Rick Atkinson, the author of “The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777,” was the 2020 winner of the New-York Historical Society’s Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize, awarded each year to the best work in the field of American history and biography.
From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves to be the wiliest of diplomats; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. The story is also told from the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling.
Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.
The patriot, silversmith, and entrepreneur Paul Revere was forever immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1861 poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” but his genuine accomplishments are often eclipsed by the legend of the midnight journey. This groundbreaking exhibition (September 6, 2019—January 12, 2020), featuring more than 150 objects, re-examines Revere’s accomplishments.