The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War

The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War

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by Fred Anderson, R. Scott Stephenson
     
 

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The globe's first true world war comes vividly to life in this "rich, cautionary tale" (The New York Times Book Review)

The French and Indian War -the North American phase of a far larger conflagration, the Seven Years' War-remains one of the most important, and yet misunderstood, episodes in American history. Fred Anderson takes readers on a remarkable

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Overview

The globe's first true world war comes vividly to life in this "rich, cautionary tale" (The New York Times Book Review)

The French and Indian War -the North American phase of a far larger conflagration, the Seven Years' War-remains one of the most important, and yet misunderstood, episodes in American history. Fred Anderson takes readers on a remarkable journey through the vast conflict that, between 1755 and 1763, destroyed the French Empire in North America, overturned the balance of power on two continents, undermined the ability of Indian nations to determine their destinies, and lit the "long fuse" of the American Revolution. Beautifully illustrated and recounted by an expert storyteller, The War That Made America is required reading for anyone interested in the ways in which war has shaped the history of America and its peoples.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Anderson writes with intelligence and vigor. He has given us a rich, cautionary tale about the unpredictability of war. (The New York Times Book Review)
Jay Winick
In this little primer about a little-studied conflict, Anderson, a meticulous historian, writes with intelligence and vigor. He has given us a rich, cautionary tale about the unpredictability of war - then no less than today.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
The author of the award-winning, scholarly account of the French and Indian War Crucible of War (2000) offers a scaled-down, popular version of that history in this companion volume to the January 2006 PBS documentary. It is an excellent introduction to a conflict that most Americans know little about, and that Winston Churchill called the first worldwide war. Anderson focuses on the North American theater, the outcome of which he claims "transformed the colonists' world forever" and, in effect, "made America." He shows how the conflict encouraged colonials "to conceive of themselves as equal partners in the [British] empire," a concept that Britain did not share and that led inexorably to postwar strife and revolution. In a departure from earlier accounts, Anderson gives unprecedented coverage to the role of Native Americans in the struggle and demonstrates how the war paved the way for the American government's eventual "destruction or subjugation of native societies." Like the best popular historians, Anderson combines exhaustive research and an accessible prose style in a volume that should help rescue the French and Indian War from historical obscurity. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Anderson (history, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder), winner of the Francis Parkman Prize for Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, here provides an excellent shorter history of that conflict, which has been called "the first world war." His new book will serve as a companion to the forthcoming PBS documentary of the same name, set to debut in January 2006. Intended for a more general audience than Crucible of War, the present volume lacks notes but contains a lengthy bibliographic essay. Anderson's analyses can be both insightful and critical but are always balanced and fair. He emphasizes the roles played by all three warring parties-the French, the British, and the Iroquois Confederacy-rather than simply the two European powers. Overall, this work is an excellent introduction to a complex, dynamic conflict that set the stage for the American Revolution. Recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/05.]-Matthew J. Wayman, Pennsylvania State Univ., Abington Coll. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
"Even the most complete victories can sow the seeds of reversal and defeat for victors too dazzled by success to remember that they are, in fact, only human": a smartly written history of the Seven Years' War in America. Anderson (History/Univ. of Colorado; The Dominion of War, Jan. 2005), the world's leading living authority on the conflict better known as the French and Indian War, depicts the clash of three empires: the French, the English and the Iroquois. So long as the Iroquois were able to control the Ohio River Valley and keep English settlers and soldiers from moving about in number there, the French to the north were content to keep out, too. A rebellion of Iroquois subjects created a power vacuum soon filled by those very English; the French crown reacted by establishing forts near what is now Pittsburgh. An officer of Virginia militia, George Washington took a reconnaissance in force to see what was going on and, after a brief firefight, captured a French ensign who informed him that British forces would have to "evacuate the lands of the king of France, or suffer the consequences." No sooner had the French officer spoken than a Mingo ally of Washington's bashed his brains in with a tomahawk, providing Louis XV "all the justification he would ever need to declare war on Great Britain." The 1750s saw a vicious war of massacre and ambush, its symbolic high point fought at Montreal when both the English and French commanders were mortally wounded within minutes of each other. French defeat cleared the way for the English conquest of Canada-but also gave expansion-minded colonists, Washington among them, notions that they could take care of themselves without help from the mothercountry, an idea that soon would be tested. Lucid and swift-moving. With luck, Anderson's book will awaken interest in a critically important period in colonial history that, he laments, is about as familiar now as the Peloponnesian War. Agent: Lisa Adams/Garamond Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143038047
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
260,622
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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From the Publisher
Anderson writes with intelligence and vigor. He has given us a rich, cautionary tale about the unpredictability of war. (The New York Times Book Review)

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