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Saratoga: A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Needs a proof reader!

    This book needs a proof reader. Many, many words were run together or words were split apart. This made an otherwise informative book very hard to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    Don't waste the time or money.

    One word sums up this book: brutal. Not brutal in the sense that the book was too graphic but rather, brutal in that it was painfully unreadable. I started and stopped this book 4 differnt times. On my fourth attempt, I made it as far as page 200 before I simply could not go any further. After reading a few books about the Revolutionary War as a whole (Patriots by A.J. Langguth being the best), I chose to dive deeper into individual battles or years. The first few books I read (Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fisher and 1776 by David McCullough) were excellent. I then picked this book to hopefully get an in depth account of the Battle of Saratoga. To say that I was disappointed is an understatment. There was no flow to the book. The author jumped around so much that it was nearly impossible to follow the campaign. The only thing that this book was good for was to help me fall asleep for nearly everytime I tried to read it, I would be dozing in about 10 pages. The author's style was to use 20 words to describe something he could have done in 10. As my Headline suggests, save your money. The Continetals won, the British lost. Leave it at that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best campaign studies I've read!

    Park historians form a special resource with knowledge gained from long intimate association with the subject. After years of study, discussion, answering questions and walking the ground, they have unique qualifications that very few posses. All of them can talk about their subject, giving intelligent presentations tailored to the level of the audience with no visible effort. Those that can write produce some of the best military history available. These books are like their talks, intelligent, comprehensive and detailed. They are treasures that transport us into the thick of things, allowing us to understand the why and how of the action without boring us. After such a book, the reader knows that the experience has been educational and enjoyable. These books are money well spent for the experienced armature historian or the novice entering the subject. John F. Luzader is one of the select few, a historian with in-depth knowledge, love of the subject and the ability to communicate. This is his first book and if a fitting monument to the time, he "indulged my hobbies" with the National Park Service.
    He has written one of the best campaign studies I have read. It has the right amount of detail but not so much that the story is lost. Are you unsure about 18th Century military terms and tactics? No problem, the author anticipates this problem and handles things. At the proper place, we take a slight detour to cover the problems that Morgan's riflemen face because they have rifles not smoothbore muskets. At another point, the author explains the difference between and the use of light and line infantry. Not sure what makes a Dragoon, Grenadiers, Jagers or Chasseurs, check Appendix J or relax and let John tell you when we really need to know. The author displays a sure hand in bring us along and providing the information and level of detail as we need it.
    The book is a complete history of the events leading up to the campaign both political and military. How these events control and modify the planning is completely covered. The military campaign, the movement and battles is the heart of the book. Wonderful maps bolster an excellent narration. Whenever you need a map, one appears as if by magic. While 16 maps may seem few, placement and detail make them so useful that there is no "missing map" problem.
    In the 1700s, politics controlled everything. Nepotism, favoritism, class and area play into every decision. Rank was a means of personal wealth and favor of the King or Congress was all-important. The author manages this and how it influences the campaign well. The interplay between Schuyler, Gates & Arnold is detailed. The role of the Continental Congress and General George Washington in all of this is not ignored. On the English side, General Burgoyne has his own set of problems in Canada, New York, Philadelphia and London. The author provides us with just enough detail to convey the problems and reasons for this without bogging down in this morass.
    The Appendix is a joy! In addition to the expected chronology of events, orders of battle and army organizations are a modern driving tour with photographs. For those wishing more detailed coverage, an appendix covers the debate on Mount Defiance non-fortification, Gates & Arnold at freeman's Farm and Burgoyne's "reconnaissance in force" objections. The appendix covers over 70 pages of detailed text, charts, maps and pictures.
    The writing is crisp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Author John LUZDERS book Saratoga is a well done book

    Author John LUZDERS book Saratoga is a well done book telling the complete story of the decisive Saratoga campaign 1777 in the American Revolutionary War. The book gives you a great insight at tactical and strategic level of campaign and each major battles in the campaign Fort Ticonderoga Hubbardton Bennington Oriskany Bennington and main battles at Saratoga Freeman Farm and Bemis Heights. The detailed text is accompany by matching set of excellently detailed battle maps. A final bonus is a photographic tour of the current Saratoga Battlefield park with detailed captions provide by the park’s excellent historian Eric Schnitzer. A must have book for anyone interest in Saratoga battle and campaign.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Great read. Hard to put down. Excellent writing. Leaves you want

    Great read. Hard to put down. Excellent writing. Leaves you wanting more about the revolution.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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