Academic journal article Military Review

WASHINGTON'S REVOLUTION: The Making of America's First Leader

Academic journal article Military Review

WASHINGTON'S REVOLUTION: The Making of America's First Leader

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON'S REVOLUTION: The Making of America's First Leader Robert Middlekauff, Knopf, New York, 2015, 384 pages

Robert Middlekauff's Washington's Revolution provides an in-depth examination of George Washington's transformation from a provincial militia officer to the leader of a new nation. According to Middlekauff, Washington was more than the commander of the Continental Army, he was the American Revolution in its truest sense. During the darkest days of the revolution, Washington's strength, vision, and character impelled the perseverance of the cause for freedom.

Washington's formative years as land surveyor, planter, and militia officer were critical in honing his skills as an administrator, manager, strategist, and visionary. The author reminds us that the odds were stacked against Washington when he assumed command of the Continental army following the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The army, more accurately a mob, simply lacked the leadership, equipment, weapons, uniforms, and disciple required to meet the British army in battle. Washington quickly implemented changes in training, discipline, and organization in realizing his vision for the Continental army. It was at Valley Forge that Washington's vision was realized and the Continental army began to develop into the professional army we know today. He was able to transform a mob into a viable fighting force-all the while engaged in combat with the British army and its Hessian mercenaries. …

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