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Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  114 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of "Gotham" tells the forgotten story of New York's British prison camps--and the nearly 20,000 patriots who lost their lives there.
ebook, 360 pages
Published November 11th 2008 by Basic Books (AZ) (first published October 21st 2008)
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Herb Reeves
Mar 30, 2010 Herb Reeves rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My great grandfather fought in the Civil War and was briefly held prisoner by the Union after the Battle of Franklin in 1864, so I am understandably attracted to the history and ordeal of men who suffered in similar circumstances.

That said, I was surprised to discover that this picture of the American Revolution has been relatively little noticed or discussed in our history. We seem to be content with the iconic images of Washington Crossing the Delaware, Valley Forge, Concord and Lexington. The
...more
Thomas
Nov 14, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, history
A fine work of history. Burrows has retained a strong sense of focus on the American prisoners and their treatment by redcoats and historians alike. Spoiler: It turns out that the historians weren't much kinder than Provost Marshal William Cunningham. His research was clearly extensive and his conclusions seem fair. While the author may have been inspired by the Abu Ghraib incident, it doesn't seem to have perverted his historical analysis. If I have any criticism of this book, it is simply to o ...more
Amber
Jan 04, 2011 Amber rated it it was amazing
Whoa. When I started reading the first chapter of this book, I started crying for the following reasons: Reason one because I did not know the full story of the suffering of these brave patriots that gave their lives in a prison cell in the name of freedom and independence. Two, because I was ashamed at myself as an American for letting them lie forgotten and unwept in a unmarked grave. Many people are unaware of the fact that when they walk around New York City, they are walking around on what ...more
Wisteria Leigh
Boldly written history of American Patriots and civilians who suffered inconceivably inhuman treatment on numerous prison ships and sugar houses during the American Revolutionary War at the hands of the British.

Burrows presents his research and unveils the horrors inflicted on over 17,500 patriots. These brave, yet unfortunate prisoners chose to live in retched squalor, close to starvation, surrounded by disease and death, rather than switch allegiance to England.

This is a part of American Histo
...more
Josh
Sep 18, 2012 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I experienced the audio book version. My interest was perked after listening to the book 1776 which mentioned in little detail the prison ships anchored off of New York and the prisons within New York City after the British forced the Americans out.

Rather than listen to history's account of the prisoner life in New York during the Revolutionary War, he pours through soldier diaries, accounts, newspapers and more to patchwork together the true telling. It is learned quickly that the British did
...more
Michael Hattem
Jul 21, 2010 Michael Hattem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-america
This is an account of the POW situation in New York City during the Revolutionary War. Highly informative and exhaustively researched, this book will open eyes wide to the cruel treatment of American prisoners throughout New York City during the war. Burrows also recounts the trajectory of the story in the national consciousness. Perhaps the most significant thing about the book is that he has re-estimated the number of prisoners and deaths in British prisons during the war to previously inconce ...more
Steve
Oct 10, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A look at an aspect of the Revolutionary war not typically discussed, the prisoners held by the British, primarily in New York City, or in prison ships surrounding the city. This book takes a look at the attitudes of the British toward the adversaries they viewed as rebels, and therefore not enemy soldiers, and how the British treated them. Through first hand accounts and historical documents the author tries to find the truth about these prisoners and their fates. A discussion about why this st ...more
Marla
Jan 21, 2009 Marla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forgotten Patriot covers, in great detail, the plight, the horror and the deaths of the thousands of American prisoners of war held in New York during the American Revolution. The number is placed on the low end at 11,500, and at the upper end somewhere near 18,000. The deaths occurred for many reasons. It was part neglect, part the obvious outcome of shoving hundreds of men into a space meant for five or ten, and partly, willful malice. American prisoners were not regarded as soldiers by their ...more
Laura
Feb 03, 2016 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 stars seems like such a low rating to me, but Goodreads considers that an "it was okay" rating, which is how I felt about this book. I'm not sure why it never really managed to grab me. The part that was most interesting to me was the last section, which discussed how the legacy of American Prisoners was used politically after the war.
Rose
Dec 17, 2015 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of the Americans captured by the British during the American Revolution. An affecting story, well told. Crisply reproduced in-text illustrations. Helpful maps.
Stef
Jan 16, 2011 Stef rated it it was amazing
A very interesting look at the men who gave their lives in defense of independence that many Americans today have forgotten. I was surprised at how well the author managed to create a fairly unbiased story, using materials that were unfortunately biased against our former countrymen. For anyone interested in what the Revolution really cost Americans, this is a great book to dive into the topic.
Rob
May 10, 2012 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We hear about the battles and the heroes of the American Revolution, but we don't often hear about the patriots who were captured and became prisoners of war. Some survived, but many did not. I appreciate the author writing a book on these "Forgotten Patriots," and America's post-war efforts to remember them in memorials and monuments, which are few in number.
Cindy
Sep 14, 2013 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I appreciated knowing about these American Revolutionary soldiers that were captured by the British. I didn't know about the awful and inhumane treatment they had to suffer. I like learning about something that I didn't know about, but had a hard time getting through this book.
Martha
this book is one of those that really makes a person appreciate America and those that have fought for us in the past and what they suffered and lost.
It is a great book and I recommend it to any history buff.
Erica
Jun 09, 2010 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eye-opening account of the trials that those who fought for our freedom endured. I hope that this can be better known so that we learn from those who hurt us in order to not repeat the same mistakes.
Julie
May 16, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ma-reading


An intelligent, insightful discussion of a forgotten subject: American prisoners of war in the Revolution. Burrows's book is solidly researched and well-written. Such a good read.
Kathy
Gives new meaning to the word "Patriot". Wonder how the News shriekers would have fared on the New Jersey. I'm sure I wouldn't have lasted a day
K D
Aug 16, 2010 K D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such an important story, forget the fact that it is disjointed (in places), repetitive (in places), and self-contradictory.
Craig Bolton
Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War by Edwin Burrows (2008)
Mark
Apr 14, 2012 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dragged in placed, but it was still an interesting read into the Revolutionary War timeframe.
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