This is subtitled ""The Making of an Army"" -- and in the text, an historian welds together those segments of what seem disconnected campaigns and interludes of waiting which comprised the long, grim months from the crossing of the Delaware and the surprise attack which marked a turning point of the war, and the post Valley Forge victories which brought ultimate capitulations of Cornwallis at Yorktown. Valley Forge made professionals out of seasoned veterans. It took leadership, it took Van Steuben's harsh discipline, it took Washington's capacity for overcoming top-level dissension in his ranks, it took patience to deal with a reluctant and penny pinching Congress, and it took that indefinable American spirit -- but the outcome was success. The story is not centered wholly in Valley Forge, but goes back to the restive days of winter camp at Morristown, from which the inertness of Howe saved the army for brighter days ahead, harassing the enemy, rebuilding forces, winning foreign support. Authoritative and eminently readable history.