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In November 1774, a pamphlet to the People of America was published in Philadelphia and London. It forcefully articulated American rights and liberties and argued that the Americans needed to declare their independence from Britain. The author of this pamphlet was Charles Lee, a former British army officer turned revolutionary, who was one of the earliest advocates for American independence. Lee fought on and off the battlefield for expanded democracy, freedom of conscience, individual liberties, human rights, and for the formal education of women. Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of General Charles Lee ais a vivid new portrait of one of the most complex and controversial of the American revolutionaries. LeeOCOs erratic behavior and comportment, his capture and more than one year imprisonment by the British, and his court martial after the battle of Monmouth in 1778 have dominated his place in the historiography of the American Revolution. This book retells the story of a man who had been dismissed by contemporaries and by history. Few American revolutionaries shared his radical political outlook, his cross-cultural experiences, his cosmopolitanism, and his confidence that the American Revolution could be won primarily by the militia (or irregulars) rather than a centralized regular army. By studying LeeOCOs life, his political and military ideas, and his style of leadership, we gain new insights into the way the American revolutionaries fought and won their independence from Britain."
Charles Lee, a former British army officer turned revolutionary, was one of the earliest advocates for American independence. Papas shows that few American revolutionaries shared Lee's radical political outlook, and his confidence that the American Revolution could be won primarily by the militia (or irregulars) rather than a centralized regular army.
Honorable Mention for the 2015 Book Award from the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond Honorable Mention for the 2015 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award In November 1774, a pamphlet to the “People of America” was published in Philadelphia and London. It forcefully articulated American rights and liberties and argued that the Americans needed to declare their independence from Britain. The author of this pamphlet was Charles Lee, a former British army officer turned revolutionary, who was one of the earliest advocates for American independence. Lee fought on and off the battlefield for expanded democracy, freedom of conscience, individual liberties, human rights, and for the formal education of women. Renegade Revolutionary: The Life of General Charles Lee is a vivid new portrait of one of the most complex and controversial of the American revolutionaries. Lee’s erratic behavior and comportment, his capture and more than one year imprisonment by the British, and his court martial after the battle of Monmouth in 1778 have dominated his place in the historiography of the American Revolution. This book retells the story of a man who had been dismissed by contemporaries and by history. Few American revolutionaries shared his radical political outlook, his cross-cultural experiences, his cosmopolitanism, and his confidence that the American Revolution could be won primarily by the militia (or irregulars) rather than a centralized regular army. By studying Lee’s life, his political and military ideas, and his style of leadership, we gain new insights into the way the American revolutionaries fought and won their independence from Britain.
Dominick Mazzagetti presents an engaging account of the life of Charles Lee, the forgotten man of the American Revolution. History has not been kind to Lee—for good reason. In this compelling biography, Mazzagetti compares Lee’s life and attributes to those of George Washington and offers significant observations omitted from previous Lee biographies, including extensive correspondence with British officers in 1777 that reflects Lee’s abandonment of the Patriots’ cause. Lee, a British officer, a veteran of the French and Indian War, and a critic of King George III, arrived in New York City in 1773 with an ego that knew no bounds and tolerated no rivals. A highly visible and newsworthy personality, he quickly took up the American cause and encouraged rebellion. As a result of this advocacy and his military skills, Lee was granted a commission as a major general in the Continental Army and soon became second-in-command to George Washington. He helped organize the defense of Boston, designed defenses for New York City, and commanded the force that repelled the British attack on Charleston. Upon his return to New York in 1776, Lee was considered by some leaders of the Revolution to be an alternative to George Washington, who was in full retreat from British forces. Lee’s capture by the British in December 1776 put an end to that possibility. Lee’s subsequent release in a prisoner exchange in 1778 and return to an American command led to a dramatic confrontation with Washington on the battlefield at Monmouth, New Jersey, in June 1778. Washington chastised Lee publicly for ordering an unnecessary retreat. Lee suffered the ignominy of a court-martial conviction for this blunder and spent the remaining years to his death in 1782 attacking Washington. Although few doubted Lee’s loyalty at the time, his actions at Monmouth fueled speculation that he switched sides during his imprisonment. A discovery years after his death completed Lee’s tale. In 1862, a researcher discovered “Mr. Lee’s Plan,” a detailed strategy for the defeat of the American rebels delivered to British General William Howe while Lee was held in captivity. This discovery sealed Lee’s historical record and ended all further discussion of his contributions to the American Revolution. Today, few people even realize that Fort Lee, on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, was named in his honor.
In New Orleans, Hanukkah means decorating your door with a menorah made of hominy grits. Latkes in Texas are seasoned with cilantro and cayenne pepper. Children in Cincinnati sing Hanukkah songs and eat oranges and ice cream. While each tradition springs from its own unique set of cultural references, what ties them together is that they all celebrate a holiday that is different in America than it is any place else. For the past two hundred years, American Jews have been transforming the ancient holiday of Hanukkah from a simple occasion into something grand. Each year, as they retell its story and enact its customs, they bring their ever-changing perspectives and desires to its celebration. Providing an attractive alternative to the Christian dominated December, rabbis and lay people alike have addressed contemporary hopes by fashioning an authentically Jewish festival that blossomed in their American world. The ways in which Hanukkah was reshaped by American Jews reveals the changing goals and values that emerged among different contingents each December as they confronted the reality of living as a religious minority in the United States. Bringing together clergy and laity, artists and businessmen, teachers, parents, and children, Hanukkah has been a dynamic force for both stability and change in American Jewish life. The holiday’s distinctive transformation from a minor festival to a major occasion that looms large in the American Jewish psyche is a marker of American Jewish life. Drawing on a varied archive of songs, plays, liturgy, sermons, and a range of illustrative material, as well as developing portraits of various communities, congregations, and rabbis, Hanukkah in America reveals how an almost forgotten festival became the most visible of American Jewish holidays. Instructor's Guide New Books Network interviews Dianne Ashton
The Daring Raid to Kidnap a British General in Order to Gain Freedom for the Highest Ranking Continental Officer Captured During the American RevolutionOn the night of December 12, 1776, while on a reconnaissance mission in New Jersey, Lieutenant Colonel William Harcourt and Cornet Banastre Tarleton of the British dragoons learned from Loyalist informers that Major General Charles Lee, the second-in-command in the Continental army behind only George Washington, was staying at a tavern at nearby Basking Ridge. Harcourt and Tarleton, surrounded the tavern, and after a short but violent struggle, captured him. Stung by Lee's kidnapping, the Americans decided to respond with their own special operation. On July 10, 1777, Lieutenant Colonel William Barton led a handpicked party to a farmhouse in Newport, Rhode Island, where British General Richard Prescott had taken to spending nights. Surrounding the house, they seized the sleeping Prescott. Not only had Barton kidnapped an officer who could be exchanged for Lee, he had removed from action a man who had gained a reputation for his harsh treatment of American Patriots. In Kidnapping the Enemy: The Special Operations to Capture Generals Charles Lee and Richard Prescott, Christian M. McBurney relates the full story of each of these remarkable raids, the subsequent exchange of the two generals, and the impact of these kidnappings on the Revolutionary War. He then follows the subsequent careers of the major players, including Lee, Barton, Prescott, and Tarleton. The author completes his narrative with descriptions of other attempts to kidnap high-ranking military officers and government officials during the war, including ones organized by and against George Washington. The low success rate of these operations makes the raids that captured Lee and Prescott even more impressive.
A young art student enlists as a combat engineer in World War One. He draws what he sees in a number of canvas-bound sketchbooks which he carries in his helmet. From the time he enters training camp, throughout many battles and until he returns to the U.S. after the Armistice, he is constantly drawing whatever is around him. Once he is home, he returns to art school and his sketchbooks are put away. Ninety years later, his son runs across them in his attic. The Lost Sketchbooks is the book that tells the story of his experiences in The Great War and finally shares his marvelous artwork with the world.

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