The Whites of Their Eyes

The Whites of Their Eyes

Bunker Hill, the First American Army, and the Emergence of George Washington

By Paul Douglas Lockhart

HarperTorch, Hardcover, 9780061958861, 414pp.

Publication Date: June 7, 2011


Paul Lockhart combines military and political history to offer a major reassessment of one of the most famous battles in American history.

One hot June afternoon in 1775, on the gentle slopes of a hill near Boston, Massachusetts, a small band of ordinary Americansfrightened but fiercely determineddared to stand up to a superior British force. The clash would be immortalized as the Battle of Bunker Hill: the first real engagement of the American Revolution and one of the most famous battles in our history. But Bunker Hill was not the battle that we have been taught to believe it was.

Revisiting old evidence and drawing on new research, historian Paul Lockhart, author of The Drillmaster of Valley Forge, shows that Bunker Hill was a clumsy engagement pitting one inexperienced army against another. Lockhart tells the rest of the story, too: how a mob of armed civilians became America's first army; how George Washington set aside his comfortable patrician life to take command of the veterans of Bunker Hill; and how the forgotten heroes of 1775though overshadowed by the more famous Founding Fatherskept the notion of American liberty alive, and thus made independence possible.

About the Author
Paul Lockhart is a professor of history at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where he teaches European and military history.