The globe's first true world war comes vividly to life in this "rich, cautionary tale" (The New York Times Book Review)
The French and Indian War --the North American phase of a far larger conflagration, the Seven Years' War--remains one of the most important, and yet misunderstood, episodes in American history. Fred Anderson takes readers on a remarkable journey through the vast conflict that, between 1755 and 1763, destroyed the French Empire in North America, overturned the balance of power on two continents, undermined the ability of Indian nations to determine their destinies, and lit the "long fuse" of the American Revolution. Beautifully illustrated and recounted by an expert storyteller, The War That Made America is required reading for anyone interested in the ways in which war has shaped the history of America and its peoples.
The author of the award-winning, scholarly account of the French and Indian War Crucible of War (2000) offers a scaled-down, popular version of that history in this companion volume to the January 2006 PBS documentary. It is an excellent introduction to a conflict that most Americans know little about, and that Winston Churchill called the first worldwide war. Anderson focuses on the North American theater, the outcome of which he claims "transformed the colonists' world forever" and, in effect, "made America." He shows how the conflict encouraged colonials "to conceive of themselves as equal partners in the [British] empire," a concept that Britain did not share and that led inexorably to postwar strife and revolution. In a departure from earlier accounts, Anderson gives unprecedented coverage to the role of Native Americans in the struggle and demonstrates how the war paved the way for the American government's eventual "destruction or subjugation of native societies." Like the best popular historians, Anderson combines exhaustive research and an accessible prose style in a volume that should help rescue the French and Indian War from historical obscurity. (Dec.)
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November 27, 2006
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