Rick Atkinson, the creator of “The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777,” has been named the winner of the New-York Historical Society’s Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize, awarded annually to the most effective work within the discipline of American historical past and biography.
The 800-page doorstop, printed final 12 months by Henry Holt, begins with the early skirmishes and continues previous the Declaration of Independence, with an intent of dispelling settled, sentimental clichés which have accrued round public understanding of the Revolution. The historian Joseph Ellis, writing in The New York Times Book Review, praised its mixture of deep analysis, together with “almost endless endnotes,” and “novelistic imagination that verges on cinematic.”
Mr. Atkinson, a journalist by coaching, emphasizes the prices and brutality of the Revolution, a battle, he writes, during which a better portion of the inhabitants died than in some other American battle, save the Civil War (partly due to infectious illness). It’s a darker view that’s in tune with current scholarship on the Revolution, in addition to with Mr. Atkinson’s earlier work, together with his trilogy about World War II.
“I’ve spent a professional lifetime writing about American wars to figure out how and why they were fought, and in hopes of conveying to readers that every one of them was fundamentally tragic,” Mr. Atkinson, the son of a United States Army officer, stated in an announcement.
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