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Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – November 8, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0199766239 ISBN-10: 0199766231 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Very Short Introductions
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199766231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199766239
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.5 x 4.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author


Alan Taylor is Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. He is the two time Pulitzer prize winning author of William Cooper's Town: Power and The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832. He has also written Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic and The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies.

Customer Reviews

This is a gem of a book.
William D. Saunders
It pays a good amount of attention to non-English colonization of the North American continent and to the importance of the colonies in the Caribbean.
Carl Schulkin
It presents important information in an organized fashion.
Yash Pandey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joel Cairo on May 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent alternative to reading the first few chapters of a survey of US History. Not a substitute for reading Taylor's classic American Colonies, but a cogently organized, well-written summary of what the last generation of historians has taught us about the European colonization of the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere (with a little on the Pacific Islands as a bonus). The chronology and bibliographic essay at the end are a welcome feature. Can be read in two or three hours tops. Makes me interested in sampling the rest of the Very Short Introduction series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William D. Saunders on February 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a gem of a book. In a very short space the author covers 300 years of American colonial history putting each phase into perspective. He explains the objectives and strategies of each of the colonial powers - Spain, France and England showing the strengths weaknesses of each. In the end this leads to an understanding of why the British became the dominant power and why the British in turn lost their colonies to the Americans. Caught between
them were the Indians who both used the colonizers and were used by them. Above all he explains important economic and technological forces that underlie the making of history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Binder on September 25, 2014
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This is as good as it gets when it comes to "short" history. Taylor is succinct without being abstract. This short volume of early American history is highly readable, serious, and informative. It gives a precise overview of colonial history, highlighting causal links to important developments. It is well organized and up-to-date in its research and bibliography: A great way to start learning about this topic or, as in my case, to review and update my knowledge of this historical epoch. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PZ on February 10, 2014
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Well written. A little dense, but you get used to it. The author is actually my professor in high school so I can say, firsthand, that he is very knowledgeable about the subject matter. The book is a bit vague at times, but it is only meant to scratch the surface of colonial America. Overall, would recommend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Baniewicz on June 23, 2013
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I am an AP teacher and plan on using this book as a text in my class. It offers a great review of the facts. I would highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading others in this series.
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By Jakob Helgi Bjarnason on September 5, 2013
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It is nothing more than that. It can be really hard to understand what is going on as it is split in chapters by countries, not timeline.

It can be good if you want to know a little more about this subject before reading something else.
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Taylor is good at explaining how we fitted into the global picture. The 3 super powers of England, France and Spain competing for control of the colonies and the indians caught in the middle makes for a clearer view of what happened.
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Colonial America: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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