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Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite
Jockey Hollow: Where a Forgotten Army Persevered to Win America's Freedom was a pleasure to read and was packed with historical facts and intriguing stories. Jockey Hollow, a lesser-known area from the Revolutionary War era, was indeed worse than Valley Forge. The book explains the difficulties the soldiers of the Revolution faced, including low temperatures, winter blizzards, no-good shoes, thin blankets, and little to eat. Author Rosalie Lauerman has constructed an engaging book that does not read like a boring history book, but is filled with facts, tidbits, illustrations, and quotes. There is side information as well, such as the beacon fires and the youngest soldier (ten years old!). The day-to-day functions of the soldiers during the Revolutionary War are also listed, and it was fun to learn how they played checkers, cards, and darts to pass the time. This book is also a great resource for the entire war, as it covers much of what went on, including civilian life, diseases faced during the era, and the history of Benedict Arnold and others. Included at the end are war hero bios and resources.
Jockey Hollow was a short read, but packed with valuable information. The book is immaculately edited, and all quotes are credited. I especially enjoyed the timeline at the end of the book, as it’s a little easier for me, personally, to follow timelines rather than war moves and strategy narratives. It was interesting to learn about the mutiny due to bad conditions, no food, and lack of warm clothing. It was inspiring, however, to learn how many soldiers did stick around, despite these conditions, to fight for a cause they believed in —American freedom. Author Rosalie Lauerman follows the Revolutionary period from Jockey Hollow to the triumphant end of the war, noting fun information with a clear passion for the topic. I would recommend this book to history fans!