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

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Overview

Apart from The Last of the Mohicans, most Americans know little of the French and Indian War-also known as the Seven Years' War-and yet it remains one of the most fascinating periods in our history. In January 2006, PBS will air The War That Made America, a four-part documentary about this epic conflict. Fred Anderson, the award-winning and critically acclaimed historian, has written the official tie-in to this exciting television event.

In The War That Made America, Anderson ...

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

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Overview

Apart from The Last of the Mohicans, most Americans know little of the French and Indian War-also known as the Seven Years' War-and yet it remains one of the most fascinating periods in our history. In January 2006, PBS will air The War That Made America, a four-part documentary about this epic conflict. Fred Anderson, the award-winning and critically acclaimed historian, has written the official tie-in to this exciting television event.

In The War That Made America, Anderson deftly shows how the expansion of the British colonies into French territory in the 1750s and the ongoing Native American struggle for survival would erupt into seven years of bloodshed and unrest spreading from the backwoods of Pennsylvania to the high courts of Europe, eventually overturning the balance of power on two continents and laying the groundwork for the American Revolution. Beautifully illustrated, richly detailed, and utterly compelling, this is the story of how America as we know it today emerged from a series of fractured colonies and warring tribes into a nation ripe for independence-and nobody tells this story better than Fred Anderson.

"Overall, this work is an excellent introduction to a complex, dynamic conflict that set the stage for the American Revolution. Recommended for all libraries."—Library Journal

"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."—Kirkus Review

"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."—Publishers Weekly

"...(Anderson's) writing is fluid, energetic, and gripping and his exploration of this period in early American history is unforgettable. His book is brought to life in this unabridged audio recording by Simon Vance, a British actor and skilled reader who has recorded more than 200 audiobooks."—Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov, Large Print Reviews

"Simon Vance handles this complex narrative with a stately intelligence...He pronounces the many Native American place names and French-Canadian phrases with ease. Look for a young George Washington, who learns a number of valuable lessons that will serve him well two decades later."—AudioFile Magazine

Award-winning historian Fred Anderson pens this official tie-in to the PBS four-part documentary, "The War That Made America." Utterly compelling, this is the story of how America emerged from a series of fractured colonies and warring tribes into a nation ripe for independence. 8 CDs.

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Editorial Reviews

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: 9781400101962
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 5.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Anderson is a professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the author of Crucible of War.

Simon Vance has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. He is also the recipient of five coveted Audie Awards, including one for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, and he was named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.

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Table of Contents

Prologue : New York, July 1776
1 A delicate balance 3
2 The half king's dilemma 17
3 Confrontation on the Ohio 25
4 "Thou art not yet dead, my father" 37
5 Intervention 55
6 Braddock's march 64
7 A lake defended, a province purged 74
8 La Guerre Sauvage 88
9 The European war begins 100
10 The making of a "massacre" 106
11 The ascent of William Pitt 119
12 The Red Cross of Carillon 133
13 Louisbourg 141
14 Colonel Bradstreet's coup 146
15 Makers of war, makers of peace 152
16 General Forbes's last campaign 163
17 Reckonings 173
18 A shift in the balance 179
19 Incident at La Belle Famille 184
20 General Amherst hesitates 189
21 The plains of Abraham 193
22 "A mighty empire" 207
23 The Spanish gambit 218
24 Peace 228
25 Insurrection 231
26 Crisis and resolution 242
27 A patriot's progress 251
Epilogue : legacies 263
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