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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 441

Washington's Crossing was published in 2004 and written by David Hackett Fischer, an author and professor at Brandeis University. The book is a work of historical non-fiction, and won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in History. Washington's Crossing evaluates the 1776 campaign led by George Washington during the American Revolutionary War, with a particular focus on the crossing of the Delaware River and the following battles at Trenton and Princeton. The Delaware Crossing is considered a turning point in the war; on the night of December 25, 1776, Washington and the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River to surprise Hessian forces stationed in Trenton, New Jersey. They successfully attacked Hessian forces in Trenton, before moving on to Princeton to attack British forces on January 3, 1777. While relatively small victories, the crossing and subsequent battles critically boosted morale of the revolutionary armies, and many historians argue that this was one of the first points at which Americans began to believe that they could truly win the war.

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In Washington's Crossing Hackett Fischer goes beyond simply recounting historical details. He begins by discussing the perception of the war before the crossing and attacks in order to better frame their role in changing American morale. His focus is not centered solely on the American army; Hackett Fisher analyzes the motivation behind British and Hessian forces; analyzing differences that separated them from American soldiers, as well as key similarities between the opposing armies.

He then breaks down the multiple factors (tactical, operational, and strategic) that went into the planning of the crossing; highlighting the intense skills Washington used to successfully complete the maneuver. Hackett Fischer argues that the crossing goes beyond a simple war plan;...

(The entire section contains 441 words.)

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