The anticlimactic British surrender at Yorktown in 1782 has been called ""the child of Saratoga,"" and this is a reconstruction of events and assessment of the causes surrounding General Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga in 1777. The Grand Strategy had been for Burgoyne to cut down from Canada to New York, dividing the colonies, and in one version, to join a New York City-based army at Albany. But the strident over-confidence and vanity of ""Gentleman Johnny"" Burgoyne, the cherished plan of General Howe to invade Philadelphia, and the slightly muddled timing of Secretary of State Germain who believed both operations were possible caused the eventual loss of Burgoyne's army. For after leaving Ticonderoga (more of a trap than a prize) Burgoyne came up against violent and inventive Yankee resistance until following the battles of Bennington, and the battles around Saratoga, he was forced to recognize his army's isolation and defeat. The army was allowed to leave and finally was billeted in Cambridge to the dismay of the short-rationed civilians. (Few soldiers reached Europe but melted into tire population.) Mr. Furneaux has made good and full use of some contemporary diaries and there are helpful photographs and diagrams of battlefields, to recreate heroic moments in which ""honorable attempts to achieve the impossible,"" confronted an ""indigenous people in revolt.