Anyone who knows even a bit about the American Revolution understands that the winter of 1777 was rough. But how rough? Gingrich and Forstchen's second volume in a projected series (after To Try Mens' Souls) graphically depicts how the winter the Continental Army spent at Valley Forge became "the crucible of victory." Following the same format as the previous novel, it takes fictional characters and historical figures through the violence, hatreds, and hardships of the period. While the British ate and drank in the warmth of Philadelphia, the American force was dressed in rags, poorly fed, and died by the thousands. Yet out of these horrors an army was created that defeated the British at the Battle of Monmouth the next summer. Verdict As the authors show, the United States was not born in a burst of glory; rather, it rose from blood, grit, determination, and cussed stubbornness. Highly recommended as a more than worthy successor to its best-selling predecessor. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/10.]-Robert Conroy, Warren, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.