A personal history of a revolutionary figure, or a history of the revolution itself? It may be deliberate, because the book covers both subjects quite thoroughly: Greene was indeed a major figure of the revolution, and as for the other meaning, on p. 214 the author admits
"Of all the generals in the Continental Army only three had served since the 1775 siege of Boston: Washington, Knox and Greene. Of these Greene had seen far
Samuel Weaver
Sep 05, 2013 Samuel Weaver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very straightforward book; no new research or interesting finds like Hackett Fischer. The theme, so far as there is one seems to be "a great man rises from humble beginnings and through self conscious preparation and diligent application of his genius to the peculiar demands of his current station without regard to his personal taste for the position, proved himself invaluable in the execution of the War through his thrifty, clever, intelligent, and faithful management of his army and his quar ...more
Christy B
I can't say much for the biography itself, except that this is a good start at getting Greene's name in the history books, along with George Washington's, where it belongs. And for someone interested in getting to know more about Nathanael Greene, I would suggest this, seeing as how accounts of the forgotten general are few and far between.

It boggles my mind how absent Greene's name is from accounts of The American Revolution. People don't realize there would have been no Yorktown if not for Gre
Shellys♥ Journal
Most of the men who get all the press for the American Revolution are Washington, Adams, Jefferson, maybe Hamilton, Lafayette and of course the infamous Benedict Arnold. Greene started as a private, and moved all the way up to Major General - taking control of the Southern Army during the final stages of the war. He also served as quartermaster under Washington. He was successful in defeat, well known in his lifetime, and had accumulated a huge debt during the war. He died of possibly heatstroke ...more
Jefferson Ludlow
Aug 31, 2008 Jefferson Ludlow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book begins with a gruesome but fascinating account of the search for Greene’s missing bones in 1901. Carbone is a journalist, not an historian, but he is a widely recognized authority on Greene’s life, and this biography is painstakingly documented. As he points out, Nathanael Greene - one of the great generals of the Revolution, more talented perhaps than Washington himself - has been neglected in popular history. An overweight, asthmatic son of a pacifist Quaker preacher, Greene’s talents ...more
Since I live in eastern Connecticut, and am walking distance from Westerly, RI, I felt a personal familiarity while reading about most of the landmarks and communities described in this biography of Nathanael Greene by Gerald Carbone. My initial enthusiasm while starting it soon evolved into a sense that the author was rushing through certain details. Carbone could have added about another 50 to 100 pages, at least, to describe in more detail most of the major instances in Greene's life, especia ...more
Al Gritten
Jul 08, 2016 Al Gritten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nathanael Greene is probably my favorite person from this era in American history - he is, in my opinion, the most unknown and underrated of the founding fathers and the general who was most responsible for the colonial victory over the British during the Revolutionary War. He was the general most trusted by Washington as a field commander and he served at Boston, New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Philadelphia. He was the Quartermaster for the Continental Army and he finished his military caree ...more
Mike Prochot
A well written biography of a now forgotten hero of the American Revolution. A typical American story in many respects. A self-made man with no military training, save reading military books, overcoming obstacles that would have sidelined a lesser individual to form himself into one of the most trusted officers of Washington.

Too often, histories of the Revolutionary war overlook the fact that Washington's army was in fact organized and was staffed by some very capable men. Nathanael Greene was
Steve Van Slyke
Having read several biographies of Washington and other notable officers that reported to him (Hamilton and Arnold), I was intrigued by the praise for Greene and wished to know more about him. I found Carbone's book very satisfying. Fortunately for the author most of Greene's voluminous correspondance has been collected and organized in 13 volumes. Sadly, like many other heroes of the Revolution, Greene's military career ends with him being in deep financial distress and without the thanks and a ...more
Sep 30, 2008 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want a mostly 100% positive book on General Greene, then this book might fill the need. I'm familiar with Greene's southern campaign, and this book is accurate with that - so I will assume accurate with the rest. It will explain his popularity in the past (there are many communities named after him), if not so much why he is basically forgotten, indeed there are no analysis or explanations - just wonderful hero worshiping in most of this book. Fun for those who like this sorta thing, and ...more
Rosemary Cantrell
Jan 25, 2016 Rosemary Cantrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like a good biorgraphy, but have a hard time finding them. This was a good one. Nathaniel Greene was an officer through almost the entire Revolution and was very successful, in spite of no military training. He was bold and demanding. I found it all very interesting. At the same time, he was very compassionate towards his soldiers and deeply concerned about their suffering. The end of his life was very sad, as he was saddled with more debt than he could handle, most of it because of the war. I ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the account of a man whose physical limitations kept him from appearing to be an ideal soldier. Yet his intellect and hard work made him one of Washington's righthand men. A Quaker, he proved to be so valuable and dedicated that he even accepted Washington's assignment to be the logistics/supply guy- a truly thankless task given the unpaid bills, mud, etc of the Revolution. I really enjoyed this book, largely because the man himself was so amazing. Perfect example of how and why we won t ...more
Most people haven't heard of Nathaniel Greene. And those who have probably didn't realize he was just as important to the American Revolution as was George Washington. This book doesn't drown you in dates and details. It takes you through Greene's early life and the war years. You get the flavor of how hard the war was and how difficult it was for Greene personally as well as financially. It's a really good read.
Mar 13, 2016 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a decent start, I guess. It's about an eighth-grade reading level that pretty much just skims over details. That can probably be forgiven, seeing as how a detailed account of Greene's war actions would be a lot more than some two hundred odd pages. There's a couple of errors in my 2008 edition (James Monroe as an author of the Federalist Papers? Really?). Anyway, I'd mostly target this book towards middle or high schoolers studying military history or the American Revolution.
Nov 17, 2010 Loren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good short biography and much needed for an individual who has not been given the respect and due he has earned. I would only wish that it was longer and more detailed. I feel like alot of things were either passed by or ignored entirely and while this covers his early years in the army well, it runs through the latter half as if it has a train to catch.
Jan 27, 2016 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stellar history of the American Revolution. Because this is a biography, the book provides context to the battle stories beautifully. This book has given me a much greater understanding of the suffering and the bravery of the men who won the war for independence. If you love history, you will love this book!
David R.
Nov 22, 2010 David R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly readable and engaging biography. As is often the case the author tends to cast his subject in the most favorable light (and his critics the worst). Greene is one of the overlooked giants of the American Revolution and well deserves this particular treatment.
Charles M.
Jun 22, 2013 Charles M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very readable biography of all-but-forgotten major player in America's pursuit of independence during the Revolutionary War. Reads like a narrative/novel---probably best of several recent biographies on Greene.
A truly magnificent biography of Greene, one of the greatest heroes of Rhode Island and the American Revolution (second only to Washington with regard to the latter, I should think).
Feb 18, 2009 Ralph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The book was informative but felt shallow at times. I would have preferred more depth and less of a feeling that the author was rushing through various events.
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