In the republic’s earliest decades, stone monuments charging the British with “cold-blooded cruelty” rose on battle sites from Lexington, Massachusetts to Paoli, Pennsylvania.
A court scorned the film-maker’s plea that the infant-stabbing soldiers were not British, but Hessian auxiliaries.
As commander of the continental army, George Washington sought to out-civilise the British, harshly punishing troops who robbed civilians or abused captives, for instance.
Mr Hoock, a German-born historian, is dispassionate as he records cruelties not only by the British, but also by the Americans who fought on opposing sides as Loyalists and as pro-independence Patriots.
When southern Patriots caught a 15-year-old girl fleeing slavery to join the British, the book records, she was lashed 80 times; hot embers were then poured on her lacerated back, as an example to others.