The War Before Independence

'The War Before Independence: 1775-1776'

The War Before Independence:

Continuing where his debut Igniting the Revolution: 1773–1775 left off, Derek W. Beck’s second nonfiction book begins with the new war just begun and the Siege of Boston underway, and quickly builds up to the exciting Battle of Bunker Hill. General George Washington arrives soon after and molds the new Continental Army. Meanwhile, to buy Washington time and prevent British reinforcement, Congress sends Gen. Richard Montgomery and Col. Benedict Arnold to Canada by separate routes as a pre-emptive strike against the other major British force in North America. Their expeditions converge and together they wage battle against the British in the epic blizzard Battle of Quebec City.

Released May 3, 2016. (Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks)

480p. Biblio. Notes. Index.

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“Though Beck only covers a short period, his excellent research brings to life the men who fought, providing readers with real, tangible heroes, not just hazy historic figures. Revolutionary War fans will rejoice in this well-written work and hope that the author has more on the way.” ―Kirkus Reviews (STARRED REVIEW) (full review)

“This excellent read takes its place next to Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill, Paul Lockhart’s The Whites of Their Eyes, and Mark Anderson’s The Battle for the Fourteenth Colony. VERDICT Highly recommended…” ―Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW) (full review)

“Beck follows 2015’s Igniting the American Revolution: 1773–1775 with another rich and accessible popular history of the early Revolutionary period.” ―Publisher’s Weekly (full review)

“Mr. Beck’s history is impeccable, his documentation thorough, and he tells an entertaining, vivid tale. I loved it.” ―Historical Novel Society (which rarely reviews nonfiction history) (full review)

“The once non-descript characters in the history books awake as real people, even the British… Beck creates, builds and brings the emotional turmoil to a boiling point…” ―Zebra Press (4.5÷5 Zebra Stripes) (full review)

“Beck writes exceptionally vividly, and as such, even readers slow to respond to battleground to-and-fro will be fully engaged.” ―Booklist Reviews (full review; requires subscription)

“Wonderfully detailed and stunningly layered, The War Before Independence brings America’s early upheaval to a ferocious boil on both sides of the battlefield, and vividly captures the spirit of a fight that continues to inspire brave hearts today.” ―Conservative Book Club Reviews (full review)

“While there are many books dealing with the events covered in Beck’s latest work… those seeking a detailed military history of the early period of the Revolution will enjoy [The War Before Independence]” ―Alec D. Rogers, review for Journal of the American Revolution (full review)






  1. Mounting Tensions
    • Mid-May to June 15, 1775: Grape Island Affair… Noddle’s Island Affair and the Sinking of Diana… Both Sides Plan the Offensive… Second Continental Congress…
  2. Seizing the Offensive 
    • June 16 to 17, 1775: The Two Armies Prepare for Battle…
  3. Blows Must Decide 
    • June 17, 1775: The Battle of Bunker Hill…
  4. Passing of Batons 
    • June 17 to Oct 11, 1775: Aftermath of Bunker Hill… George Washington’s Arrival… Forming the New Continental Army… The Push into Canada… Dr. Benjamin Church’s Treachery… Gen. Thomas Gage Recalled…

PART TWO: CRUCIBLE (Oct 1775 to Spring 1776)

  1. Struggles of Autumn 
    • Oct to Nov 1775: The Canadian Campaign… The Re-enlistment of the Continental Army for 1776… George Washington’s Woes…
  2. Desperate Measures
    • Dec 1775: Winter in Boston… Preparations for Battle in Canada…
  3. Battle amid the Blizzard 
    • Dec 31, 1775: The Battle of Quebec City…
  4. A New Year Begins 
    • Jan 1 to Spring 1776: Aftermath of the Canadian Campaign… Washington Forces the British Evacuation of Boston… Prelude of Things to Come…






About the Author

 Derek’s Book

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