Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution

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Overview

Henry Knox played a key role in all of George Washington's battles, saving the city at the Siege of Boston and engineering Washington's famous Christmas night passage to safety across the Delaware River. In the postwar years, as the fledgling country was in desperate need of strong leadership, Knox employed the signature organizational skills that had earned him Washington's admiration during the war. His relentless pursuit of an effective defense of America has shaped our military strategy today. With riveting ...

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Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution

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Overview

Henry Knox played a key role in all of George Washington's battles, saving the city at the Siege of Boston and engineering Washington's famous Christmas night passage to safety across the Delaware River. In the postwar years, as the fledgling country was in desperate need of strong leadership, Knox employed the signature organizational skills that had earned him Washington's admiration during the war. His relentless pursuit of an effective defense of America has shaped our military strategy today. With riveting battle scenes and vivid prose, Mark Puls breathes new life into the American Revolution and firmly reestablishes Knox in his deserved place in history.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this brisk, informative biography, journalist and author Puls (Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution) celebrates Gen. Henry Knox, "a remarkably ubiquitous presence during America's founding generation," who has been "curiously overlooked by historians." At age 18, Knox (1750-1806) joined the local Boston militia and became a self-taught "skilled engineer and military tactician." Once the American Revolution began, General Washington appointed Knox to build and lead the army's artillery corps. Knox remained at Washington's side and supervised the 1776 Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware. He went on to command the Yorktown artillery in 1781. The then "youngest major general in the American army" retired to become secretary at war and to lay the basis for a visionary citizen army. Knox later sanctioned the American navy and promoted the creation of a military academy at West Point. His private life was burdened by years of separation from his wife and the untimely deaths of nine of their 12 children. In 1806 Knox died unexpectedly from an infection caused by a chicken bone lodged in his throat. Puls's authoritative and absorbing account of Knox's life is a fitting tribute to General Washington's "indispensable man." (Feb.)

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From the Publisher
"Mark Puls gives us an action-packed account of Knox's life in uniform and in government service and provides a fitting portrait of one of America's greatest leaders. Truly this was an amazing man — a man to whom Americans owe a great debt for his willingness to forgo personal riches for the common good. It was a pleasure to experience this story of his remarkable life." — The Roanoke Times

"[A] brisk, informative biography...Puls's authoritative and absorbing account of Knox's life is a fitting tribute to General Washington's 'indispensable man.'"—Publishers Weekly

"Competent biography of Washington's talented young protégé, who commanded the artillery throughout the American Revolution and served as the nation's first Secretary of War...a solid résumé of everything anyone would want to know about this undeservedly neglected not-quite founding father." - Kirkus

"Great man though he was, George Washington did not win American independence by himself. Henry Knox, a self-taught artillery commander, was one of the the Revolution's great figures, and this book explains why we should know more about him. In the hands of Mark Puls, Knox and his beloved wife Lucy come to life in a way that reminds us of the debt we owe the men and women of the Founding generation. " — Terry Golway, author of Washington's General

"At last, Henry Knox has been discovered by a historian capable of appreciating his contributions as a soldier and statesmen, and who also, no small matter, can write. Knox's attempt to create a just policy toward Native Americans that avoided Indian removal is a poignant story worth the price of admission. This is unquestionably the authoritative biography."—Joseph Ellis, author of Founding Brothers and the forthcoming American Creation: Triumph and Tragedy at the Founding

"Bringing 18th Century America to life is no easy task, particularly when military leaders from the Revolutionary War are at center stage. In Henry Knox, General of the American Revolution, however, Mark Puls does that smoothly and even superbly, making the reader feel familiar and comfortable with all of them, particularly the hero. And hero he truly was, as Puls so well records. This is clearly a masterful work."— Tom Carhart author of Lost Triumph: Lee’s Real Plan at Gettysburg — and Why It Failed

Praise for Puls' Samuel Adams:

"Any Founding Father who ends his days in such a fighting spirit deserves still more of our attention. Samuel Adams is a good place to start."—The Wall Street Journal

"Here, at last, is a new life of the man that recovers his crucial role as the Lenin of the American Revolution."—Joseph J. Ellis, author of Founding Brothers

“American history buffs will enjoy Puls’ fine study.”—Publishers Weekly

“A sharply focused biography of the mastermind behind the American colonies’ break with England."—Kirkus

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403984272
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/5/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 839,503
  • Product dimensions: 6.77 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Puls is the author of Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution, winner of the Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award, and co-author of Uncommon Valor: A Story of Race, Patriotism and Glory in the Final Battles of the Civil War with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Melvin Claxton. Puls has worked as a journalist for The Detroit News. He lives in Hawntranck, MI.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

1 Love and War 1

2 Ticonderoga 27

3 Ragamuffins 47

4 Delaware Crossing 71

5 The Battle for Philadelphia 97

6 Turning of the Tide 119

7 Fortitude 139

8 Yorktown and Surrender 157

9 Confederation Secretary 183

10 Illusive Bubbles 203

11 Soldier's Home 223

12 Atoms upon This Atom 239

Epilogue Legacy 251

Notes 259

Bibliography 273

Index 277

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    The strategist behind the charismatic general

    Our hero George Washington was able to achieve the key Revolutionary War battles with the incredible foresight, creativity, and persistence of his General, Henry Knox - a self taught man. He was with General Washington from the beginning in Boston, through the battles in NYC, engineered the crossing of the Potomac, and finally victory in Yorktown. George Washington said 'There is no man whom I love more or have a stronger friendship.'

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Recommended

    Mark Puls' Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution is a very readable, very interesting and dramatic account of Knox. I am enjoying it very much. However, it seems to me as a 70-year resident of New York that he has made some foolish errors in geography, especially in Chapter 3, "Ragamuffins." For example, on p. 54, two British frigates "sailed up the Hudson to the Tappan Sea." Isn't it the Tappan Zee? On p. 59, we read: "British and foreign trroops...began crossing the East River from Staten Island to Gravesend Bay..." Isn't this the Lower New York Bay, not the East River? On p. 60, "a forty-gun battleship sailed up the Long Island Sound between Governor's and Long islands (sic)." Doesn't the East River seperate Governor's Island and the Brooklyn section of Long Island?

    It is unfortunate that such a wonderful book is marred by basic errors in geography. Is it possible that I am wrong and in 1776 these water bodies had different names?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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