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In the Hurricane’s Eye

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Registration is required
Members $15

In the Hurricane's Eye

Nathaniel Philbrick

In the fall of 1780, after five frustrating years of war, George Washington had come to realize that the only way to defeat the British Empire was with the help of the French navy. But as he had learned after two years of trying, coordinating his army’s movements with those of a fleet of warships based thousands of miles away was next to impossible. And then, on September 5, 1781, the impossible happened. Recognized today as one of the most important naval engagements in the history of the world, the Battle of the Chesapeake–fought without a single American ship–made the subsequent victory of the Americans at Yorktown a virtual inevitability.

In a narrative that moves from Washington’s headquarters on the Hudson River, to the wooded hillside in North Carolina where Nathanael Greene fought Lord Cornwallis to a vicious draw, to Lafayette’s brilliant series of maneuvers across Tidewater Virginia, New York Times bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick details the epic and suspenseful year through to its triumphant conclusion. A riveting and wide-ranging story, full of dramatic, unexpected turns, In the Hurricane’s Eye reveals that the fate of the American Revolution depended, in the end, on Washington and the sea.

Nathaniel Philbrick grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and earned a BA in English from Brown University and an MA in American literature from Duke University, where he was a James B. Duke Fellow. He was Brown University’s first Intercollegiate All-American Sailor in 1978, the same year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, Rhode Island. After working as an editor at Sailing World magazine, he wrote and edited several books about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor, Second Wind, and Yachting: A Parody. In 2000, Philbrick published the New York Times bestseller In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award for nonfiction. The book is the basis of the Warner Bros. motion picture Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard. Philbrick’s writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Boston Globe. He has appeared on Today, The Morning Show, Dateline, PBS’s American Experience, C-SPAN, and NPR. He and his wife live on Nantucket.

George Washington bequeathed his personal library to his favorite nephew, Bushrod Washington, who in turn bequeathed a large portion of the books to his nephew, George Corbin Washington. Vermont bookseller Henry Stevens, Jr., peddled the library on George Corbin Washington’s behalf, and inspired patriotic Bostonians to take up a collection to purchase the books after he intimated that they would be sold to the Library of the British Museum. The subscribers to the George Washington Library included several Athenæum Proprietors and the books were deposited at the library in 1848.

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