Modern history

The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution

The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution

Barbara W. Tuchman, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the classic The Guns of August,turns her sights homeward with this brilliant, insightful narrative of the Revolutionary War.

In The First Salute, one of America’s consummate historians crafts a rigorously original view of the American Revolution. Barbara W. Tuchman places the Revolution in the context of the centuries-long conflicts between England and both France and Holland, demonstrating how the aid to the American colonies of both these nations made the triumph of independence possible. She sheds new light on the key role played by the contending navies, paints a magnificent portrait of George Washington, and recounts in riveting detail the decisive campaign of the war at Yorktown. By turns lyrical and gripping,The First Salute is an exhilarating account of the birth of a nation.

Praise for The First Salute

“Nothing in a novel could be more thrilling than the moment in this glorious history when French soldiers arrive [to] see a tall, familiar figure: George Washington. . . . It is only part of Tuchman’s genius that she can reconstitute such scenes with so much precision and passion.”People

“Tuchman writes narrative history in the great tradition. . . . A persuasive book, which brings us entertaining pictures, scenes and characters.”Chicago Tribune

“[A] tightly woven narrative, ingeniously structured.”—The Christian Science Monitor


Chapter 1. “Here the Sovereignty of the United States of America Was First Acknowledged”

Chapter 2. The Golden Rock

Chapter 3. Beggars of the Sea—The Dutch Ascendancy

Chapter 4. “The Maddest Idea in the World”—An American Navy

Chapter 5. Buccaneer—The Baltimore Hero

Chapter 6. The Dutch and the English: Another War

Chapter 7. Enter Admiral Rodney

Chapter 8. The French Intervention

Chapter 9. Low Point of the Revolution

Chapter 10. “A Successful Battle May Give Us America”

Chapter 11. The Critical Moment

Chapter 12. Last Chance—The Yorktown Campaign



Reference Notes

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