Liberty Tavern

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Liberty Tavern

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Now - for the first time in digital form - is Liberty Tavern, Thomas Fleming’s New York Times bestselling novel hailed by one critic as “The Gone With the Wind of the American Revolution.”

Told from the perspective of James, “Jemmy” Kemble, writing for his grandchildren, the opening of the book reads, “Let me caution in strictest terms against publishing what I write. The nation is not ready to face the truth about itself that an honest story of the Revolution must mirror.”

Kemble thus recalls the great event of his life – the upheaval that created the United States of America. His honest story unflinchingly depicts the panic and cowardice, the greed and brutality that were part of the war for independence. It also celebrates the Americans who struggled to cope with the chaos of a war most of them never wanted.

At the center of the drama are Liberty Tavern, on the main road between Perth Amboy and Philadelphia, and its enigmatic owner, Jonathan Gifford, ex-captain of the King’s Own Regiment. For him the Revolution is an outburst of the dangerous wildness he senses and fears in the American character. But he cannot escape it. The only two people whom he loves, his stepson and his stepdaughter, are passionately involved in it, albeit on opposite sides. Then an extraordinary woman, Caroline Skinner, tells him: “I am for independence,” and Jonathan Gifford begins his transformation from a King’s man into a rebel - and Caroline’s lover.

The great names of the Revolution – George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Sir William Howe – are all here, as well as a host of other vivid characters, from the hard-drinking British major James Moncreiff to the venal American general Daniel Slocum to the doomed and reckless Margaret O’Hara. With an historian’s insight and a novelist’s skill, Fleming has produced a panorama that vividly recreates and matches the incredible complexity and drama of America’s first war.

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