With this the ninth book in as many years presenting sundry panels of America at war (the Revolution and the Civil War), John Brick writes with thorough command of his material. The Strong Men characterizes the ""rebels"" who survived the grim horrors of Valley Forge, the cold, the hunger, the disease, the lack of clothing and equipment. It characterizes, too, those who painfully came to know that there was something in a spirit stronger than the trained thousands pitted against them. Matt Hill was no Tory, but he didn't share his father's unflagging confidence in ultimate victory- and his questioning cost him dear. He brought his company back, when their enlistment ended, back to the beautiful and fertile valley lying west of Highland Landing and the Hudson. But his father- and even more his mother- were responsible for his return- along with all the others. The story carries through the ordeal of Valley Forge, the staunch and brilliant efforts of Anthony Wayne and the ""miracle"" wrought by Baron von Steuben, tested and proved despite the betrayal of Charles Lee at Monmouth Junction. There's a love story woven through, but it is subordinate to the conflict that works itself out in Matt Hill. This kind of writing enlivens the details of an old war, and makes it live again.