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The Indispensables: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware by [Patrick K. O'Donnell]

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The Indispensables: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 1,391 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


[A] vivid and brilliant narrative...the one indispensable book on the early and most trying days of the American Revolution.

-- "James Lacey, New York Times bestselling author"

A gripping narrative that captures the extraordinary story of fighting men of whom few Americans have ever heard but who nonetheless proved themselves 'indispensable' to the cause of American liberty.

-- "Glenn F. Williams, PhD, author of Dunmore's War"

A vivid account of an impressive Revolutionary War unit and a can't-miss choice for fans of O'Donnell's previous books.

-- "Kirkus Reviews"

An amazing book about not just a regiment but a community. People from Marblehead contributed to every aspect of the American Revolution.

-- "Don N. Hagist, author of The Revolution's Last Men and editor of the Journal of the American Revolution"

Comprehensive...Revolutionary War buffs will delight in the copious details and vivid battle scenes.

-- "Publishers Weekly"

Draws upon a variety of primary sources: diaries, letters, orderly books, manuscripts and period newspapers...A detailed, reliable account of the War for American Independence's earliest years--one that embraces its nautical dimensions.--

-- "Wall Street Journal"

O'Donnell writes with an innate sympathy for the American soldier.

-- "Edward G. Lengel, author of General George Washington"

Perfectly paced and powerfully wrought, this is the story of common men who gave up everything for an ideal--America.

-- "Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author"

Sheds new light on a previously overlooked or unappreciated aspect of American military history.

-- "John C. McManus, author of Fire and Fortitude" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

About the Author

Patrick K. O'Donnell is a bestselling military historian and the critically acclaimed author of numerous books, including Beyond Valor, Dog Company, and First SEALs. He has provided historical consulting for DreamWorks' award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers and for documentaries produced by the BBC, the History Channel, and Fox News. He lives in Arlington, Virginia. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08M12FQ85
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Atlantic Monthly Press (May 18, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 18, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 29184 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 424 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 1,391 ratings

About the author

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“One of the world’s preeminent military historians.”—Military Review, U.S. Army

Combat historian, bestselling author, and public speaker Patrick K. O'Donnell has written 12 critically acclaimed books that recount the epic stories of America's wars from the Revolution to Iraq. A Fellow at Mount Vernon, he is the recipient of numerous national book awards. O’Donnell is a premier expert on elite and special operations units and irregular warfare.

His books are described as “nonfiction that reads like fiction.”

O’Donnell’s newest book is THE INDISPENSABLES: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware.

Dr. James Lacey praised the book, “the one indispensable book on the early and most trying days of the American Revolution.” And Edward Lengel states, “The Indispensables chronicles the exploits of one of the most important military units to take up arms in the service of the United States.”

About WASHINGTON’S IMMORTALS: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution, the Wall Street Journal raved, “Combat writing at its best.” The prestigious Journal of the American Revolution named it, “One of the 100 best books on the Revolution of All Time.”

His other books include: THE UNKNOWNS: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home, FIRST SEALS: The Untold Story of the Forging of America's Most Elite Unit; and DOG COMPANY: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc - The Rangers Who Accomplished D-Day's Toughest Mission and Led the Way Across Europe. His bestseller, BEYOND VALOR, portrays the gripping tales of WWII Ranger and Airborne veterans and won the William E. Colby Award for Outstanding Military History. O'Donnell's WE WERE ONE: Shoulder to Shoulder With the Marines Who Took Fallujah is required reading for Marines and appeared on the Commandant’s Professional Reading List, as did GIVE ME TOMORROW: The Korean War’s Greatest Untold Story – The Epic Stand Of The Marines Of George Company. His books have been Main or Alternate selections of Book of the Month, History, and Military History Book Clubs. Reviewers from media outlets as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Jerusalem Post, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio (NPR) have hailed his publications.

O’Donnell is the leading expert on the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency and America’s special operations forces in WWII. His four award-winning books on the subject include: FIRST SEALS; OPERATIVES, SPIES, AND SABOTEURS: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of WWII’s OSS; THE BRENNER ASSIGNMENT: The Untold Story of the Most Daring Spy Mission of WWII; and THEY DARED RETURN: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Lines in Nazi Germany (also known as “The Real Inglorious Bastards”).

In 2012, at a ceremony attended by the leadership of America’s intelligence and special operations community, The OSS Society presented O’Donnell with the prestigious John Waller Award for exceptional scholarship in intelligence and special operations history.

O'Donnell not only writes about combat — he has experienced it firsthand. During the Iraq war, he was embedded with military units as the only civilian combat historian to volunteer and spend three months in Iraq documenting the experiences of troops in battle. He fought with a Marine rifle platoon (Lima Company 3/1) during the Battle of Fallujah, surviving several ambushes, and carried a mortally wounded Marine out of a firefight with Chechen insurgents, experiences he recounts in WE WERE ONE.

He has written for Military History Quarterly (MHQ) and WWII Magazine and is a frequent contributor to a variety of nationally recognized publications.

As an expert on WWII espionage, special operations, and counterinsurgency on the modern battlefield, the historian has assisted with the writing and production of scores of documentaries produced by the BBC, the History Channel, and others. His book THEY DARED RETURN is the source material for the award-winning documentary The Real Inglorious Bastards. He has appeared as a guest on countless television and radio shows on NPR, Discovery, and other networks.

O’Donnell also provided historical consulting for DreamWorks’ award-winning miniseries “Band of Brothers,” as well as for the billion-dollar Medal of Honor game franchise.

O'Donnell has been studying World War II and modern war since childhood and has a passion for finding ways to preserve the oral histories of America’s combat veterans for generations to come. Nearly two decades ago, he founded The Drop Zone, the first online military oral history project and virtual museum. This award-winning website contains many of the thousands of interviews O’Donnell personally conducted with veterans and their adversaries, making it one of the largest private collections of historical materials from elite and special operations troops.

The author’s skills and expertise have been tapped by private sector firms and government agencies, including DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). He has also been selected to lecture at numerous agencies and branches of the armed forces, such as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), U.S. Army Special Forces, U.S. ARMY, and USMC.

O’Donnell credits serendipity for leading him in the right direction. The stories he tells somehow always find him.


Represented by William Morris Endeavor (WME) for film, television, and literary rights.

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
1,391 global ratings

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