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The French Navy and the Seven Years' War

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Lincoln and London 2007 Softcover Studies in War, Society, and the Military Series. 445 pages. Softcover. Brand new book. MILITARY. The Seven Years' War was the world's first ... global conflict, spanning five continents and the critical sea lanes that connected them. Winner of the 2005 France-Ameriques Prize, this book is the fullest account ever written of the French navy's role in the hostilities. It is also the most complete survey of both phases of the war: the French and Indian War in North America (1754-60) and the Seven Years' War in Europe (1756-63). By considering both phases of the war from every angle, Jonathan R. Dull shows not only that the two conflicts are so interconnected that neither can be fully understood in isolation but also that traditional interpretations of the war are largely inaccurate. His work also explains how the French navy, supposedly utterly crushed, could have figured so prominently in the War of American Independence only fifteen years later. A comprehensive work integrati Read more Show Less

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Overview


The Seven Years’ War was the world’s first global conflict, spanning five continents and the critical sea lanes that connected them. This book is the fullest account ever written of the French navy’s role in the hostilities. It is also the most complete survey of both phases of the war: the French and Indian War in North America (1754–60) and the Seven Years’ War in Europe (1756–63), which are almost always treated independently. By considering both phases of the war from every angle, award-winning historian Jonathan R. Dull shows not only that the two conflicts are so interconnected that neither can be fully understood in isolation but also that traditional interpretations of the war are largely inaccurate. His work also reveals how the French navy, supposedly utterly crushed, could have figured so prominently in the War of American Independence only fifteen years later.
 
A comprehensive work integrating diplomatic, naval, military, and political history, The French Navy and the Seven Years’ War thoroughly explores the French perspective on the Seven Years’ War. It also studies British diplomacy and war strategy as well as the roles played by the American colonies, Spain, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Sweden, and Portugal. As this history unfolds, it becomes clear that French policy was more consistent, logical, and successful than has previously been acknowledged, and that King Louis XV’s conduct of the war profoundly affected the outcome of America’s subsequent Revolutionary War.
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Editorial Reviews

Canadian Journal of History
"Dull's book is a monument to careful scholarship. With clear, concise prose, he navigates deftly through a complex tale of war, diplomacy, and politics. His book is the definitive work on this topic."

— William M. Fowler, Jr., Canadian Journal of History

H-Net Book Reviews
"Illuminates the conduct of naval operations by situating them in the wider contexts of the diplomatic negotiations and the land war that were unfolding simultaneously.. A firm, carefully-argued work, which turns out to be far more than a study of the French navy."

— Geoffrey Symcox, H-Net Book Reviews

N. A. M. Rodger
"A magnificent book, another tour de force in combined diplomatic, political, and naval history."

-N. A. M. Rodger, author of The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain

Journal of Modern History
"With the publication of Jonathan R. Dull's The French Navy and the Seven Years' War, we at last have an accessible, brisk, and erudite narrative of this global struggle. For although its title suggests a more narrow focus on the valiant, but doomed, efforts of the French navy in that war, Dull's work offers much more than this."

— Rafe Blaufarb, Journal of Modern History

Northern Mariner
"An impressive and an important addition to the literature. The French Navy and the Seven Years'' War will for years to come be an essential addition to the library of specialists and students of eighteenth century naval (and diplomatic) history alike."

— Olaf Uwe Janzen, Northern Mariner

Military History
"Those interested in learning the inside story of how governments actually conduct war will find this a fascinating work, and a sobering reflection of how they probably still carry on today."

— Robert Guttman, Military History

Journal of Military History
"This excellent book deserves a wide audience. It far surpasses most histories of the Seven Years' War. . . . This book belongs on the shelf of anyone seriously interested in early American and Atlantic history, French maritime and naval history, and in the history of international relations in the eighteenth century."

—James Pritchard, Journal of Military History

Sea History
"Dull has written a magisterial history of the war and the role of the French Navy. . . . This history will long stand as the definitive work on the French Navy of the period."

— Harold N. Boyer, Sea History

ForeWord Magazine
"A full-dress history of the Seven Years' War as a whole, from the French perspective. . . . The focus is almost entirely upon grand strategy, diplomacy, and economics and finance; as such it is a first-rate work of serious history."

— Peyton Moss, ForeWord Magazine

International Journal of Maritime History
"A full-dress history of the Seven Years' War as a whole, from the French perspective. . . . The focus is almost entirely upon grand strategy, diplomacy, and economics and finance; as such it is a first-rate work of serious history. . . . Any serious student of the era will find this a comprehensive history."

— Peyton Moss, ForeWord Magazine

Choice
"There are a great many books for English-speaking readers concerning the British Royal Navy in the 18th century, but not many that provide solid, well-researched material concerning its greatest rival, the French Navy. Dull helps fill in that gap and provides some much-needed balance with this work. Overall, this is a much-needed study for any scholar interested in this time period or in western naval and maritime history."

— D.M. Hall, Choice

Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
"Dull. . . has produced a comprehensively researched history of the Seven Years'' War that succeeds in tracing the political and military ramifications of warfare in North American and Europe. He also fills a crucial historiographic gap by focusing on the long neglected French navy and placing its operational history in a wider political context. . . . Ultimately the book contributes critical research to a burgeoning topic and will prove useful for those seeking an engaging account of high politics and military operations during the Seven Years'' War."

— Lauren E. Heckler, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

Canadian Journal of History - William M. Fowler

“Dull’s book is a monument to careful scholarship. With clear, concise prose, he navigates deftly through a complex tale of war, diplomacy, and politics. His book is the definitive work on this topic.”—Canadian Journal of History
Journal of Modern History - Rafe Blaufarb

“With the publication of Jonathan R. Dull’s The French Navy and the Seven Years’ War, we at last have an accessible, brisk, and erudite narrative of this global struggle. For although its title suggests a more narrow focus on the valiant, but doomed, efforts of the French navy in that war, Dull’s work offers much more than this.”—Rafe Blaufarb, Journal of Modern History
N. A. M. Rodger

"A magnificent book, another tour de force in combined diplomatic, political, and naval history."—N. A. M. Rodger, author of The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain
International Journal of Maritime History - Jan Glete

“A full-dress history of the Seven Years’ War as a whole, from the French perspective. . . . The focus is almost entirely upon grand strategy, diplomacy, and economics and finance; as such it is a first-rate work of serious history. . . . Any serious student of the era will find this a comprehensive history.”—Peyton Moss, ForeWord Magazine
Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History - Lauren E. Heckler

"[Dull] has produced a comprehensively researched history of the Seven Years' War that succeeds in tracing the political and military ramifications of warfare in North American and Europe. He also fills a crucial historiographic gap by focusing on the long neglected French navy and placing its operational history in a wider political context. . . . Ultimately the book contributes critical research to a burgeoning topic and will prove useful for those seeking an engaging account of high politics and military operations during the Seven Years' War."—Lauren E. Heckler, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History
Choice - D.M. Hall

"There are a great many books for English-speaking readers concerning the British Royal Navy in the 18th century, but not many that provide solid, well-researched material concerning its greatest rival, the French Navy. Dull helps fill in that gap and provides some much-needed balance with this work. Overall, this is a much-needed study for any scholar interested in this time period or in western naval and maritime history."—Choice
ForeWord Magazine - Peyton Moss

"A full-dress history of the Seven Years’ War as a whole, from the French perspective. . . . The focus is almost entirely upon grand strategy, diplomacy, and economics and finance; as such it is a first-rate work of serious history."—Peyton Moss, ForeWord Magazine
Journal of Military History - James Pritchard

"This excellent book deserves a wide audience. It far surpasses most histories of the Seven Years' War. . . . This book belongs on the shelf of anyone seriously interested in early American and Atlantic history, French maritime and naval history, and in the history of international relations in the eighteenth century."—James Pritchard, Journal of Military History
Military History - Robert Guttman

"Those interested in learning the inside story of how governments actually conduct war will find this a fascinating work, and a sobering reflection of how they probably still carry on today."—Robert Guttman, Military History
Sea History - Harold N. Boyer

"Dull has written a magisterial history of the war and the role of the French Navy. . . . This history will long stand as the definitive work on the French Navy of the period."—Harold N. Boyer, Sea History
Northern Mariner - Olaf Uwe Janzen

"An impressive and an important addition to the literature. The French Navy and the Seven Years' War will for years to come be an essential addition to the library of specialists and students of eighteenth century naval (and diplomatic) history alike."—Olaf Uwe Janzen, Northern Mariner
H-Net Book Reviews - Geoffrey Symcox

"Illuminates the conduct of naval operations by situating them in the wider contexts of the diplomatic negotiations and the land war that were unfolding simultaneously…. A firm, carefully-argued work, which turns out to be far more than a study of the French navy."—Geoffrey Symcox, H-Net Book Reviews
The NYMAS Review

"The author weaves diplomatic and strategic issues into the overall story of the naval war."—The NYMAS Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803260245
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2007
  • Series: France Overseas: Studies in Empire and D
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 472
  • Product dimensions: 6.09 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author


Jonathan R. Dull is a senior associate editor of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin series and author of the award-winning history The French Navy and American Independence: A Study of Arms and Diplomacy, 1774-1787.
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