McBurney has been praised by the Providence Journal as "one of the premier chroniclers of the state's history during the American Revolution," and Dennis Conrad, editor of the "Naval Documents of the American Revolution" and "Papers of General Nathaniel Greene," has written that the book provides "a fresh, nuance, and compelling reinterpretation of the United States' first joint operation ... This work will be the standard for years to come."
McBurney, a graduate of Brown University and Rhode Island native, is a partner in a Washington, DC, law firm. He is the author of several books and articles on early Rhode Island history, including A History of Kingston, Rhode Island, 1700-1900 and British Treatment of Prisoners During the Occupation of Newport, 1776-1779.
Founded in 1822, the RIHS is the fourth-oldest historical society in the United States and is Rhode Island's largest and oldest historical organization. It is a private organization, founded and supported by its membership. In Providence, the RIHS owns and operates the John Brown House Museum, a designated National Historic Landmark, built in 1788; the 1822 Aldrich House, also a National Historic Landmark and used for administration and public programs; and the Library of Rhode Island History, where archival, book and image collections are housed. In Woonsocket the RIHS manages the Museum of Work and Culture, a community museum examining the industrial history of northern Rhode Island and of the workers and settlers, especially French-Canadians, who made it one of the state's most distinctive areas.