Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin

Ordinary Courage: The Revolutionary War Adventures of Joseph Plumb Martin

by James Kirby Martin (Editor)

Paperback(Older Edition)

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This remarkable memoir is one of the most celebrated documents to emerge from the tumult of America’s Revolutionary War. The ordinary and yet exceptional experiences of a young soldier in Washington’s army are given a new life in this fourth edition, sensitively edited for a modern readership.

  • Classic primary source on the Revolutionary War
  • Edited by a leading US authority on the period
  • Now with extra maps and a more extensive bibliography
  • Includes a new Afterword by Karen Guenther on film portrayals of the continental soldier

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781881089476
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 07/28/1999
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

James Kirby Martin is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Houston. Martin is a nationally recognized scholar of Early American history, especially the era of the American Revolution, and he is also well known for his writings on various aspects of American military and social history. Martin is the award-winning author and editor of eleven books, including Benedict Arnold, Revolutionary Hero: An American Warrior Reconsidered (1997), and, with M.E. Lender, Drinking in America: A History 1620-1980 (1987). Most recently, he has completed a major revision of his co-authored book, A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789. He has also finished (with Joseph Glatthaar) Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution, to be published in 2006 by Hill & Wang, and he is completing (with Marla Miller) a study of Revolutionary America for Oxford University Press.

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Table of Contents

Introductory Comments.

Martin’s Narrative of Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings.



Campaign 1776.

Campaign 1777.

Campaign 1778.

Campaign 1779.

Campaign 1780.

Campaign 1781.

Campaign 1782.

Campaign 1783.

Suggestions for Additional Reading.


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“If I had to rely on a single book to convey the full experience of the Revolutionary War, it would certainly be Joseph Plumb Martin's Narrative. Martin personalizes the experience of a common solider with the freshness of youth and the wisdom of age – a truly remarkable feat. Like All Quiet on the Western Front, it's a must read classic.” – Ray Raphael, author of A People’s History of the American Revolution

“No soldier in Washington's Continental Army ever inscribed a more trenchant and vivid account of the hopes, fears, frustrations, and sufferings of the common volunteer than Joseph Plumb Martin.  In this new edition of Private Martin's account, James Kirby Martin has amplified the footnotes and bibliography to breathe new life into this remarkable reminiscence.  This is indispensable reading for anyone interested in the American Revolution from the inside out.” – Gary B. Nash, University of California, Los Angeles

Praise from the previous edition:

Ordinary Courage is a classic in American military history. James Kirby Martin has expertly edited the original version. It is wonderful to have such an excellent volume, so skillfully introduced and edited, available for students and the general readership.” – Joseph T. Glatthaar, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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