The Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766 Hardcover – 1 Feb 2000
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
" Vivid and memorable... eventful and fast-paced." - "The" "New York Times Book Review"
"Vivid and memorable...eventful and fast-paced."-"The""New York Times Book Review"
"Vivid and memorable eventful and fast-paced." "The" "New York Times Book Review"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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. The often cited intransigence of the "Americans" or British colonials depending on the author's retelling of failings or successes tells us that a revolution of sorts had already occurred between the mother country and its American children, years before that schism was forcefully brought into view in the American War of Independence. So, there's lots to ponder over then, especially for us Brits!
Anderson rifles through every conceivable detail of the story and rarely leaves a stone unturned in the examination of the war's cause, length and reasons for victory and defeat on both sides, thorough evaluations from colonial taxation to the enthralling fall of Quebec.
For British readers it is worth mentioning that in all areas Anderson tries to give an American side to the war, which can seem strange to those brought up on General Wolfe and the Thin Red Line, not temporary colonial soldiers. The sheer intensity of the war and its importance to the development of a global empire for Britain are slightly overshadowed by this American point of view. It can also be slightly irritating to find traditional British titles of rank such as Duke and Earl spelt in the lower case together with Britain's empire. I wonder if historians of Rome commit to the same protocol
Mute points perhaps for a book that paints the fullest picture possible of the French and Indian War, portraying all aspects of the British, French, American and Indian, and thus it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category