Philbrick’s third volume on the American Revolution focuses on the pivotal naval battles that turned the tides of the war. A lively and riveting account of George Washington, Lafayette, and many other key historical figures, Philbrick's illumination of this critical year in America's youth is meticulously researched and beautifully written. Recommended By Mary Jo S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The thrilling story of the year that won the Revolutionary War from the New York Times bestselling author of In the Heart of the Sea and Valiant Ambition
In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army’s movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake — fought without a single American ship — made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.
In a narrative that moves from Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette’s brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane’s Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.
“[Philbrick], an accomplished popular historian…excels when writing about sailors and the ocean. He vividly renders the interplay of skill and chaos in naval combat by massive fleets, as well as the fury of hurricanes…In the Hurricane’s Eye delivers on the author’s promise to ‘put the sea where it properly belongs: at the center of the story.'” Wall Street Journal
“Told with all the zest and eloquence [Philbrick’s] millions of readers have come to expect. Philbrick is right to observe that this epic afternoon of cannon fire on the coastal sea-lanes is largely overlooked in popular accounts of the Revolution; In the Hurricane’s Eye is exactly the kind of rousing narrative account it deserves.” Christian Science Monitor
“A gripping narrative about the year that won the Revolutionary War.” The New York Post
“Magnificent.... Philbrick’s writing is just superb, and while he manages to incorporate many marvelous and little know stories and vignettes, the book reads almost like a Tom Clancy thriller, with political intrigue, international machinations, and suspense keeping the pages turning even if the reader is already basically familiar with the story....This book will delight, educate, and entertain while it brings to light the genius, chance, and sacrifice that finally brought about America’s independence.” NY Journal of Books
About the Author
Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in America Literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, Rhode Island. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yaahting: A Parody. In 2000, Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book is the basis of the Warner Bros. motion picture Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw, and Tom Holland. The book also inspired a 2001 Dateline special on NBC as well as the 2010 two-hour PBS American Experience film Into the Deep by Ric Burns. Philbrick’s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. He has appeared on the Today show, The Morning Show, Dateline, PBS’s American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife live on Nantucket.