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The Crucible of War


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About the Author

Fred Anderson is Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of A People's Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years' War (1984), as well as many articles, essays, and reviews.


Anderson (history, Univ. of Colorado; A People's Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years' War), who worked on this massive book for ten years, tells a fascinating story of the events and personalities of the Seven Years' War, which he considers the most important military conflict of the 18th century. From the perspective of all of North America and of the world-wide empires of the major European nations, it was far more significant than the American Revolution, he argues. Anderson demonstrates that the events of the 1750s and 1760s need to be viewed on their own terms, not as mere preliminaries to the American Revolution. One of the great strengths of this book is its expert integration of the Iroquois confederation into discussions of North American and European diplomacy. Enriched by a plethora of excellent maps and illustrations, this book combines exhaustive original research with a wonderfully accessible writing style. This terrific book is highly recommended for all university and large public libraries.--Thomas J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

From 1756 to 1763, the Ohio Valley was the site of a historic contest between the French and the English, both of whom wanted to add this fertile soil to their colonial holdings. In this elegant new account of the Seven Years' War, University of Colorado historian Anderson demonstrates that the conflict was more than just a peripheral squabble that anticipated the American Revolution. Not only did the war decisively alter relations among the French, the English and the Native American allies of the two powers, who for decades had played the English and French off one another to their own advantage, but just as critical, argues Anderson, the war also changed the character of British imperialism, with the mother country trying to reshape the terms of empire and the colonists' place in it. (It was the British victory of 1763, for example, that led the British to post a permanent, peacetime army in America and to support those troops with new taxes.) Indeed, Anderson shows that familiar events of the mid-1760s, like the Stamp Act and Tea Act crises, are better understood as postwar rather than prewar events: they did not "reflect a movement toward revolution so much as an effort to define the imperial relationship." This volume, then, will be of interest not just to Seven Years' War buffs, but also to those interested in the entire Revolutionary era. Anderson's magisterial study--like his earlier book, A People's Army--is essential reading on an often ignored war. 90 illus. and 9 maps. (Feb.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"Vivid and memorable...eventful and fast-paced."-The New York Times Book Review

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