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Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 Hardcover – 16 Oct 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; UNKNOWN edition (16 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571205356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571205356
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16.3 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 717,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Histories of the American Revolution tend to start in 1763, the end of the Seven Years' War, a worldwide struggle for empire that pitted France against England in North America, Europe, and Asia. Fred Anderson, who teaches history at the University of Colorado, takes the story back a decade and explains the significance of the conflict in American history. Demonstrating that independence was not inevitable or even at first desired by the colonists, he shows how removal of the threat from France was essential before Americans could develop their own concepts of democratic government and defy their imperial British protectors. Of great interest is the importance of Native Americans in the conflict. Both the French and English had Indian allies; France's defeat ended a diplomatic system in which Indian nations, especially the 300-year-old Iroquois League, held the balance between the colonial powers. In a fast-paced narrative, Anderson moves with confidence and ease from the forests of Ohio and battlefields along the St. Lawrence to London's House of Commons and the palaces of Europe. He makes complex economic, social, and diplomatic patterns accessible and easy to understand. Using a vast body of research, he takes the time to paint the players as living personalities, from George III and George Washington to a host of supporting characters. The book's usefulness and clarity are enhanced by a hundred landscapes, portraits, maps, and charts taken from contemporary sources. Crucible of War is political and military history at its best; it never flags and is a pleasure to read. --John Stevenson

Review

'Magnificent.' John Keegan, Daily Telegraph; 'A masterpiece.' Hugh Brogan, The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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WARS BETWEEN France and England (or, after the Act of Union in 1707, Great Britain) dominated European politics between 1689 and 1815. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By gcchitty@msn.com on 6 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
I have to be honest, I was always interested in the Seven Year War and the North American conflict, so purchasing this book wasn't that greater ordeal. What I did find was a history book written like no other history book I have ever had to read (Not to sound so far fetched). It was like reading a good old boys adventure book, with it's villians and heroes, close calls and triumphants and not forgetting an extremly accurate and descriptive account of the history of that time. I found myself totally ingrossed in each page, awaiting each turn of events to unfold in front me. Fred Anderson does a superb job of bringing the pages alive with a free flowing and captivating account of such a important part of history. The only reason I didn't rate it a five out of five was due to the ending dragging it's heels slightly compared to the high calibre of the rest of the book. But don't let this deter you, even if you don't share the same interest in that peorid of history as a whole, it's well worth the read and the chance to be swept along by a fantastic adventure.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By VanGo on 9 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
Highly readable and highly recommended account of the Seven Years' War in the crucible of North America, involving the brutal and exhausting confrontations between the British Redcoats, French troops de la marine and the American Indian.

However, this book is not your typical and, I have to admit perennially enjoyable account of British Glory and Empire Building at the expense of France. No. Read the title and I can tell you this is most definitely an American academic writing an American history of what is argued an essentially American war. In its favour this makes for both a revealing and detailed account upon the pretty much indispensable role the Indians and colonials had upon the successful British prosecution of the war. If perhaps not winning the war for Britain then surely preventing it's defeat, the author puts emphasis on factors such as the Indian nations siding with the British or the massive manpower contributed from the often reluctant colonies.

Whether intentional or not Fred Anderson puts the colonialist's support for Britain in a bad light. The colonial assemblies' willingness or lack of, to either provide provincial troops or support British troops in the first half of the war, a war that was being fought on their behalf against a confident and bellicose enemy puts the war effort into a hew that never really changes into a favourable one, despite the best efforts of the author to beef up their importance.

Indeed that their contributions had to be financially guaranteed by William Pitt before they would cough up any sort of significant contribution to their own defence staggers belief and casts a long shadow upon the story of Britain and her American colonies fighting a war against the French enemy together.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 9 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anderson's book is certainly the best recent history of the French and Indian War. The book provides a narrative overview of the struggle across North America, and makes reference to the progress of the war in Europe. Anderson also discusses the impact of the war on the British Empire and the attempts at reform which led to the Stamp Act of 1765. Anderson builds on his many years of research to present a masterful narrative, accessible to both professional historians and the general reader. The emphasis is on military history, politics and diplomacy, and the book is perhaps slightly weak on social history and Native American history--though these are both discussed in the book. However, if you want a single, detailed, (832 pages) book on the Seven Years' War in North America, this is it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Darren O'Connell on 4 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
I like this period of British history and the book started off very well, the narrative part, at a cracking pace but then became bogged down in the difficult post war era. Finally, the text succumbed to the US jingoism that I was afraid of whenever any subject touches the birth of the US. Overall, a very entertainig read.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By VanGo on 25 Jan. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Highly readable account of the Seven Years' War in the crucible of North America. Involving the brutal and exhausting confrontations between the British Redcoats, French troops de la marine and the American tribes.

This book is not your typical and, I have to admit perennially enjoyable account of British glory and Empire building at the expense of France. No. Read the title and I can tell you this is most definitely an American academic writing an American history of what is argued an essentially American war. So this is my review of an American perspective from a British point of view. In its favour this makes for both a revealing and detailed account upon the pretty much indispensable role the Indians and American colonials had upon the successful British-led prosecution of the war. If perhaps not winning it then surely preventing it's defeat, the author puts emphasis on factors such as the Indian nations allying with the British or the massive manpower contributions from the often reluctant colonies.

Whether it is intentional or not Fred Anderson portrays the colonialist support for Britain as recalcitrant. The colonial assemblies' unwillingness to either provide provincial troops or support British troops in the first half of the war, a war that was being fought on their behalf against a confident and bellicose enemy puts the war effort into a hew that never really changes into a favourable one, despite what I believe are the best efforts of the author to 'beef' up their importance.
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