The Generals of Saratoga


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John Burgoyne and Horatio Gate

Max M. Mintz

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This lively and colorful work offers a fresh account of the Saratoga campaign of 1777 through the lives of its opposing generals--John Burgoyne, the British commander, and Horatio Gates, the American (but British-born) commander. The book vividly portrays the two men and the events that developed around them. It is the fullest discussion ever written about both the American and British dimensions of this campaign, the only engagement in the Revolutionary War in which an all-American army captured a major British force.
Max M. Mintz has combed the letters and diaries of survivors to craft on-the-scene descriptions of the British taking of Ticonderoga, the slaughter at Hubbardton, the victory of American militia at Bennington, the two hard-fought battles of Saratoga, and the surrender of Burgoyne. Throughout the book new insights are revealed: Burgoyne's difficulties with his superiors, the deep roots of Gates's quarrels with George Washington and Benedict Arnold, the factors that caused Burgoyne to choose the land rather than the water route from Lake Champlain to the Hudson River, and the broken promise that misled Burgoyne into believing that Sir Henry Clinton would come to save him.

"After reading Professor Mintz's engaging and informative account of Burgoyne's campaign, one marvels that either the British or the Colonials accomplished anything at all amid the chaos of grudges, suspicions, and conflicting ambitions that hampered them."—The Atlantic

"Relying on numerous primary sources as well as the standard accounts, Mintz succinctly chronicles the lives of John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates prior to the American Revolution. . . . The Generals of Saratoga is an excellent read and is a worthy contribution to the historiography of the American Revolution."—Michael Mullins, Civil War News

"Mintz' approach gives a fresh and interesting new perspective to this important event in American history."—Virginia Quarterly Review

"A well-written, easily read, and informative book. . . . Mintz' account of two generals in our first war is a gem."—Cecil B. Currey, New York History

"Well researched and entertainingly written. Mintz focuses on the campaign in New York but also provides new insight into the causes of Gates' break with George Washington and Burgoyne's relations with Henry Clinton."—Journal of the Early Republic

"In an age when few historians even attempt to write for a wide audience and at a time when the reading public has responded with a crashing disinterest toward what most scholars publish, it is heartening to discover a readable, professional assessment of a crucial event in the history of the American Revolution. . . . Mintz has pumped life into a well-known story and produced a volume that can be read for pleasure and edification by the general public and by serious students of history alike."—John Ferling, Journal of American History

"The Generals of Saratoga presents a new account of the campaign . . . and recounts the careers of the protagonists, clearly benefiting from extensive research. . . . A most interesting and lively account."—PJH, Military Illustrated Past & Present

"A novel and fascinating approach to the seemingly well-worn tale of the northern campaign of 1777. . . . Mintz's readable and reliable survey is an excellent example of narrative history."—P. D. G. Thomas, International History Review

"The tale is told with . . . grace and vivid liveliness. . . . The work . . . offer[s] valuable insights about the roots of the Revolution and the contrasting lives of Gates . . . and Burgoyne. . . . Interesting."—Don R. Gerlach, William and Mary Quarterly

"Mintz has turned his hand to the difficult task of a dual biography of the opposing generals at the Battle of Saratoga, John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates. . . . Mintz's deep research and felicitous writing make this book an informative contribution to the literature of the American Revolution."—E. Wayne Carp, The Historian

"Mintz . . . has written an interesting and detailed description of the Saratoga campaign of 1777. In twenty well-documented chapters, he explains the background and personal histories of generals John Burgoyne and Horatio Gates, examines their respective points of view concerning the war, and analyzes the significance of Saratoga to the subsequent course of the American Revolution. . . . This new interpretive study of the battles fought during the Saratoga campaign is required reading for students of early American and military history."—John D. Born, Jr., History: Reviews of New Books

"Clear and persuasive."—Peter Marshall, Times Literary Supplement
ISBN: 9780300052619
Publication Date: July 29, 1992
306 pages, 6 x 9