Whirlwind The American Revolution and the War that Won It – By John Ferling

Whirlwind by John Ferling

Whirlwind by John Ferling

Just finished reading the book Whirlwind. It is a story about the American Revolution. This modern author took a unique approach by covering the book from an economical perspective. In fact, one-half of the book covered the 10 years leading up to the Founders signing the Declaration of Independence. Only about 1/3 of the book actually dealt with the War of Independence and even that had a strong economic bent to it in that the author stressed the lack of provisions. The author also highlighted facts like how many cannons were confiscated by an army in a particular battle.

Of all the books I have read this year on the Revolution, this author was the most willing to mention the mistakes of George Washington. Too many authors like to idolize Washington and as such, they brush over his many mistakes. While I did not agree with all of the author’s accusations of Washington, it is important to remember, that Washington was a man who did make mistakes.

We need to remember that the battle at Lexington and Concord began because the British were trying to disarm the Americans so that they could force their will upon the Americans. The Americans did not like the economic burdens being placed upon them and this economic impact sparked a revolution that led to independence.


An interesting reminder that came from this book dealt with a prisoner exchange. Even though the British and the Americans had a system for a prisoner exchange, it was a practice that Washington did not fully utilize. The reason for this is that should Washington release a lot of British troops, they would immediately start fighting the Americans again. However, the released Colonials would most likely go back home since their time of enlistment would have come to an end. Washington did not see it beneficial to swap prisoners even though neither side really had the means necessary to care for the prisoners and being a POW was basically a death sentence.


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