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Crucible of War : The Seven Years' War and the Fate of the Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 - Softcover

 
9780571205653: Crucible of War : The Seven Years' War and the Fate of the Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766
A masterly narrative history of the Seven Years War, by which the British eliminated French power north of the Caribbean, at the same time igniting the slow-burning fuse of the American revolution. Fred Anderson observes how the war gave American colonists their first conflicts with real Englishmen; and how Americans were consequently emboldened to rally against the men who were once their masters. He offers a wholly engrossing account of the conflict, interweaving the stories of kings and officers with those of traders, Native Americans, and colonial peoples.

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Review:
Histories of the American Revolution tend to start in 1763, the end of the Seven Year's 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
From the Publisher:
"Reading Crucible of War is an enriching experience...Anderson meets the enormous challenge he has set for himself."
-- Wall Street Journal

"A wonderful narrative of the Seven Years' War...It promises to revolutionize our understanding of one of America's most important wars."
-- Jill Lepore, author of The Name of War

"Anderson carries his mastery of a vast scholarly literature lightly....His characterizations are vivid and memorable ...His wide-ranging story is eventful and fast-paced, yet always clear. His exposition of cultural conflicts, strategy, politics and diplomacy is lucid...This book will be read by many people and will be in print for a long, long time."
-- Charles Royster, New York Times Book Review

"Readable and insightful, Crucible of War is now our best study of the Seven Years' War...He has taken on the old masters of Anglo-American imperial warfare, Francis Parkman and Lawrence Gipson, and done them one better."
-- Don Higgenbotham, author of The War of American Independence

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  • PublisherFaber & Faber
  • Publication date2001
  • ISBN 10 0571205658
  • ISBN 13 9780571205653
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages880
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