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The Glorious Cause: A Novel of the American Revolution

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"The American Revolution was never a war in which the outcome was obvious. Despite their spirit and stamina, the colonists were outmanned and outfought by the brazen British army. General George Washington found his troops trounced in the battles of Brooklyn and Manhattan and retreated toward Pennsylvania. With the future of the colonies at its lowest ebb, Washington made his most fateful decision: to cross the Delaware River and attack the enemy. The stunning victory at Trenton began a saga of victory and defeat that concluded with the British
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The Glorious Cause: A Novel of the American Revolution

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Overview

"The American Revolution was never a war in which the outcome was obvious. Despite their spirit and stamina, the colonists were outmanned and outfought by the brazen British army. General George Washington found his troops trounced in the battles of Brooklyn and Manhattan and retreated toward Pennsylvania. With the future of the colonies at its lowest ebb, Washington made his most fateful decision: to cross the Delaware River and attack the enemy. The stunning victory at Trenton began a saga of victory and defeat that concluded with the British surrender at Yorktown, a moment that changed the history of the world." The despair and triumph of America's first great army is conveyed in scenes as powerful as any Shaara has written, a story told from the points of view of some of the most memorable characters in American history. There is George Washington, the charismatic leader who held his army together to achieve an unlikely victory; Charles Cornwallis, the no-nonsense British general, more than a match for his colonial counterpart; Nathaniel Greene, who rose from obscurity to become the finest battlefield commander in Washington's army; the Marquis de Lafayette, the young Frenchman who brought a soldier's passion to America; and Benjamin Franklin, a brilliant man of science and philosophy who became the finest statesman of his day.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The Glorious Cause, second in an ambitious and thoroughly terrific two-volume series that began with Rise to Rebellion, is the archetype of great historical fiction: smart, profound, moving, and above everything else, edge-of-your-seat entertaining.

In this powerful work, Shaara has discovered the perfect blend of fact and fiction, with a well-paced narration, intimate portraits of historical figures, and an almost subliminal use of historical detail. From the August 1776 landing of the British and Hessians at Gravesend Bay, New York, to the harrowing Battle of Trenton and the British defeat at Yorktown, Shaara takes the historical novel to new levels of vibrancy and intimacy. Legendary figures like George Washington, Nathaniel Greene, Benjamin Franklin, Benedict Arnold, Nathan Hale, and Charles Cornwallis are seen as men with strengths, weaknesses, egos, and fervor -- brilliant leaders who make mistakes, tell jokes, and long for their loves. There is a compelling realness to Shaara's dialogue and an authenticity in the relationships he depicts between his subjects and the men who serve and die under their command.

"It is regrettably easy for us to take for granted the freedoms we live under without considering who paid the price to secure them," Shaara writes in his preface to the reader. "That is only one reason among many that these extraordinary people must be remembered. That is, after all, the purpose of this story." Jeff Shaara has achieved his goal with a novel that is intense and memorable. But above all else it is a rousing tribute -- not only to the leaders on both sides of the American revolution but to the common man whose life, blood, and passion have been forgotten by time. Stephen Bloom

James Sullivan
By now history buffs know just what to expect from bestselling author Shaara—elegantly spun campfire yarns about the pivotal battles in American military history. Shaara's latest novel is the sure-handed sequel to Rise to Rebellion, a fictionalized account of the events that precipitated the Revolution of 1776. The author's core audience is well aware of the particulars of the rebellion—Washington's morale-boosting surprise attacks on the British and their allies at Princeton and Trenton, for instance, after the ragtag army's disheartening retreat out of Manhattan. Shaara's trademark approach—imagining the internal dialogue of the "great men" of history—works wonderfully with this information. "If God has any mercy for our cause," Washington thinks, surveying his wretched, freezing troops just before the Trenton raid, "let these men have their one good day." That's uplifting stuff for a nightstand page-turner.
From The Critics
By now history buffs know just what to expect from bestselling author Shaara—elegantly spun campfire yarns about the pivotal battles in American military history. Shaara's latest novel is the sure-handed sequel to Rise to Rebellion , a fictionalized account of the events that precipitated the Revolution of 1776. The author's core audience is well aware of the particulars of the rebellion—Washington's morale-boosting surprise attacks on the British and their allies at Princeton and Trenton, for instance, after the ragtag army's disheartening retreat out of Manhattan. Shaara's trademark approach—imagining the internal dialogue of the "great men" of history—works wonderfully with this information. "If God has any mercy for our cause," Washington thinks, surveying his wretched, freezing troops just before the Trenton raid, "let these men have their one good day." That's uplifting stuff for a nightstand page-turner. Author—James Sullivan
Publishers Weekly
Shaara's hefty fifth novel, the second in a two-volume series about the American Revolution, is an epic saga of what Shaara calls our first civil war and the first truly world war, told with emotion, energy and historical precision. Using the formula of character-driven fiction employed by his father, Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels), Jeff Shaara presents the dramatic history of the revolution as seen through the eyes of the major players. In describing the battles, skirmishes, victories, defeats, blunders, intrigues, treason and bickering, Shaara illuminates the circumstances whereby a rebel collection of motley amateurs dared to confront a mighty empire and its vaunted army. The narrative establishes immediacy in its colorful profiles of the participants. Shaara depicts George Washington as a general whose force of will and strong character earn the loyalty of soldiers who are defeated by the British again and again. Washington's relationships with other principals are profound and surprising. Having regarded Gen. Charles Lee as a friend, he is stunned by the behavior of his second-in-command on the battlefield and behind his back. He thinks highly of Gen. Nathaniel Greene and the Marquis de Lafayette, and neither will disappoint him. Having enjoyed the "pleasantly sociable" company of Benedict Arnold, Washington discovers too late that there are two traitors at West Point. He also learns firsthand how "Mad Anthony" Wayne earned his nickname. Shaara takes equal pains to characterize the British, men like dawdling Gen. William Howe, arrogant Henry Clinton and the capable but hapless Charles Cornwallis. This is vivid and compelling historical fiction, but also a primer on leadership and the arts of war and diplomacy. Shaara reaches new heights here, with a narrative that's impossible to put down. (Nov.) Forecast: The timing of this novel, recalling our country's turbulent birth, is sure to have resonance in this period of national crisis. The simultaneous release of the Warner Bros. movie of Gods and Generals should boost reader recognition and make the book a standout for Christmas gift giving. Eight-city author tour. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Shaara here concludes his epic series on the American Revolution that began with Rise to Rebellion. As with his previous historical novels (he's adamant that they are just that and not histories), this one is told from the perspectives of various historical players. George Washington is prominent, as are Benjamin Franklin, the under-appreciated Nathanial Greene, and, intriguingly, Britain's Lord Cornwallis. Some decry the author's creation of internal and external dialog, but the Founding Fathers were human beings who had doubts and who did not always give speeches or make pronouncements. The dialog rings true, and the history, aside from a glitch or two (grenadiers are infantry, not cavalry), is accurate. Rich, exciting, and compelling, The Glorious Cause will inform and entertain. Shaara has now written about the Mexican War, the Civil War, and the Revolution, and his many fans hope that he will continue to write about American history in the same skillful and exciting manner. For all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/02; the film adaptation of Shaara's Gods and Generals will be released in December, possibly increasing interest in this book. Ed.] Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Not so much glorious as tedious, even with all the shooting going on. Shaara (Gods and Generals, 1996, etc.) continues the saga of the American Revolution begun with Rise to Rebellion (2001). This one opens in New York during the summer of 1776. Washington’s ragged army prepares to defend itself against a large British force commanded by the rather useless General Howe. Highly trained, well armed, and reinforced by a sizable contingent of vicious Hessian mercenaries, the British drive the Americans out of forested Brooklyn Heights into Manhattan and thence through the small towns of New Jersey. As Washington scrabbles to keep his army fed, clothed and paid, the action occasionally jumps across the ocean to Paris, where Ben Franklin is trying to convince the French to support said glorious cause. The French would of course love to stick it to the British but are waiting for more concrete signs of the Americans’ ability to hold their own before whole-heartedly joining their side. Meanwhile, back in America, the war moves ahead in fits and starts as the two armies (tiny by 19th- and 20th-century standards) spend their time between skirmishes and the occasional pitched battle just trying to locate one another in the vastness of the New World. The end is, of course, inevitable, as American pluck beats British arrogance. Though the events depicted here should be extraordinarily rousing (the war was nearly lost on a number of nailbiting occasions), Shaara manages to render almost all of them mundane. He has an excellent grasp of the military and political significance of what’s going on, but his flat tone and missing gift for characterization make the story drag when it ought to soar. What couldhave been a good, readable history fails through poor fictionalization.
From the Publisher
“Dazzling . . . All the drama of a revolution is brought to light in Rise to Rebellion. . . . A stellar endeavor, it’s an unforgettable saga about special men and women who helped forge the destiny of a nation.”
–Rocky Mountain News

“This may be [Shaara’s] best book yet. . . . A highly readable tale, history disguised as entertainment.”
–Seattle Times/Post Intelligencer

“History master Jeff Shaara scores again . . . with historical accuracy and a you-are-there immediacy.”
–The New York Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345427588
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/3/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • Sales rank: 93,943
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of A Chain of Thunder, A Blaze of Glory, The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure—two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father’s Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives again in Tallahassee.

Good To Know

Shaara didn't begin writing until he was 42 years old. In our interview, he explains, "My father had been the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Killer Angels, and died never fulfilled, nor successful as an author. I had no inclination to pursue writing at all, but was inspired by the suggestion of filmmaker Ron Maxwell, who suggested I continue the Civil War story my father had begun."

For 24 years, Shaara was a dealer in rare coins and precious metals. "The polar opposite career choice and lifestyle of an author," Shaara admits. "My criminology degree was inspired by a serious drive to find fulfillment as a wildlife officer (a game warden). With my coin business thriving, I never pursued the career."

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    1. Hometown:
      Kalispell, Montana
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 21, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Brunswick, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S. in Criminology, Florida State University, 1974
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1. THE FISHERMAN

Gravesend Bay, New York, August 22, 1776

He had sat out the raw misery of the storm through most of the night, keeping his boat tight against the shore. She was pulled up on soft ground between two large rocks, his private mooring, a hiding place he had known since he was a boy. The boat would be safe there, from weather or the occasional vandal, but this time the storm was different, the rain driven by a howling wind that might push the waves hard beneath the boat, damaging her against the rocks. His wife would not worry, would keep the fireplace lit, would not protest even though he would stay out all night. She had heard him speak of it too often, his love of the water, the pursuit of the fish that seemed to call to him in a way few wives understand. This time she did not expect him to return home for at least two days, and so as he huddled under a ledge of rock, soaked by the amazing violence of the storm, he did not worry for her, thought only of tomorrow, the new dawn, hoping that the storm would be gone.

He would rarely fish in the darkness, but the late summer had been hot, breathless days that kept the fish silent, sent them away to some invisible place every fisherman seeks. He had thought of drift- ing with the tide along the edge of Gravesend Bay, without even his small sail, just easing along the first deep water offshore, hoping to tempt something from below into an ill-timed assault on his handmade hooks. But as the sun went down, the breeze had not calmed, and he had stared wide-eyed at a terrifying burst of lightning, warning him from the distance, a great show from the lower tip of New York, moving toward him from the distant shores of New Jersey. The storm had blown hard across the harbor, and he barely made it to his private wharf before the hard rain slapped his face and soaked his clothes. He had used his long push pole to slide the boat between the rocks, jumping out and then moving quickly under the ledges that faced away from the water. There was nowhere else to go, no thought of a fire, no blessed coffee, nothing but the hard crack of thunder. He had tried to lift himself up, keep his breeches off the ground, the dirt beneath him turning to mud as the flow of rainwater found him, small rivers in the soil. But the rock ledge was low and tight, and he could not escape, had settled into the misery, simply to wait it out until the dawn.

Before first light, the rain had stopped, and the quiet had awakened him. He groaned his way into the open air, his joints crying in stiffness, the air chilling him through the wetness of his shirt. But then he could see the first glow in the east, and he listened for the sound, the winds gone, only a soft breeze flowing through the trees behind him. He had always believed that after a strong rain, the fish would move, emerging from their own shelter, hungry, looking for whatever he might offer them. It was a lesson taught him by his father, who had fished this same water, who knew Gravesend Bay better than anyone in the villages, the way a farmer knows his land, every rock, every hole. He had begun to go out with his father when he was barely old enough to hold the stout fishing pole, had cheered with pure joy when the old man had wrestled with the fury of some unknown creature, and shared the pride of his father's success, the fish flopping and writhing in the bottom of the boat, the old man's quiet joy. His father was gone now, but the lessons remained. He looked at the boat, his father's boat, cared for by the hand of the son, thought, It's time to go fishing.

There was a great deal of water in the boat, and he scooped out as much as he could, then turned it on its side, a great splash on muddy ground, the last bit of water spilling away. He was in a hurry now, did not look at the glow on the horizon, knew that the dawn would give way to another hot day, and he slid the boat quickly off the shore, one last push as he waded out beside it, then jumped, lifting himself into the stern. He pushed with the long pole, the boat cutting through the low ripples on the water, and he measured the shallowness, knew that in another hundred yards it would drop off. He examined his fishing pole, felt the familiar excitement, knew that in the early morning, he might find a big one, a striped bass perhaps, or hook into a big blue, a fight that could pull his boat for a half mile into the great bay. If the breeze was right, he could drift along the slope of the drop-off, where the flounder might strike, the amazingly ugly fish that his wife would not touch until he cut away the ugliness.

The push pole suddenly went deep, the bottom falling away, and he set it down along the rail of the boat, tested the wind, thought of raising the small sail. He reached for the hard wad of bait in his pocket, ignored the smell, picked up the fishing pole . . . then froze, stared hard to the south, across the narrows, saw a reflection, caught by the first sunlight. It was a ship, fat and heavy, in full sail, coming straight toward him. Beyond, he could see two more, smaller frigates, more sails, and he stared at the bows of each ship, cutting through the water, thought, They will turn soon. They must be going out to sea.

He had often thought of sailors, the crews who manned the great ships, what kind of life could be had living only on the water. The harbor had filled with them only weeks before, more ships than he thought there were in the world, a vast navy, all the might of legend come to life. They were still there, a forest of bare masts and rigging, wrapping along the shoreline and wharves of Staten Island, extending out into the harbor. They had stayed at anchor for the most part, the navy-knowing as did the villagers-that on Governor's Island there were cannon, a curious battery placed by the rebels to keep Lord Howe's ships from sailing close to New York. The villagers had mostly laughed at the idea, that these men who had come down from Boston would dare to threaten His Majesty's navy, would have the arrogance to believe they could keep the mighty ships in their anchorage. But there had been no conflict, no real activity on either side. The hot talk in the taverns had grown quiet, the inaction breeding boredom in those who never really knew what would happen anyway. He was among them, excited when the navy arrived, the amazing sight of so many troops making camp on Staten Island, a vast sea of tents. But then nothing had happened, and many had gone back to their routine. And so, he had once again returned to Gravesend Bay to pursue the fish.

His father had told him about the British navy, the mightiest armada in the world, the vast power of the king that kept all his enemies at bay. But his father had no fire for politics, and the son knew only the talk, words like Whig and Tory, and issues that excited some, but, to many more like him, seemed very far away. He had heard the arguments, the complaints and protests, the threats and hot talk that meant very little to him. He had thought it strange that so many people could make such protest against their king, especially in the face of all those ships, the vast army, the enormous guns. And yet the voices had grown louder, the protests erupting into great public gatherings. He had been in New York when this man Washington had come. He had seen what those people called an army, heard some of the speeches, more new words, talk of a congress and independence. He thought it odd that the people wanted to be rid of their king, the one man responsible for their security, for protecting them from what he supposed to be all manner of enemies: Indians, the French, even pirates, who could sail close to these very shores, attacking the helpless, stealing anything they pleased. He had never actually seen a pirate, of course, or a Frenchman. There were Indians occasionally, in New York, or so he had heard. He admired these ships, this great mass of power, had felt as so many had felt out there on Long Island, that there could be no danger, no enemy who could harm the colonials as long as the great ships were there to protect them. But the rebels had cannon too. All it meant to him was that he should probably not fish around Governor's Island.

He had not fished around Staten Island either. It was unfamiliar water, too long a trip for his small boat to risk. If the wind turned against him, or a storm blew up, he would be helpless, have to make for land in a place where rumors sprouted. There had been talk from men who had been to Staten Island, who had seen the foreigners. He didn't know why they would be with the king's army, but the men at the tavern swore they had seen them. They were called Hessians, and some said they were savages, frightening men, strange uniforms and stranger faces. He had laughed at the descriptions, knew some of the men could spin a good yarn, but still . . . why would the king bring these men to New York?

He watched the three ships, his hands moving automatically to rig up his fishing pole. He had often seen smaller ships moving past Gravesend Bay, some near the shallows where he fished. There were sails only when they were heading for the open water, or, as he had seen lately, when they came in, the end of some long journey he could only imagine. The sailors had often called out to him, men up in the rigging, on the rails. He had always waved politely, wondered if they envied him, captain and crew of his own boat. But then someone had shot at him, a puff of smoke from a lookout, the strange zip of the musket ball passing overhead, a small punch in the water behind his boat. He had not understood that, thought it a ridiculous, frightening mistake, but the lesson was learned. Now, when the navy ships moved past he made ready, turned his boat toward the shore, an instinct inside him to move to safety, to keep his fat rocks in sight.

He thought now of doing the same, the three ships still bearing toward him. It was odd, something wrong. He did not move, still watched them, thought, They should be turning about before now, the deeper water is behind them. If they keep on this course, they will run aground. He had never seen such a mass of power so close. The larger ship was now barely two hundred yards away, then he heard shouts, the ship beginning to veer slowly to one side. The sails began to drop, the rigging alive with men, sounds of canvas flapping, the rattle of chain. He could see the anchor suddenly dropping, a hard splash as it thrust downward. He set the fishing pole down, his heart racing cold in his chest, his hands feeling for the paddle, no time to put up the sail. In short moments, the rigging of the great ship was bare, the tall masts naked against the glow from the east. He began to move the paddle in the water, pulling his boat backward, unable to take his eyes away from the flank of the ship, the rows of cannon staring straight toward him, toward the land behind him. The other ships moved in behind, slow maneuvering, more sails disappearing, and he kept paddling, his boat barely pushing into the tide, the breeze against his back. He glanced behind him, saw his rocks, the sanctuary, the agonizing distance, moved the paddle faster, chopping at the water. He expected to hear the musket ball again, but they seemed not to notice him, or better, they were ignoring him. The sandy bottom was visible beneath his boat now, and he grabbed quickly for the push pole, stood, balanced precariously, the boat rocking under his feet.

He strained against the push pole, the boat lurching under him, but then he stopped. Beyond the smaller ships there was something new, motion again, but different, no sails, no great masts. He stepped up on his seat, tried to see more detail, could tell the boats were flat, the motion coming from rows of oars. He saw more of them, and slowly they reached the warships, but did not stop, kept moving, still coming toward him. He was frozen for a long moment, his mind absorbing through his confusion. The flatboats kept coming, a vast swarm, the motion of the oars bringing them closer. He began to see reflections, a mass of color, red and white and silver. And now he understood. The boats were filled with soldiers.

He had reached the rocks, pulled the boat between them, slid it hard onto the shore with sweating hands. The soldiers had ignored him, and he thought of leaving, running the long trail back to his house, telling his wife. He climbed up on the taller rock, could see a great fleet of small flat barges. They had begun to reach the shore, sliding to a stop a hundred yards away from his perch, one after another, shouts, the men suddenly emerging, each boat emptying. He felt a strange thrill, saw the uniforms clearly now, the red and white of the British soldiers, the colors that inspired an empire. He was truly excited, the fear gone, made a small laugh, thought, No, there is no danger. I should go out, salute them, welcome them to Long Island. He saw different uniforms, brighter red, gold trim, officers. If I can find the commander, bring him to my house . . .

He tried to imagine his wife's face. He laughed again, saw now that the empty boats were moving offshore, sliding between those that still held their passengers. He tried to count, three dozen, No . . . my God. The flotilla stretched all the way past the warships still, an endless sea of flat motion. He could hear sounds now, over the quick shouts of men, the rhythm of drums, and a strange screeching noise. The sounds began to come together, the music of bagpipes, and the boat released its cargo, a different red, men in tartan, and he stared, thought, By God . . . they're wearin' . . . skirts. He pictured his wife, knew she wouldn't believe him, thought of running again, bringing her back here, to see this amazing sight. He wanted to stand up high on the rock, pulled his knees up, but something held him down, frozen. There was a ripple of sound behind him, from the sandy hills, a line of thin woods. The soldiers seemed not to hear, no change in their voices, their activity. But he turned, looked back, saw bits of smoke in the trees. Musket fire. He couldn't see who was shooting, thought, My God, what foolishness. Who dares to fire at the king's troops? He huddled down against the rock, peered out toward the soldiers again, saw men in line, moving off the narrow beach, an officer leading them up the rise toward the trees. The musket fire slowed, just the single pop, then another. Then the woods were quiet, the British troops moving up closer. He felt an odd twist in his stomach, thought, Was that a battle? Was it over? He was amazed, thought, You do not shoot at soldiers. He tried to think who it might have been, had heard something about rebels who had come across the East River, to build some kind of fort near Brooklyn. Is that who was in the woods? He was anxious to move away now, to go home, to tell his wife this strange story. He looked out toward the boats again, could suddenly hear music, different, brass and drums. One of the boats reached the shore closer to him, and the colors were not red. The sunlight reflected off a mass of metal, men with gold helmets. The uniforms were blue, and the men began to move onto the shore with crisp steps, forming a neat rectangle. He stared, saw they nearly all wore their hair tied in a long queue, a braid protruding from the helmets, each man with a moustache. There were officers here too, and when their men moved off the shore, the officers turned, looked toward him, one man motioning with his arm, pointing. He felt the cold in his chest again, began to back down the rock. But he could not leave just yet, had to see, peeked up over the edge, saw six of the blue uniforms moving down the beach in his direction. Now the welcome was erased from his mind. He could hear their voices now, words that he didn't understand. This must be . . . could they be . . . Hessians?

He dropped down from the rocks, fought the urge to run, glanced at his boat. No, I cannot just leave her here. They might take her. He felt his hands shaking, the strange voices moving closer, just beyond the far side of the big rocks. He took a deep breath, fixed a smile on his face, moved around the boat, saw them now, saw for the first time the long muskets, the hard sharp steel, the bayonets moving down, pointing at him. There was one in a different uniform, the man holding a sword, who motioned toward him, unsmiling, said, "A spy, yes?"

He shook his head, tried to laugh.

"Oh, no, sir. Just fishing." He pointed toward the boat, his hand shaking. "See? Just fishing, sir."

The officer glanced at the boat, said something to the soldiers beside him, and the men moved quickly, the bayonets suddenly coming forward, the sharp flash of steel, the work of men who know their business. The officer gave a short command, and the soldiers backed away, stood again in a tight line. The officer glanced down at the man who lay fallen into his boat, nodded, made a brief smile.

"A spy. Yes."

Excerpted from The Glorious Cause by Jeff ShaaraCopyright 2002 by Jeff Shaara. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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First Chapter

1. THE FISHERMAN

Gravesend Bay, New York, August 22, 1776

He had sat out the raw misery of the storm through most of the night, keeping his boat tight against the shore. She was pulled up on soft ground between two large rocks, his private mooring, a hiding place he had known since he was a boy. The boat would be safe there, from weather or the occasional vandal, but this time the storm was different, the rain driven by a howling wind that might push the waves hard beneath the boat, damaging her against the rocks. His wife would not worry, would keep the fireplace lit, would not protest even though he would stay out all night. She had heard him speak of it too often, his love of the water, the pursuit of the fish that seemed to call to him in a way few wives understand. This time she did not expect him to return home for at least two days, and so as he huddled under a ledge of rock, soaked by the amazing violence of the storm, he did not worry for her, thought only of tomorrow, the new dawn, hoping that the storm would be gone.

He would rarely fish in the darkness, but the late summer had been hot, breathless days that kept the fish silent, sent them away to some invisible place every fisherman seeks. He had thought of drift- ing with the tide along the edge of Gravesend Bay, without even his small sail, just easing along the first deep water offshore, hoping to tempt something from below into an ill-timed assault on his handmade hooks. But as the sun went down, the breeze had not calmed, and he had stared wide-eyed at a terrifying burst of lightning, warning him from the distance, a great show from the lower tip of New York, moving toward him from the distantshores of New Jersey. The storm had blown hard across the harbor, and he barely made it to his private wharf before the hard rain slapped his face and soaked his clothes. He had used his long push pole to slide the boat between the rocks, jumping out and then moving quickly under the ledges that faced away from the water. There was nowhere else to go, no thought of a fire, no blessed coffee, nothing but the hard crack of thunder. He had tried to lift himself up, keep his breeches off the ground, the dirt beneath him turning to mud as the flow of rainwater found him, small rivers in the soil. But the rock ledge was low and tight, and he could not escape, had settled into the misery, simply to wait it out until the dawn.

Before first light, the rain had stopped, and the quiet had awakened him. He groaned his way into the open air, his joints crying in stiffness, the air chilling him through the wetness of his shirt. But then he could see the first glow in the east, and he listened for the sound, the winds gone, only a soft breeze flowing through the trees behind him. He had always believed that after a strong rain, the fish would move, emerging from their own shelter, hungry, looking for whatever he might offer them. It was a lesson taught him by his father, who had fished this same water, who knew Gravesend Bay better than anyone in the villages, the way a farmer knows his land, every rock, every hole. He had begun to go out with his father when he was barely old enough to hold the stout fishing pole, had cheered with pure joy when the old man had wrestled with the fury of some unknown creature, and shared the pride of his father's success, the fish flopping and writhing in the bottom of the boat, the old man's quiet joy. His father was gone now, but the lessons remained. He looked at the boat, his father's boat, cared for by the hand of the son, thought, It's time to go fishing.

There was a great deal of water in the boat, and he scooped out as much as he could, then turned it on its side, a great splash on muddy ground, the last bit of water spilling away. He was in a hurry now, did not look at the glow on the horizon, knew that the dawn would give way to another hot day, and he slid the boat quickly off the shore, one last push as he waded out beside it, then jumped, lifting himself into the stern. He pushed with the long pole, the boat cutting through the low ripples on the water, and he measured the shallowness, knew that in another hundred yards it would drop off. He examined his fishing pole, felt the familiar excitement, knew that in the early morning, he might find a big one, a striped bass perhaps, or hook into a big blue, a fight that could pull his boat for a half mile into the great bay. If the breeze was right, he could drift along the slope of the drop-off, where the flounder might strike, the amazingly ugly fish that his wife would not touch until he cut away the ugliness.

The push pole suddenly went deep, the bottom falling away, and he set it down along the rail of the boat, tested the wind, thought of raising the small sail. He reached for the hard wad of bait in his pocket, ignored the smell, picked up the fishing pole . . . then froze, stared hard to the south, across the narrows, saw a reflection, caught by the first sunlight. It was a ship, fat and heavy, in full sail, coming straight toward him. Beyond, he could see two more, smaller frigates, more sails, and he stared at the bows of each ship, cutting through the water, thought, They will turn soon. They must be going out to sea.

He had often thought of sailors, the crews who manned the great ships, what kind of life could be had living only on the water. The harbor had filled with them only weeks before, more ships than he thought there were in the world, a vast navy, all the might of legend come to life. They were still there, a forest of bare masts and rigging, wrapping along the shoreline and wharves of Staten Island, extending out into the harbor. They had stayed at anchor for the most part, the navy-knowing as did the villagers-that on Governor's Island there were cannon, a curious battery placed by the rebels to keep Lord Howe's ships from sailing close to New York. The villagers had mostly laughed at the idea, that these men who had come down from Boston would dare to threaten His Majesty's navy, would have the arrogance to believe they could keep the mighty ships in their anchorage. But there had been no conflict, no real activity on either side. The hot talk in the taverns had grown quiet, the inaction breeding boredom in those who never really knew what would happen anyway. He was among them, excited when the navy arrived, the amazing sight of so many troops making camp on Staten Island, a vast sea of tents. But then nothing had happened, and many had gone back to their routine. And so, he had once again returned to Gravesend Bay to pursue the fish.

His father had told him about the British navy, the mightiest armada in the world, the vast power of the king that kept all his enemies at bay. But his father had no fire for politics, and the son knew only the talk, words like Whig and Tory, and issues that excited some, but, to many more like him, seemed very far away. He had heard the arguments, the complaints and protests, the threats and hot talk that meant very little to him. He had thought it strange that so many people could make such protest against their king, especially in the face of all those ships, the vast army, the enormous guns. And yet the voices had grown louder, the protests erupting into great public gatherings. He had been in New York when this man Washington had come. He had seen what those people called an army, heard some of the speeches, more new words, talk of a congress and independence. He thought it odd that the people wanted to be rid of their king, the one man responsible for their security, for protecting them from what he supposed to be all manner of enemies: Indians, the French, even pirates, who could sail close to these very shores, attacking the helpless, stealing anything they pleased. He had never actually seen a pirate, of course, or a Frenchman. There were Indians occasionally, in New York, or so he had heard. He admired these ships, this great mass of power, had felt as so many had felt out there on Long Island, that there could be no danger, no enemy who could harm the colonials as long as the great ships were there to protect them. But the rebels had cannon too. All it meant to him was that he should probably not fish around Governor's Island.

He had not fished around Staten Island either. It was unfamiliar water, too long a trip for his small boat to risk. If the wind turned against him, or a storm blew up, he would be helpless, have to make for land in a place where rumors sprouted. There had been talk from men who had been to Staten Island, who had seen the foreigners. He didn't know why they would be with the king's army, but the men at the tavern swore they had seen them. They were called Hessians, and some said they were savages, frightening men, strange uniforms and stranger faces. He had laughed at the descriptions, knew some of the men could spin a good yarn, but still . . . why would the king bring these men to New York?

He watched the three ships, his hands moving automatically to rig up his fishing pole. He had often seen smaller ships moving past Gravesend Bay, some near the shallows where he fished. There were sails only when they were heading for the open water, or, as he had seen lately, when they came in, the end of some long journey he could only imagine. The sailors had often called out to him, men up in the rigging, on the rails. He had always waved politely, wondered if they envied him, captain and crew of his own boat. But then someone had shot at him, a puff of smoke from a lookout, the strange zip of the musket ball passing overhead, a small punch in the water behind his boat. He had not understood that, thought it a ridiculous, frightening mistake, but the lesson was learned. Now, when the navy ships moved past he made ready, turned his boat toward the shore, an instinct inside him to move to safety, to keep his fat rocks in sight.

He thought now of doing the same, the three ships still bearing toward him. It was odd, something wrong. He did not move, still watched them, thought, They should be turning about before now, the deeper water is behind them. If they keep on this course, they will run aground. He had never seen such a mass of power so close. The larger ship was now barely two hundred yards away, then he heard shouts, the ship beginning to veer slowly to one side. The sails began to drop, the rigging alive with men, sounds of canvas flapping, the rattle of chain. He could see the anchor suddenly dropping, a hard splash as it thrust downward. He set the fishing pole down, his heart racing cold in his chest, his hands feeling for the paddle, no time to put up the sail. In short moments, the rigging of the great ship was bare, the tall masts naked against the glow from the east. He began to move the paddle in the water, pulling his boat backward, unable to take his eyes away from the flank of the ship, the rows of cannon staring straight toward him, toward the land behind him. The other ships moved in behind, slow maneuvering, more sails disappearing, and he kept paddling, his boat barely pushing into the tide, the breeze against his back. He glanced behind him, saw his rocks, the sanctuary, the agonizing distance, moved the paddle faster, chopping at the water. He expected to hear the musket ball again, but they seemed not to notice him, or better, they were ignoring him. The sandy bottom was visible beneath his boat now, and he grabbed quickly for the push pole, stood, balanced precariously, the boat rocking under his feet.

He strained against the push pole, the boat lurching under him, but then he stopped. Beyond the smaller ships there was something new, motion again, but different, no sails, no great masts. He stepped up on his seat, tried to see more detail, could tell the boats were flat, the motion coming from rows of oars. He saw more of them, and slowly they reached the warships, but did not stop, kept moving, still coming toward him. He was frozen for a long moment, his mind absorbing through his confusion. The flatboats kept coming, a vast swarm, the motion of the oars bringing them closer. He began to see reflections, a mass of color, red and white and silver. And now he understood. The boats were filled with soldiers.

He had reached the rocks, pulled the boat between them, slid it hard onto the shore with sweating hands. The soldiers had ignored him, and he thought of leaving, running the long trail back to his house, telling his wife. He climbed up on the taller rock, could see a great fleet of small flat barges. They had begun to reach the shore, sliding to a stop a hundred yards away from his perch, one after another, shouts, the men suddenly emerging, each boat emptying. He felt a strange thrill, saw the uniforms clearly now, the red and white of the British soldiers, the colors that inspired an empire. He was truly excited, the fear gone, made a small laugh, thought, No, there is no danger. I should go out, salute them, welcome them to Long Island. He saw different uniforms, brighter red, gold trim, officers. If I can find the commander, bring him to my house . . .

He tried to imagine his wife's face. He laughed again, saw now that the empty boats were moving offshore, sliding between those that still held their passengers. He tried to count, three dozen, No . . . my God. The flotilla stretched all the way past the warships still, an endless sea of flat motion. He could hear sounds now, over the quick shouts of men, the rhythm of drums, and a strange screeching noise. The sounds began to come together, the music of bagpipes, and the boat released its cargo, a different red, men in tartan, and he stared, thought, By God . . . they're wearin' . . . skirts. He pictured his wife, knew she wouldn't believe him, thought of running again, bringing her back here, to see this amazing sight. He wanted to stand up high on the rock, pulled his knees up, but something held him down, frozen. There was a ripple of sound behind him, from the sandy hills, a line of thin woods. The soldiers seemed not to hear, no change in their voices, their activity. But he turned, looked back, saw bits of smoke in the trees. Musket fire. He couldn't see who was shooting, thought, My God, what foolishness. Who dares to fire at the king's troops? He huddled down against the rock, peered out toward the soldiers again, saw men in line, moving off the narrow beach, an officer leading them up the rise toward the trees. The musket fire slowed, just the single pop, then another. Then the woods were quiet, the British troops moving up closer. He felt an odd twist in his stomach, thought, Was that a battle? Was it over? He was amazed, thought, You do not shoot at soldiers. He tried to think who it might have been, had heard something about rebels who had come across the East River, to build some kind of fort near Brooklyn. Is that who was in the woods? He was anxious to move away now, to go home, to tell his wife this strange story. He looked out toward the boats again, could suddenly hear music, different, brass and drums. One of the boats reached the shore closer to him, and the colors were not red. The sunlight reflected off a mass of metal, men with gold helmets. The uniforms were blue, and the men began to move onto the shore with crisp steps, forming a neat rectangle. He stared, saw they nearly all wore their hair tied in a long queue, a braid protruding from the helmets, each man with a moustache. There were officers here too, and when their men moved off the shore, the officers turned, looked toward him, one man motioning with his arm, pointing. He felt the cold in his chest again, began to back down the rock. But he could not leave just yet, had to see, peeked up over the edge, saw six of the blue uniforms moving down the beach in his direction. Now the welcome was erased from his mind. He could hear their voices now, words that he didn't understand. This must be . . . could they be . . . Hessians?

He dropped down from the rocks, fought the urge to run, glanced at his boat. No, I cannot just leave her here. They might take her. He felt his hands shaking, the strange voices moving closer, just beyond the far side of the big rocks. He took a deep breath, fixed a smile on his face, moved around the boat, saw them now, saw for the first time the long muskets, the hard sharp steel, the bayonets moving down, pointing at him. There was one in a different uniform, the man holding a sword, who motioned toward him, unsmiling, said, "A spy, yes?"

He shook his head, tried to laugh.

"Oh, no, sir. Just fishing." He pointed toward the boat, his hand shaking. "See? Just fishing, sir."

The officer glanced at the boat, said something to the soldiers beside him, and the men moved quickly, the bayonets suddenly coming forward, the sharp flash of steel, the work of men who know their business. The officer gave a short command, and the soldiers backed away, stood again in a tight line. The officer glanced down at the man who lay fallen into his boat, nodded, made a brief smile.

"A spy. Yes."


From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright 2002 by Jeff Shaara
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Interviews & Essays

INTERVIEW WITH JEFF SHAARA
AUTHOR OF THE GLORIOUS CAUSE

Q. This is your fifth book dealing with a monumental event in American history. How did this story differ from the others?

A. The story of the American Revolution is in some ways more relentless than any story I've told thus far. From every character's point of view, the events are a constant flow of crisis, triumph and catastrophe. I found I had to push myself to move through the timeline with more energy than the other books, not just because of the span of time the book covers (six years) but to propel the story without getting bogged down in any one event. The story of the American Revolution is really a collection of magnificent stories, many of which could be expanded into its own book. It was a challenge to drive the flow of the book deeply enough through each event that nothing is lost.

Q. How is this story similar to those you've done before?

A.As with the Civil War stories, the events are pivotal to our history, and the characters are people who have made their mark on history by their extraordinary performance in a crisis situation. Whether talking about the Civil War or the Revolution, the gravity of the time brings out the best or worst in those who played a key role. The attraction for me is how the main characters rise to the occasion, how ordinary men and women become extraordinary figures of history. There are as many heroic and tragic stories during the 1770s as there are during the 1860s.

Q.In this book, you are continuing the format begun by your father, Michael
Shaara, of moving the point of view from characterto character. Why?

A.No one character can tell this entire story alone. No one was at every pivotal place, and since I try to take you into the minds of these characters, no single person knew everything that was happening at one time. I always try to select a small number of main characters, and focus on each one as the story progresses. By choosing those key participants who were responsible for so much of the events of the day, I can move more easily through the timeline. It's far more interesting to me to see how opposing players, such as Washington and Cornwallis, will see the same event unfolding in front of them.
Though so much is happening in America during the 1770s, the intrigue and negotiations in Paris are key to the story as well, and no one was more pivotal there than Ben Franklin. It would be ridiculous to try to tell the story of the French coming into the war from Washington's point of view. For most of the war, he simply wasn't involved.

Q.Since you've mentioned a few of the key characters in this story, explain how you chose each one. Who else do you bring forward?

A.George Washington and Ben Franklin are both key participants in Rise to Rebellion, the prequel to this book. Washington's role is the dominant one in the story, and as I said, Franklin's involvement in bringing the French into the war is extremely important. Charles Cornwallis is the British voice, a very important choice for me. There were many key British players, but Cornwallis is in most of the key places, and ultimately, it is his name that most Americans are familiar with. The fourth main character is Nathaniel Greene, a name most Americans do not know. Greene is the finest field commander Washington has in his army, and in some ways is the antithesis of Washington. Greene also goes to the Carolinas to command the army there in the closing campaigns of the war. Since Washington is not there, it made sense to follow Greene through such an important time.

Q.In all your books, you put the reader into the mind of each character, hearing his thoughts. Was this process the same for you in this story as well?

A.Absolutely. The greatest challenge for me is to feel I know each character’s personality. It's a very risky thing to put words into the mouths of some of the most illustrious men in our history. I can never begin to write a story until I reach that magical place, as though I'm in the room with each one of them. My research is always those original sources that are available, and in this book it is no different. We are very fortunate to have the memoirs of such key participants as the Marquis de Lafayette and Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee. Franklin's writings are magnificent, as are many of the surviving letters from Washington, Greene and Cornwallis. By hearing their words, their descriptions, how they responded to the events around them, I begin to feel close to each one of them. Only then can I sit down and begin to write the story.

Q.Were there any surprises in your research, anything unexpected about the characters you chose?

A.I was impressed by Cornwallis. He is much more than a two-dimensional "redcoat," not simply the man who lost Yorktown. I did not expect the extraordinary level of romance that I found in his relationship with his wife, Jemima. It's a far more tragic story than most Americans realize. I was struck as well by how much the character of Nathaniel Greene is similar to another iconic military commander: Stonewall Jackson. Greene has no patience for ineptitude, in himself as well as others. But as he gains experience on the battlefield, he becomes the model of excellence, and the finest field commander of the war. Like Jackson, he is a family man as well, with deep concerns for his wife and children. It's sad to me that to so many Americans, he is completely unknown. I was surprised as well by the drama of the role played by two minor characters in this story: Nathan Hale and Benedict Arnold. I always enjoy removing the myth from characters and presenting their honest story. In the case of both men, the truth is far more intriguing than the legends.

Q.This story takes place more than two centuries ago. Is there some lesson we should learn from it, something that applies today? Why should we care about these long-dead figures?

A.I have been asked that a great deal, particularly by younger readers. In every book I have written, I have discovered unexpected parallels to modern times. Some would say that we're repeating the same mistakes, that we never learn the lessons of history. I'm not sure I agree. We revere certain people in our past because of the mark they made on our history. No matter the mood of this country, or how Hollywood chooses to portray our history, certain truths remain unaltered. Heroism matters. There is a reason why George Washington is a name every schoolchild learns, why so many streets in so many towns are named after Benjamin Franklin. If we forget why, if we tend to overlook the accomplishments, we need to go back and re-learn why these people are so important to our way of life today.

Q. Your books are all set during wartime. Is that the only kind of story you find interesting?

A.It is a tragic coincidence that throughout our history, it is war that brings out those traits most admired. It's not the war story that interests me. What draws me to these events and times are the characters, the individuals who share one common trait. In all of my books, the key figures are ordinary men and women who rise to meet the particular challenge of their time. None are programmed to succeed, none are born to be heroes. In every story, these people are simply us. It has been suggested to me that this kind of heroism is lost today, that we are a nation that can no longer rise to the occasion. I firmly disagree. I am intensely curious how the events of September 11 will be remembered. A hundred years from now, someone might sit down and write a story about those characters whose names we already know, or other names we might not yet have heard, some man or woman whose heroism, dignity and strength of character places them alongside Washington or Franklin, Grant or Lee. It will be a story that will draw readers the same way we are drawn today to the wonderful characters from our past. And none of them should be forgotten.

Q.Now that you have completed your two books on the American Revolution, what's next?

A.I have a strong interest in moving forward, a story or two set in the twentieth century. I promise, it will not be something so utterly familiar, such as D-Day or Pearl Harbor. I want to move into a time that we haven't focused on much lately, more extraordinary characters that I look forward to exploring. After that, I'm thinking of several possibilities. We are a nation with a short but incredibly rich history. As long as readers are willing to explore these stories with me, I'll continue to write them.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 89 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 4, 2012

    Another amazing book by Jeff Shaara

    I have now read at least 4 Books either by Jeff or his Father and all. All are of the Revolution and Civil War and are all exceptional. Thank you to both Shaara's for all the research and your style of putting all the facts in a very compelling Novel format. All while reading the novels I actually felt I was there seeing, hearing and smelling everything the characters were experiencing.

    I highly recommend this book as well as others written by the Shaara's.

    Bravo and thanks!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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  • Posted December 19, 2011

    Good read!!

    Jeff Shaara remains a really good historical novelist in spite of the number of books he puts out he must have a very excellent research team.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    Shaara At His Best

    The continuation of America's fight for independence (Rise To Rebellion), this book picks up after the Declaration of Independence. The radicals have prevailed in the Congress and the war is to truly begin. Again, Shaara is marvelous at being informative and entertaing, at taking you inside the minds of these men. The struggle and overwhelming odds the colonists faced can't be overstated, nor can the perseverance required and delivered be. Learn more about the amazing life of Benjamin Franklin...or see Washington learn how to be a General in the face of a fearsome enemy and wonder whether any other man could have done the job. Shaara takes you to these places, Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Yorktown. This is essential reading for any American. We all should know what these men endured and what they did to found this country...Shaara delivers that in vivid detail and fact. Read it...after you read Rise To Rebellion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Jeff Shaara Does It Again!

    Jeff Shaara captures again the true spirit of our great nation's stand for freedom in "The Glorius Cause". This second part of his series on the American Revolution (first being "Rise to Rebellion")and the establishment of our republic should be a reading for all Americans to grasp the tremendous struggle that took place to create this brand new experience in a government by the people. His insight into the thinking of those who stood for freedom like Washington, Franklin, and others is contrasted up against those that stood in their way like Cornwallis, Gates, and others. The price that was paid by those in America desiring freedom must be remembered and retold time and time again.
    Shaara's style of being historically accurate but enriching the experience by delving into the lives of the central characters calls for the reader to stop and think about not only the facts but the actual thoughts that went into the multiple events leading to the establishment of America. To see this gigantic struggle through the eyes of those involved from foreigners like Lafayette, von Stuben, and Rochambeau tell a fuller picture of how close the struggle came to failing. Being reminded of the sacrifices of men like Nathan Hale, Nathanael Greene, and of course George Washington stirs the reader's heart that freedom was not cheap and was bought with the blood of real people. The courageous nature of not only the soldiers but the wives of these gallent men paint the picture of what commitment and sacrifice truly takes.
    In the environment of recent political and world events from Congress to the mountains of Afghanistan freedom should never be ignored but should be defended with total commitment to make sure the light of liberty never goes out! "The Glorius Cause" will challenge each of us to a renewed desire to know our history and to better understand that we must do everything possible to uphold the memory of what it takes to establish freedom now and forever.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    A reviewer

    I have not yet finished this book, (on Part 3) but I think it is AWESOME!! The detail is just beyond description and I feel as if I'm right beside Washington, Lafayette, Cornwallis, Greene... Great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2012

    Another great book from Jeff Shaara!

    Mr. Shaara's historical novels are among the best ever written. He puts you into the scene and makes you feel like you are present as the story unfolds. This one follows its characters through the American Revolution and follows on the story in "Rise to Revolution". You learn much about the period and enjoy learning it. I also recommend his Civil War and World War II books, as well as "Gone For Soldiers", the story of General Winfield Scott's amazing campaign in the Mexican War, where many of the main generals on both sides of the Civil War got their first taste of battle.

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    "History" like you have never read it--a gripping story of our Revolutionary War.

    If all you remember about our Revolutionary War is what you studied in some highschool history class, then you are in for a real surprise as you re ad this sequel to Shaara's "Rise to Rebellion". Yes, some of the dialogue is the pure invention of Jeff Shaara, but his research is so thorough that the conversations and the thoughts of our forefathers put you right there--listening in on what they are thinking about and what actions they are taking. You step onto the flat boats as the Washington and his small army cross the Delaware in the wee hours after Christmas to catch the Hessians in Trenton still recovering from their drunken Christmas celebrations. You will find yourself shivering as you read about the terrible winter at Valley Forge and you will want to strangle the members of the Continental Congress who steadfastly refused Washington's request for more support. You will meet Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du MotierIn, the Marquis de Lafayette, the very wealthy 19 year old French cavalry captain who came to America to join George Washington in our battle for freedom. In many places in this book I was so emotionally caught up in the events taking place I often had great difficulty in putting the book down. My middle daughter is a highschool history teacher and I have suggested that she have her students read this book--not so much for her class since Virginia's Standards of Learning have a set requirement for what will be taught, but to give the students a greater appreciation for our history "spiced" up as only Jeff Shaara can do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    A learner

    This book is...such a...its like a textbook just written into a biography to state how this war have started for a reason.british and colonists are the ones who started this war.british passed unfair laws to the colonists.british expected colonists to pay for th french and indian war.to raise the money,british put taxes on goods colonist needed.so colonists dumped british tea overboard.for that,british added more laws.so they decided to go to war.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    Highly recommend!

    If you've had occasion to visit the historic site where these epic battles took place, then this is the book you're looking for. Yorktown, Williamsburg, Guilford Courthouse... you are there for these pivotal battles that won our Revolution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2009

    Very Good

    It is an action packed book with lots of interesting details and will keep you attached to this book until the last page

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    Im VERY PICKY ABOUT MY AUTHORS... The first book that I went into was The Killer Angels... then The Last Full Measure... The Glorious Cause... Now Im planning to get Rise to Rebellion. MIKE & JEFF SHAARA ARE AMAZING. GREAT BOOKS. GREAT BOOK. YOU MUST GET IT. YOU WONT REGRET IT.

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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 October 6, 2006

    Not much to talk about

    Shaara's father approached The Killer Angels with a brilliance that made the occasional historical lapse forgivable. However, in his fifth book, his son Jeff makes clear that he has emulated his father's formula but not his gift. The main characters are mis-characterized, and the reason is because Shaara is unable to write on his own. Shaara's characters are all the same: competent yet self- doubting, and worried that he will not be able to see events through to their conclusion. Wonderful - except that it gets boring and also is not true to the historical men themselves. Washington was not a self-doubter who cried in front of his troops and Cornwallis was not a weak-willed man who doubted his own cause. Each was a strong man with conviction in his abilities and his cause. Shaara's ability to repeat the same formula from book to book should not be confused with literary merit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2006

    A (Glorious) Visit with History

    I couldn't put it down!!! The style and personable context captivated me and I want to again thank the Author for this wonderful travel in time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2005

    Know when to hold 'em know when to fold 'em

    This was the name of the game for the first army of the United States of America. This inexperienced army met one of the most experienced armies in the world face to face on the battle ground. Their retreats and defeats outnumbered their victories. If they had not run from most of the battles, they would have been completely annihilated. They boiled water, flavored it with rocks and leaves and called it soup. They marched bare foot or with tattered pieces of cloth around their feet during most of this American Revolutionary war from the cold New York grounds to the cold Pennsylvania grounds. There is no doubt that a higher power was protecting them. How could anybody but God take credit for establishing this great country? You'll love and hate different characters in this book and when your through reading it, you'll just want to read it again.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005

    Shaara is one (two) of a kind.

    It is amazing how Shaara can entertain and educate over the course of 600+ pages. I was fortunate enough to purchase a copy of Killer Angels during a trip to Gettysburg and have been hooked on the Shaara legacy since. Reading The Glorious Cause over the Independence Holiday had special meaning and really made me appreciate how great our country is and the tremendous amount of courage our forefathers possessed. We must respect that for future generations. I am now on my way to B&N to pickup WWI (To the Last Man), and look forward to the WWII trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2005

    The Glorious Cause a book to read

    If you like reading about the revolutionary war, this is your book. I have read this book for a college project and was glad that I did. This book gives you a bigger look at how we became America. There is a lot of information in this book that we never learned in school and should have. Jeff Shaara does a great job in giving us a front row seat and allowing us to get into the heads of the key players in the Revolutionary war. I learned so much from this book and hope that you to can learn as much as I have from this book.

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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 31, 2004

    Shaara's best

    In my opinion, Shaara found his voice in The Last Full Measure; and he has perfected his voice in The Glorious Cause. The chapters devoted to Monmouth and Cowpens are simply outstanding, and as a reader, I actually began to feel compassion for Cornwallis. With howe and Clinton in charge of the British army, the British stood no chance of defeating the Americans. This is Shaara's masterpiece, much more invigorating than Rise to Rebellion.

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