by Rick Atkinson
To say that Atkinson can tell a story is like saying Sinatra can sing…Lurking behind all the assembled evidence, which somehow Atkinson managed to read, digest in a remarkably short period of time, is a novelistic imagination that verges on the cinematic. Truly, this author transcends historical genre into a compelling mindmeld of pure cinematic delight. Historians of the American Revolution alert…Atkinson brings with him a Tolstoyan view of war; that is, he presumes war can only be understood by recovering the experience of ordinary men and women caught in the crucible of orchestrated violence beyond their control and comprehension. Atkinson pays only passing attention to this political side of the Revolutionary story, devoting more space to such policymakers in London as King George since this author was granted unrestricted access to the king’s actual diaries…the first time in history.