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With his celebrated sense of drama and eye for colorful detail, acclaimed military historian Robert Leckie charts the long, savage conflict between England and France in their quest for supremacy in pre-Revolutionary America. Packed with sharply etched profiles of all the major players-including George Washington, Samuel de Champlain, William Pitt, Edward Braddock, Count Frontenac, James Wolfe, Thomas Gage, and the nobly vanquished Marquis de Montcalm-this panoramic history chronicles the four great colonial wars: the War of the Grand Alliance (King William's War), the War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne's War), the War of the Austrian Succession (King George's War), and the decisive French and Indian War (the Seven Years' War). Leckie not only provides perspective on exactly how the New World came to be such a fiercely contested prize in Western Civilization, but also shows us exactly why we speak English today instead of French-and reminds us how easily things might have gone the other way.
A CONTINENT IS DISCOVERED.
The Colonizing Contest Begins.
PRELUDE TO WARS.
Samuel de Champlain.
War in the Wilderness.
King Louis XIV of France.
Iroquois Revenge and King Philip's War.
WAR OF THE GRAND ALLIANCE, 1688-1697: (KING WILLIAM'S WAR).
Frontenac and the Fur Trade.
Canada the Quarrelsome.
Sir William Phips Wins and Loses.
WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION, 1701-1714: (QUEEN ANNE'S WAR).
Anne Succeeds William.
WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION, 1740-1748: (KING GEORGE'S WAR).
The "Milishy" Take Louisbourg.
SEVEN YEARS' WAR, 1756-1763: (FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR).
Defeat and Death of Braddock.
Washington: Patriot, Planter, Politician.
Posted January 8, 2002
Leckie gets little respect from the academic historians, but he writes extremely well and has a knack for the telling anecdote. His portraits of major characters-- Pitt, Braddock, etc.-- are worth the price of the book. If you're writing a scholarly article on the French & Indian War, maybe you should stick with Anderson (also a great read!), who does in fact offer more primary sources and more analysis. But if you're looking for great narrative history that really comes alive, you won't be disappointed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2001
The story of the long and often brutal conflict between the various European states (Great Britain, France, and Spain), the colonists in North America, and the native Americans for control over the area that later became the United States and Canada deserves a serious, up-to-date reexamination. This book is not it. Author Robert Leckie has written a number of sound historical studies over a long period, and many readers will be attracted to it by his reputation. They will be bitterly disappointed. There is no primary research cited and the secondary sources are invariably old and reflect both interpretations and biases that have been largely discounted. Aside from serious questions about the quality of the source material, the book is badly organized. The early chapters are a brief survey of the Columbus voyages which offer little new about the Spanish colonization efforts and do not connect logically to the succeeding chapters which focus on the conflict between the British and French. Leckie's quick overview of British colonial society ignores both the complex variations between the different mainland colonies and also ignores the way those societies evolved from the 17th into the mid-to-late 18th centuries. Instead of a solid synthesis of recent scholarship on the development of colonial societies, the existing native American societies, and the complex interactions between them, Leckie offers mish-mash of generalizations (most of them contradicted by recent scholarship). His discussion of the military issues within the British colonies is particularly bad and seems based as much on myth and folklore as on actual historical research. Skip this book and hunt up a copy of Douglas Leach's Arm's For Empire (also now getting a bid old, but far better), any of the recent works by Francis Jennings, or Fred Anderson's excellent study Crucible of War.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.