Customer Reviews for

The Glorious Cause: A Novel of the American Revolution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Way to Learn History

    At first I was afraid to read this book because I thought I'd never get through it. It was so thick, and I haven't had a very good history of reading lately... But after a month and a half, I finished it last night. Yay! I got through it!

    Anyway, here's what I liked about the book: the reading was light and easy, and there were short chapters and breaks within the chapters, so it made it easy to "keep going". I felt like I made progress quickly. I liked how the author gets you through the technical details of the battles. You would think this book would strictly be "guy fodder", but I can tell you I'm a "young lady" and I actually found it interesting. The battles and maneuvers are explained very well; I barely even needed the maps illustrating what was described.

    The author attempts to put historical events and figures into a fictional style of storytelling-- and it works. It doesn't feel like it was all "made up", and it doesn't feel like a history book. You actually care for people like Lafayette, Nathaniel Greene, and yes-- even Cornwallis. It was interesting to see how each character had his own important role to play.

    The author's writing style is unique and takes a little getting used to, but I enjoyed the "little details" he put in to make the story seem more real [for ex., the giant puddles in the streets of Yorktown after the rainwater from the storm filled up the pock-marks made by the cannon during the siege].

    I thought I knew all about the American Revolution, but there were many battles I hadn't heard of, so it made it exciting to read it all, wondering who would win Guilford, Fort Washington, Saratoga. Of course I knew we [the Americans] won the Battle of Yorktown, but I didn't know it was brought about until I read this book.

    If the book seems to lag somewhere in the middle, keep persevering-- it picks up around the Battle of Monmouth (personally, my favorite part of the book. I couldn't put it down!).

    This book was also interesting for a personal reason-- I have several ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, and some of the officers told about in the book were men my forebears fought under (Light Horse Harry Lee, George Washington). It made me wonder if any of my ancestors ever saw or met Lafayette or Von Steubon at Valley Forge.

    The "Afterwards" part of the book was also interesting. It tells of the legacy all the main characters of the war left behind. I was surprised to learn that Cornwallis isn't really regarded as the "man who lost the war." If General Clinton had gotten his butt down to Virginia sooner,... well, I don't want to give it away!!

    I personally like the first book, "Rise to Rebellion" better, but that's because of the speeches and debates. If you want, "The Glorious Cause" can stand on it's own without reading the "prequel". I would be interested if Jeff Shaara wrote another book to add to the series, about the debates surrounding the creation of our Constitution (I've always wanted to be a fly on the wall in that debate hall!).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2006

    Outstanding

    I like this book, because it tells what is going on after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. A story of courage and determination to defeat an army that outmanned them. The courage and determination to endure the harsh climates of the winter, even after burning their tents and blankets to lighten their load. This book kept me so interested that it was hard to put down. This book is so detailed that it felt like I was there during the time of the war. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2005

    If you want to learn a little more about the American Revolution you should read this book

    I enjoyed reading this book. The language and the reading was easy to follow and understand. It had a lot about who fought in the war, and the weapons they used back then. I started reading this book because I need a certian number of pages for my class, but I'm glade I did because I learned a lot. I would recommand others to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2004

    A history lesson on the Revolutionary War

    I picked this book to read for my reading class for two reasons, which were the number of pages and because it is the sequel to Rise to Rebellion. The book is written by Jeff Shaara.I liked both of the books because it taught me a lot of things that I did not know about America and the revolutionary war. I liked The Glorious Cause better then the first one because it get to the point faster and it just seemed to go a lot easier to read then Rise to Rebellion. Their also think that their a lot more action in the book The Glorious Cause then in Rise to Rebellion. I would recommend this back to people that love history and action. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did and even more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    A Big Picture With A Narrow Focus

    In this, his second volume on the American Revolution, and his fifth novel to date, Jeff Shaara has once again shown his prowess at painting a large historical mural with small, delicately brush-stroked scenes. "The Glorious Cause" carries that brush like a baton, passed from its predecessor, "Rise to Rebellion." It continues the story of the Revolution forward from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the war's conclusion some seven years later. Through his use of shifting viewpoints Shaara captures an almost three-dimensional portrait of the war. We learn first hand of the defeats of the American Forces in New York through the eyes of generals George Washington and Nathaniel Greene as well as the triumph of the British Army in those battles from the perspective of British general, Charles Cornwallis. In France, we are able to glimpse a view of Benjamin Franklin's negotiations for financing and an eventual American alliance. And yet we receive a counterpoint to France's initial lack of enthusiasm for an American alliance and a war with England through the viewpoint of the young Marquis de Lafayette. Each chapter presents a single point of view, and many of the pivotal events in the novel are spread across a number of chapters and viewed from a number of different viewpoints. Included are chapters dedicated to Nathan Hale, Von Steuben, Benedict Arnold, and Daniel Morgan. Numerous supporting characters are spread throughout the book as well: Americans, Charles Lee and Horatio Gates and on the British side: Howe, Clinton, and Tarlton. Though Shaara's narrative drags in places, his battle descriptions along with the numerous maps included throughout, make the battles of New York, Trenton, Brandywine, Monmouth, Cowpens, and Guilford Courthouse come vividly to life. Most notable is his treatment of the Battle of Hannah's Cowpens in which the American battle tactics are so wonderfully described one almost does not need to reference the map provided to understand the battle. Particularly moving were the descriptions of Valley Forge and the siege and surrender of the British forces at Yorktown. The biggest disappointment is not what's in this book, but what is not. The stunning American victory at Saratoga, his biggest omission, only gets the very briefest of mention. Perhaps where Mr. Shaara has fallen a bit too short is in his focus. We learn almost nothing of the actions of the Continental Congress other than their main existence is to seemingly serve as a thorn in the side of George Washington, and many of the founding fathers who struggled so hard for independence from England are not even mentioned. I would have liked to have seen this single volume at least split into two and expanded (making the series a trilogy) the second book dealing with the war in the North and the third with the war in the South. Perhaps then he would have had room to paint a more complete picture of the American Revolution.

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