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Bloody Mohawk: The French and Indian War &…

Bloody Mohawk: The French and Indian War & American Revolution on New…

by Richard Berleth

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Being a resident of the subject area, I found this book totally fascinating, learning things I did not know and seeing how the region I live in has developed from its earliest roots. The book was totally engaging for a history buff, pro or amature. ( )
  MichaelGlenn | Jul 24, 2013 |
I don't often give a book a middling rating, but this is genuinely a mixed bag.

On the one hand, it IS a good general introduction to the topic. The telling of the Battle of Oriskany, for example, is riveting, and is as well told as anywhere.

On the other hand, it fails - and fails badly - as a scholarly treatment of the subject. It's largely dependent upon secondary sources. But the failings are deeper than that.

Some examples:
- it reports the parley between General Herkimer and Joseph Brant; and it reports the actual conversation between them - and then cites Drums Along the Mohawk as the source for this. DAtM is, of course, a historical novel. (Wouldn't that be an instant failing grade in a high school paper?)
- it gives two pages to a map documenting the route of the Sullivan-Clinton campaign - and the map is of only very limited utility, as it fails to actually show Clinton's route (his route up from the Mohawk Valley, that is...), or to give the dates of their progress across central New York.
- it also wanders far off topic. Berleth notes that the story of the Tory/Indian raids in the Valley is repetitious, and so skips over the details of many of them - and yet he gives fully SIX PAGES recounting the Battle of Valcour Island. (Which, while certainly a rousing story, lies completely outside the scope of this book. The British raids up the Hudson Valley - on Kingston, for example - were geographically much closer to the subject of "the War in the Mohawk Valley".) We get a lengthy telling of Valcour Island and then of the fall of Ticonderoga and the battle of Hubbardton (over in VERMONT) - but not even a mention of the "Battle" of Normanskill? We get several pages on the Battle of Bennington in detail, but not a word on Burgoyne's surrender? Clearly, the author loses the thread at some point.

(more to follow) ( )
  AsYouKnow_Bob | Dec 5, 2010 |
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