Fortress America: The Forts That Defended America, 1600 to the Present

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9780306812941: Fortress America: The Forts That Defended America, 1600 to the Present
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From the earliest colonial settlements to recent Cold War bunkers, the North American continent has been home to thousands of forts and fortress structures. Seacoast forts were the nation's primary means of strategic defense from the 1790s until World War II. Almost every seaport on both coasts had at least one fort to protect it at one time or another. Inland forts were built to defend against attacks by Native Americans, or to defend against the English, the French, or the Spanish. So many forts were built-most in the 1800s-that there are few places in the continental United States more than fifty miles from a fort location. Yet, despite their prominence and importance, there has never been-until now-a single volume devoted to American forts and homeland fortification defense.As in their previous and very successful books, experts J. E. and H. W. Kaufmann include never-before-published photographs, extraordinary drawings, cut-aways, and diagrams to illustrate Fortress America.

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About the Author:

J.E. Kaufmann is the author of six books on fortifications. He and his wife, H.W. Kaufmann, live in San Antonio, Texas. H.W. Kaufmann is the wife of J.E. Kaufmann, the author of six books on fortifications. They live in San Antonio, Texas.

Review:

"Abundant tables, drawings, maps and sidebars show how Americans achieved 'homeland security' in days gone by." -- Military History, May 2006

"Extraordinary drawings, cut-aways, and diagrams...A comprehensive account of North American fortifications and defense structures." -- SirReadaLot.org 1/13/05

"The best study, by far, on the general subject of fortifications within the country and those U.S. fortifications constructed elsewhere." --Journal of Military History August 2005

The only comprehensive account of North American fortifications and defense structures from colonial times to the twentieth century, supplemented by scores of remarkable photographs, technical drawings, maps, and diagrams. From the earliest colonial settlements to recent Cold War bunkers, the North American continent has been home to thousands of forts and fortress structures. Seacoast forts were the nation's primary means of strategic defense from the 1790s until World War II. Almost every seaport on both coasts had at least one fort to protect it at one time or another. Inland forts were built to defend against attacks by Native Americans, or to defend against the English, the French, or the Spanish. So many forts were built-most in the 1800s-that there are few places in the continental United States more than fifty miles from a fort location. Yet, despite their prominence and importance, there has never been-until now-a single volume devoted to American forts and homeland fortification defense. As in their previous and very successful books, experts J. E. and H. W. Kaufmann include never-before-published photographs, extraordinary drawings, cut-aways, and diagrams to illustrate Fortress America . --David Kirk

I found this a fascinating book---the third in a series from these authors (the others deal with German World War II fortifications, and with modern European fortifications). Each takes the same format of effectively combining text, maps, plans, drawings,and photos to provide a picture of what was built, where, by whom, and why. This particular volume has the longest historical reach, ranging from the first Spanish forts in North America right up to current efforts. Here we get a good sense of everything from dusty 19th century frontier army encampments to cement coastal fortifications of the early 20th century. The authors make clear how fortification design changed and why, as well as the relation of forts to the historical concerns of the time. In all, very useful and insightful reading whether for the arm chair or touring. There is no better overall history. --By Chris Sterling

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