The Men Who Lost America

By Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy,

Book cover of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire

Book description

The loss of America was a stunning and unexpected defeat for the powerful British Empire. Common wisdom has held that incompetent military commanders and political leaders in Britain must have been to blame, but were they? This intriguing book makes a different argument. Weaving together the personal stories of ten…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked The Men Who Lost America as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The vast majority of books on the Revolutionary War are written by Americans, and they predictably focus on the conflict from the Patriot side. But throughout the war, the strategic initiative rested with Britain, not the United States. Through a series of brilliant biographical chapters, O’Shaughnessy traces the history of the war and the evolution of British strategy, and its ultimate failure, from the imperial side.

It’s impossible to understand the Revolutionary War by looking at it only from the American perspective. O'Shaughnessy’s detailed and readable book offers abundant insights into the men on the losing side — King George, the Howe Brothers, Lord Germain, and other significant players. By connecting personalities to important decisions during the war, he shows how human strengths, weaknesses, quirks and prejudices shape history.

This deeply researched book turns our understanding of the era upside down by showing that King George III, British generals, and British political figures did as much to lose the Revolution as Americans did to win it.

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