I recently received a copy of the final installment in Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen's Revolutionary War trilogy... Victory at Yorktown. While I'll never end up reading any of Gingrich's non-fiction material (due to philosophical differences), I do enjoy his historical novels when he teams up with Forstchen. Having said that, I think that Victory at Yorktown is the weakest of the Revolutionary War trilogy, as the rawness of the wartime conditions was missing. It was more focused on strategy, individuals, and loyalties, and I didn't get drawn in as much as I have with earlier works.
From the perspective of adding flesh to a historical event, Victory at Yorktown does that. Gingrich and Forstchen put color and depth into an event that often only occupies a few paragraphs (if that) in history books. For those of us who aren't overly adept at weaving our own imaginary motion pictures of events, Victory makes things more "real." But it doesn't measure up to what they accomplished with the previous installment, Valley Forge. Valley Forge had me feeling the cold, the hunger, and the desperation of the troops and leaders as they fought for their independence. Soldiers sacrificed absolutely everything for a cause, and did so in conditions that were deplorable. Much of that is absent in Victory at Yorktown, and it turns the novel into a story based more on strategy and chance rather than one that captures the spirit of freedom.
Victory at Yorktown isn't a bad novel. If I had read it as a stand-alone book, I probably would have thought it was pretty good. But the bar was set quite high with Valley Forge, and I had a hard time avoiding the comparison.
Now it's a matter of waiting to see what Gingrich and Forstchen tackle next...
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
After chronicling the Continental army’s bitter winter at Valley Forge, Gingrich and Forstchen leap ahead several years in their George Washington series. In 1781, the British have a stranglehold on New York, and the revolutionary momentum has all but stalled. A bold and decisive move is needed to end the impasse, and General Washington hatches a risky plan to engage the enemy forces at Yorktown. All they need to do is to march 300 miles south without being detected to launch a surprise offensive. Of course, none of this is accomplished in a vacuum, and Washington and company must count on master spy Peter Wellsley and their French allies for both support and diversion. Following the historical record, the authors combine real-life and fictional figures as all roads lead toward the conclusion of the bitterly fought Revolutionary War. High Demand Backstory: Although Gingrich and Forstchen’s military sagas are always popular, count on increased interest in America’s first—and only truly bipartisan—president this election season. --Margaret Flanagan