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Francis Parkman : France and England in North America : Vol. 1: Pioneers of France in the New World, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, The Old Regime in Canada (Library of America) Hardcover – July 4, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0940450103 ISBN-10: 0940450100

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Francis Parkman : France and England in North America : Vol. 1: Pioneers of France in the New World, The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, The Old Regime in Canada (Library of America) + Francis Parkman : France and England in North America : Vol. 2: Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV, A Half-Century of Conflict, Montcalm and Wolfe (Library of America) + Francis Parkman : The Oregon Trail / The Conspiracy of Pontiac (The Library of America)
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 1504 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (July 4, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940450100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940450103
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 5.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Library of America is an award-winning, nonprofit program dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as "the most important book-publishing project is the nation's history" (Newsweek), this acclaimed series is restoring America's literary heritage in "the finest-looking, longest-lasting edition ever made" (New Republic).

From The Washington Post

The greatest history ever written by an American.

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Customer Reviews

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I recommend all his histories .
Grover Smith
Parkman's magisterial work on the role of France in the New World must surely rank as one of the high points of 19th century American literature.
Ray
For the reader who wants to relive history at its most vivid, Parkman provides the goods.
Bruce Kendall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kendall VINE VOICE on February 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This multi-volume edition of Parkman's magnum opus might appear initially daunting, as it covers more than 1,200 pages of material. Suffice it say, however, that the rewards are entirely worth the effort of fording your way through this majestic work.
Parkman triumphed over numerous personal disabilities (extremely poor eyesight and recurring pain in his limbs), to produce some of the most important and transcendent histories of the 19th century, works that secured him a place in the American Pantheon, beside Prescott and Bancroft. He has been interpreted both as an example of literary Romanticism by some, and as a supreme pessimist by others. His objective as an historian was to "while scrupulously and rigorously adhering to the truth of facts, to animate them with the life of the past, and, so far as might be, clothe the skeleton with flesh." This notion is reflected repeatedly throughout these volumes. His style is highly descriptive, borrowing as it does from his numerous treks to the sites he writes of. The Jesuits, trappers, governors, nuns and explorers he depicts come across as flesh-and blood, breathing, human beings, engaged in real activities. He has little place for abstraction, and never dwells overlong on minutiae. The ramifications of particular pacts or treaties, for instance, are subordinate to actual events and places. When he takes the reader into an Indian log-house, he/she can practically taste the smoke as it permeates the air.
When it comes to Native Americans, Parkman is far from sentimental. In fact, he bridled at the notion, common in 19th Century Romanticism (particularly Rousseau and even more conspicuously in Chateaubriand's <Atala>), of the Indian as noble savage.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By vpacific@aol.com on April 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book and its companion, Count Frontenac & New France Under Louis XIV represents one of the US's first great histories. Detailed, but lively written with only a few give-away phrases to let the reader know that this history was written over 100 years ago, these 2 volumes are a must read for any serious US/North American history buff.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ct reader on October 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Parkman's (multi-volume) account the of the struggle of France and England for North American dominance remains the classic history. It is commodious in scope, majestic in vision, and equal with Thucydides in tragic magnitude. Parkman describes what North America once was (with invaluable discriptions of natives), and what still lies below the surface of what we've become.

There are other valuable sources. Morison [The Northern Voyages 500-1600 (1971), The Southern Voyages 1492-1616 (1974), Samuel de Champlain (1972)]. Anderson (Crucible of War) and Eccles (The French in North America). None are as eloquent as Parkman, though Morison's Voyages are equally worthy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Theodore Kobernick on November 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Readers have written outstanding reviews of Parkman's great work. I wish to mention a couple of interesting points the other readers haven't.
Parkman explains the failure of France to succeed in dominating North America, and why the English succeeded. He attributes this to several causes. First, France produced genuine heroes in North America: both the well-known explorers such as Champlain and laSalle, and the amazing but lesser-known Jesuits. But the French efforts were sponsored and dominated by institutions: the French Court, with all its corruption, and the Catholic Church, especially the Jesuits. Their settlers, often selected from the lowest strata of society, were severely restricted in every regard. The English colonies, in contrast, were endeavors of the people of the colonies, who formed their own governments, and had great political and economic freedom. People actually WANTED to come to the English colonies. The English colonies enjoyed a spectacular organic growth, while French Canada was ultimately moribund. "There was no real motive for emigration. No persecution expelled the colonist from his home; for none but good Catholics were tolerated in New France. The settler could not trade with the Indians, except on condition of selling again to the Company at a fixed price. He might hunt, but he could not fish; and he was forced to beg or buy food for years before he could obtain it from that rude soil in sufficient quantities for the wants of his family." (p. 509)
Regarding the native Americans in eastern Canada and the New York / New England area, Parkman certainly does not limit himself to viewing them as savages. He does indeed dwell on their ferocity (well documented elsewhere), but he also portrays them as economically sophisticated.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Yes, Francis Parkman's use of 19th century venacular and grammar can be a little offputting to a 21st century reader. Also, his prudish Victorian attitudes about what is appropriate to be written can come across as silly. However, Parkman wrote history with the skill of a novelist. His narrative histories are among the best written works in all of American literature.
As others have noted, these books are not "politically correct" in their description of the American Indian. Francis Parkman did write with an agenda. In the late 19th century, Parkman was offended by what he saw as the popular romanticism of the American Indian. (A trend that has continued to this day with the American Indian routinely being presented as a "New Age Eagle scout with a bent for ecology" in both our popular culture and even in our schools.) Thus, Parkman attempted to write what he saw as the "historical" or "correct" portrayal of the American Indian- one that could be ruthless, barbaric, and extremely cruel and he backed up his opinion with numerous historical examples.
Parkman saw himself as a neutral narrator- a "I'm just writing down the facts" type of historian. And he does describe examples of European barbarism and their genocidal strategies against the natives to go along side of his "Injun massacre" portrayal of the American Indian. Yet Parkman wrote with obvious biases and his description of the American Indian tribes is too simplistic. Partly, this is because of Parkman's own racial prejudices, but also it is because of his limitations as a historian. Parkman's history is just a straight narrative with almost no analysis.
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