Mike's Reviews > Washington's Secret War: The Hidden History of Valley Forge

Washington's Secret War by Thomas J. Fleming
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's review
Feb 19, 2012

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bookshelves: american-history, american-revolution-era, non-fiction, own-read
Read from February 12 to 18, 2012

I read almost all of this book in one day and I enjoyed reading about the events of Valley Forge that I was not terribly familiar with. The parts on Baron Von Steuben were my favorite. I knew that he was not what he presented himself to be when he arrived here, but I did not realize how impressed everyone, even those outside of Valley Forge, was with the work that Von Steuben did with the Continental Army.

A majority of the book focuses on the political intrigues between Generals (Washington, Gates, Lee) and the Continental Congress in Philadelphia/York. I have read a lot about the Revolutionary War, and I had heard about Conway and how Gates wanted a greater position of power, but this book had the feeling that the author was reaching a bit. He seemed to put much greater emphasis on specific quotes and writings of some of the historical figures than other serious historians have done. One part of the writing style that irked me a bit that the author used repeatedly was, "this historian believes..." For some reason it bothered me and said to me, the reader, that while the author felt he was taking a stand, I felt that he was trying to make a place for himself in the historical scholarship.
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02/13/2012 page 80
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