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. Weaving the personal stories of ten prominent men who directed the British dimension of the war, historian Andrew O’Shaughnessy dispels the incompetence myth and uncovers the real reasons that rebellious colonials were able to achieve their surprising victory.
Interlinked chapters follow the course of the war from the perspectives of King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, military leaders and others who, for the most part, led ably and even brilliantly. The British conquered every American city at some stage of the Revolutionary War yet political complexities at home, combined with the fervency of the fighting Americans, proved fatal to the British war effort.