The Pulitzer-Prize winning account of George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River in December 1776, and the resulting destruction of the Hessian garrison of Trenton and defeat of a British brigade at Princeton.
David Hackett Fischer's new book, Washington's Crossing, is a highly realistic and wonderfully readable narrative of the same moment that corrects all the inaccuracies in the Leutze painting but preserves the overarching sense of drama ... Fischer, university professor at Brandeis University, demolishes several myths and misconceptions ... Fischer has devised a storytelling technique that combines old and new methods in a winning way ... Fischer's ability to combine the panoramic with the palpable is unparalleled in giving us a glimpse of what warfare back then was really like ... He gets somewhat carried away toward the end...But this is a mere quibble when measured against the larger achievement of Fischer's riveting narrative.
Fischer’s essential technique, a trademark throughout his books, is to mine this ore of hard data and refine it sufficiently to reveal the era’s broader social structures, its greater forces, and the influence these bear on the formation of collective “mentalities” ... Fischer seems the sort of genuinely enlightened, unpoliticized don once common here and abroad ... Half Annaliste, half American (the book clips along like an adventure story), Washington’s Crossing is a nonfiction book that reads like fiction, partly owing to Fischer’s expertise in selecting, compressing, and positioning materials ... Fischer’s Washington’s Crossing has, like Dante’s Virgil, pointed the way towards squaring that eternal circle. It’s even a pity it wasn’t a bit longer.
An impeccably researched, brilliantly executed military history ... Fischer's perceptive discussion of the strategic, operational and tactical factors involved is by itself worth the book's purchase ... Even more useful is Fischer's analysis of the internal dynamics of the combatants. He demonstrates mastery of the character of the American, British and Hessian armies...