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Book reviews and press

French Gen. Rochambeau's Mettle Helped Washington Win
By Scott S. Smith,
Pyblished: December 19, 2011

Revisiting Rochambeau
Litchfield County Times
Published: Thursday, January 05, 2012

Rochambeau in Connecticut - Lecture and Book Signing
by Gun Memorial Library and Museum
Published: 2012

One News Page - video
July 28th, 2011
by Litchfield County Times
Published: July 28, 2011

Chinese to film area historian's speech
By Mary Conseur,
Published: July 26, 2011

(please scroll to page 4 for the article about Jini Jones Vail, located on the left side of the newspaper page)

Remembering French Hero of the American Revolution
For The New York Times
Published: June 15, 2007

Area author publishes book on Rochambeau
by Mary Conseur,
Posted: June 3rd, 2011

(please scroll to page 5 for the article about Jini Jones Vail, located on the left side of the newspaper page)

A Proper Tea With a Topic
By Frances Chamberlain
For The New York Times
Published: January 05, 2003
The current reviews:

Jini Vail's well-researched book on Rochambeau was a compelling read rather than a dry detailing of historical facts. The author artfully integrated massive amounts of secondary and primary material into a spell-binding narrative. I found myself most interested in the details about the relationship between Washington and Rochambeau, the political diplomacies and the moral quandries which shaped these historical personages.

As someone who is not particularly interested in battle details, I skimmed some of that but even then, as I read supply memos of what it took to feed and house an army on the move, I became engrossed. I had no idea the machinations of waging war and all it took just to arrange the feeding and housing of an army. Jini Vail's observations, done with a subtle humor, added to this must-read book, even for those who don't like history!

Elaine S, Tsangarides, PhD.

Growing up on the West Coast, the Revolutionary War seemed long ago and far away. After reading Rochambeau, Washington's Ideal Lieutenant, that all changed. Jini Jones Vail brought me right to that time and place in history. I was marching with the French army from Newport to New York to Yorktown.

Of course, I read about George Washington and Lafayette. Why had I never, ever heard of Rochambeau? It is fascinating to study the American War for Independence through the life of this amazing French General. I know you will enjoy this book!

Gerald N. Yorioka, Mill Creek, WA

"It is with much pleasure that I read your book, taking notes on different aspects of General Rochambeau's life, especially his military actions and the close relationship which existed between Gen. Washington and Gen. Rochambeau. You show very well how efficiently they collaborated.

I appreciated all the details you give about the glorious march on what is today the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. You succeeded in creating the ambiance and spirit that existed at the time.  I must have gone a dozen times to Yorktown on October 19, and you showed me what I still have to learn about the campaign of 1781… I congratulate you "de tout coeur"."  

Andre Maman, French Senator, retired

I just finished the book and enjoyed it immensely. Rochambeau is one of the little known heroes in the fight for our independence. I have read a few books on George Washington in the same timeframe but never have they mentioned Rochambeau even though he was such an important part of Washington's strategies. This is a must read for all historians.

John A., Retired Hospital Administrator

Jini Jones Vail's Rochambeau, Washington's Ideal Lieutenant is a well researched book whose central figure is the top commander, appointed by Louis XVI, the king of France, as leader of the military force (expédition particulière), who is sent to help the American Continentals win independence from British rule.

It is a fascinating documentation of the important and crucial role that the French played, both monetarily and militarily in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. The author does an excellent job of describing the prevailing conditions, and the life experiences of the participants at that time.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in American history to learn more about Rochambeau's important contribution to the American cause.

Amadeo Rinaldi
Retired school administrator
Holy Cross High School, Waterbury, CT

Jini Jones Vail has written a most appealing historical account of France's General de Rochambeau's role in the American Revolution. In the Preface (p.XXI) she says, "the research and writing of distant history is not an exact science" yet her scholarly research, evidenced by notes, glossary and bibliography, gives the reader a wonderfully readable historical account of the relationship between Rochambeau and Washington as the American War for Independence moves down the eastern seaboard to Yorktown, Virginia.

Though Jini Jones Vail's audience must not be limited to "east-coasters" those who do reside along the eastern seaboard will find charming references to towns, homes and perhaps ancestors with whom Rochambeau visited. The past comes alive as do the personalities of Rochambeau and Washington through anecdotes and the personal correspondence between them. They have become men whom you might have or wish to have known.

Even knowing the final outcome of the war, it is its unfolding in this most enjoyable book that pushes one to turn pages to accompany Rochambeau on our country's journey toward independence.

A Great Read for All Ages

Mrs. Endler-Kirby

“From the very first word,to the very last, a reader will be engaged in the romance, glory, and   hardships of the amazing victory of the combined French - American continentals over England as explained in Jini Jones Vail’s book Rochambeau: Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant.
It will educate and entertain the learned reader as well as those first discovering the subject. It matters not how many other books on the subject have been read. This one is a must read!”

Sallie Tullis De Barcza
Chairman, Board of Directors,
Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R-US)

“I like to think that history lovers of all ages and a generation of students will delight in the reading of Jini Jones Vail’s book,  Rochambeau: Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant.”

Jacques Bossière, PhD.
Founder and First Chair,
Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R-US)

“Jini Vail’s book deals with the insufficiently-known role of a remarkable hero of American Independence.”

Jacques de Trentinian
Professional Researcher on the “War for America”, Vice-President-General of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Past Board Member of the Société des Cincinnati de France

“Rochambeau: Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant is a fascinating, carefully researched portrait of one of the American Revolution’s most influential military figures. The author has woven a colorful
tapestry of biographical detail, military strategy, international relations, and human nature  upon the vast canvas of events leading up to the decisive victory at Yorktown.”

William Horton Cox
Assistant Director (retired)
Rochester, New York, Public Library

I am proud to have been asked to read this wonderful book written by one of my DAR ‘sisters’, especially since one of my ancestors fought in that decisive Battle of Yorktown. For me, it was seeing the war from a different vantage point. Readers will learn so much more about General Rochambeau than they knew beforehand, and come to admire Washington’s “ideal lieutenant.”

Carol Barto Bauby
State Registrar, Connecticut DAR,
Regent, Trumbull-Porter Chapter, NSDAR

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