This short, pleasantly bland account of the major campaigns of the War of Independence manages to muffle the excitement even of the Delaware crossings and the battles of Trenton and Princeton. The character of the American and British leaders generally receives a few adjectives apiece: most memorable, perhaps, is General von Steuben's introduction of modern drill and inspection practice to the tattered troops at Valley Forge, ""roaring out multilingual oaths when things went wrong."" A sense of the erratic pace of the war, with its three-year ""static"" period after mid-1778, emerges; but--partly because the political and diplomatic background is missing--it comes as quite a surprise that Yorktown means the end of the war. Selby's view is even-handed toward both sides, if basically pro-American. Although he has written a number of earlier military histories, he ventures no broad evaluation of the strategies and resources of each side. A handsome book, with unusual (and undated) illustrations and unobtrusively 18th century-styled type, this remains a bicentennial ornament rather than a summary with special merits.