Brothers at Arms by Larrie D. Ferreiro was first published in 2016. It is a chronicle of French and Spanish involvement in the American Revolution. I found the book to be well written, informative as well as very interesting.
Both France and Spain provided a great deal of aid to the American rebels during the revolution. Later, both declared war on Great Britain. Land and sea battles, some of them fairly large, were fought throughout the world between these world powers. This work is primarily a political, social and military history.
I would only recommend this book to those who already have at least a basic understanding of the American Revolution. The subject matter here is a little esoteric. However, I think for those who do have such knowledge and are interested in the subject will get a lot out of this book.
For me, as someone who has read about the revolutionary period throughout my life, the book covered a combination of material that I have some familiarity with as well as material that was new to me. Early American diplomatic efforts aimed at France are covered. The massive aid that France provided to the United States is detailed.
France and Spain eventually declared war on Great Britain. Later, The Dutch Republic and the Indian Kingdom of Mysore also went to war. Thi conflict involved fighting throughout North America, the West Indies, Central and South America, Europe and India, as well as on the oceans of the world. I have been reading about the American Revolution for most of my life. Information about the conflict throughout North America and, to some extent, the West Indies is easy to come by, but beyond this geographic area, not so much. In India, the conflict was called Second Anglo-Mysore War.
Calling all of this part of the American Revolution strains logic a bit. I think that it would make more sense if this worldwide conflict had a single name like the Seven Years War does. However, there is no real nomenclature that encompasses it all.
Ferreiro covers all sorts of angles in this book. For instance, he argues that the Declaration of Independence was aimed, at least in part, at France and Spain in order to persuade those nations that American Independence was a cause worth supporting. The author writes,
"The document that emerged from under Jefferson’s hand, clearly stating that “these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States,” was in fact an engraved invitation to France and Spain asking them to go to war alongside the Americans. The document that was agreed to by the Second Continental Congress on July 4 became known, of course, as the Declaration of Independence, but it was also in a sense a “Declaration That We Depend on France (and Spain, Too)…"
Another one of the intriguing subjects covered was the Battle of Yorktown, which ultimately convinced the British that the war in North America was lost. Ferreiro details how the Yorktown Victory was the result of French strategic planning and was only possible with French ground and navel support.
Marquis de Lafayette, the young Frenchman who volunteered to assist Washington and become one of his most important generals, is covered extensively here, as are many other notable French and Spanish citizens who were involved in the conflict.
The above are just a few examples of the many intriguing subjects that this work covers. This is a chronicle of history that is too often not told. I think that anyone who is interested in the American Revolution will get a lot out of this book. I found it fascinating and well written. I found it to be a treasure trove of hard to find material. For those interested in these I subjects, I highly recommend this one.