General John Glover and His Marblehead Mariners

George Athan Billias
From the front and back flaps: "For a fleeting moment in our nation's history the fate of American independence hung upon the seamanship of General John Glover and his Marblehead mariners. By ferrying Washington across the ice-strewn Delaware to launch a stabbing surprise attack against the Hessians at Trenton, Glover's fighting fishermen helped turn the tide of the Revolution. Their successful crossing of the Delaware on December 25, 1776, gave the nation a priceless Christmas gift -- American Independence. Glover, a tough little terrier of a man, was one of Washington's most reliable general. When 9,000 patriots were trapped inside a tiny defense perimeter on Brooklyn Heights in 1776 and -- like American G.I.'s inside the Pusan perimter in 1950--had their backs to the sea, Glover again was Johnny-on-the-spot. In a brilliant operation some have called "America's Dunkirk," Glover's mariners helped rescue the trapped patriots by ferrying them to Manhattan and to safety. In depicting the life and times of John Glover--mariner, fisherman, shoemaker, shipowner, merchant, patriot--George Billias makes a notable contribution to historical scholarship, for he presents a full-scale documentary portrait of a hitherto unsung hero. In a larger sense he has given us the biography of an "amphibious regiment" whose actions on land and sea anticipated the exploits of later-day U.S. Marines."

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