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Download The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron De Steuben and the Making of the American Army Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron De Steuben and the Making of the American Army, by Paul Lockhart, Norman Dietz Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (78 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Lockhart, Norman Dietz Narrator: Norman Diet Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The image of the Baron de Steuben training Washington’s ragged, demoralized troops in the snow at Valley Forge is part of the iconography of our Revolutionary heritage, but most history fans know little more about this fascinating figure.

In the first book on Steuben since 1937, Paul Lockhart, an expert in European military history, finally explains the significance of Steuben’s military experience in Europe. Steeped in the traditions of the Prussian army of Frederick the Great—the most ruthlessly effective in Europe—he taught the soldiers of the Continental Army how to fight like Europeans. His guiding hand shaped the army that triumphed over the British at Monmouth, Stony Point, and Yorktown. And his influence did not end with the Revolution. Steuben was instrumental in creating West Point, and in writing the “Blue Book”—the first official regulations of the American army. His principles have guided the American armed forces to this day.

Steuben’s life is also a classic immigrant story. A failure in midlife, he uprooted himself from his native Europe to seek one last chance at glory and fame in the New World. In America he managed to reinvent himself—making his background quite a bit more glamorous than was the reality—but redeeming himself by his exceptional service and becoming, in a sense, the man he claimed to be.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Baron de Steuben has finally found the biographer he so richly deserves—and what a terrific biography this is—splendidly written with narrative sweep, deeply researched with colorful details that bring the Baron to vivid life.”

    Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • “The author generally treats [Steuben] with balance, understanding and great good humor.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This well-written biography is aimed at general readers and sheds light on the career of an important but relatively obscure figure.”


  • “[An] informative biography…Even readers who care little about the details of Revolutionary War battles may well find Steuben’s maneuvers captivating…Unusually well-written…with incisive character sketches of Washington, Jefferson, and other patriots complementing Lockhart’s full-blooded portrait of Steuben.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “At last, a good look at a great man. Paul Lockhart clears up all the puzzles of Steuben’s early life. He also tells an archetypal American story: an immigrant, ambitious, blustering, insecure, who gives his talents and his passion to his new-found home.”

    Richard Brookhiser, author of George Washington on Leadership

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Zac | 11/27/2013

    " Great look into an often overlooked figure of the American Revolution. Steuben helped transform our young army from glorified militia to one that could preform against one of the best armies in the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rob | 7/23/2013

    " An interesting read on the life of Baron de Steuben and his role in the shaping of the American Army during the War for American Independence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Larry | 5/21/2013

    " A very informative biography of an extremely fascinating character from the American Revolution "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tuck | 6/5/2012

    " fairly interesting history of de Steuben. most insightful things to me are the seemingly accurate descriptions of living conditions, food availability, travel, drink. the whole revolu history of usa is not that exciting to me. "

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About the Author

Paul Lockhart fell in love with history as a first-grader, when his older brother—Keith Lockhart, now of Boston Pops fame—showed him a children’s book on the Civil War. He’s been writing about history ever since. After getting his PhD at Purdue, where he studied European and military history, Lockhart joined the faculty at Wright State University, where he still teaches.