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Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0802777376, Paperback)Most histories of the Seven Years' War focus on either the European or the North American theatre of the war. William Fowler's Empires at War is original, and praiseworthy, because he troubles to set the North American conflict in the European context. Bravo! Written in lively and engaging prose, Empires at War tells the story of what Fowler calls the "first world war." By keeping one foot in the North American wilderness and the other in the courts of Europe, Fowler makes a strong claim for the critical importance of early Canadian history to the history of the world. Fowler is also to be praised for the prominent role he assigns to the First Nations of eastern North America, who fought according to their own agendas and not merely as French or British auxiliaries. A third strength of this work is to found in Fowler's willingness to shatter myths. For example, many American historians have chosen to ignore George Washington's shameful conduct at Jumonville Glen, or they have looked for excuses for it. Fowler, to his credit, lays the blame right where it belongs: "It remains an open question why Washington felt compelled to attack a sleeping camp without warning at a time when two nations were at peace." Fowler is particularly good at fleshing out all of his characters: General Jeffrey Amherst is ruthless and brutal; James Wolfe nervous and complaining; the Marquis de Montcalm pessimistic and defeatist. The Seven Years’ War led directly to the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the rise of Great Britain as a 19th-century superpower. It is vitally important that we learn more about these connections, and Fowler's Empires at War is a great place to start. --William Newbigging
(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 05 Jan 2013 03:29:08 -0500)
On May 28, 1754, a group of militia and Indians led by 22-year-old major George Washington surprised a camp of sleeping French soldiers near present-day Pittsburgh. The brief but deadly exchange of fire that ensued, in Horace Walpole's memorable phrase, "set the world on fire." The resulting French and Indian War in North America escalated into a global conflict fought across Europe, Africa, and the East and West Indies. Before it ended, nearly one million men had died. This book captures the sweeping panorama of this first world war and the huge cast of characters who fought it, including the aristocratic French tactical genius Henry Montcalm and the gallant young Englishman James Wolfe, who both died on the field outside Quebec; Sir William Johnson, who sometimes painted his face and dressed like a warrior when he fought beside his Indian allies; and the "Great Commoner" William Pitt, who saw the world as a vast chessboard.--From publisher description.
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