Crucible Of War: The Seven Years' War And The Fate Of Empire In British North America, 1754-1766

Crucible Of War: The Seven Years' War And The Fate Of Empire In British North America, 1754-1766

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Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766; by Fred Anderson; 912 pp; Paper; 5.5x8.5, Published: 912,ISBN: 9780375706363; 90 illustrations and 7 maps; Item # VB01


In this compelling narrative, the Seven Years' War -- long seen as a mere backdrop to the American Revolution -- takes on a whole new significance. Weaving together the military, economic, and political motives of the participants, Anderson brings a fresh perspective to one of America's most important wars.

Demonstrating that the decisive "Seven Years' War" changed the balance of power between the British and French in North America, the author argues that this conflict destroyed the delicate balance of power that gave Native people a voice in the affairs of the continent while creating an "American generation."


"[A] new understanding of the war that enables us to experience its complexity as never before and to see our colonial predecessors as they saw themselves." - Edmund S. Morgan, New York Review of Books, May 11, 2000

"Readers who plunge into the text will discover [Anderson's] flair for narrating dramatic events and describing vivid characters." - Alan Taylor, New Republic, 08/14/2000

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