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Montcalm And Wolfe: The French And Indian War Paperback – October 23, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


"Parkman...combined faultless research with the narrative powers of a novelist." --Edmund Morris --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

The result of over forty years of passionate research, Montcalm and Wolfe is the epic story of Europe's struggle for dominance of the New World. Centuries of rivalry and greed between the great imperial powers culminated in five brutal years of war; resulted in the death of both generals, Louis de Montcalm and James Wolfe; and ultimately sowed the seeds of the American Revolution, fought a scant seventeen years later. A brilliant work of scholarship as well as a riveting read, Montcalm and Wolfe was thought by many, including the author, to be Parkman's greatest work. It is an essential part of any military history collection.
The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: French and Indian War
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (October 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306810778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306810770
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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"Montcalm and Wolfe" is simply a wonderful work of history! Francis Parkman is considered by many scholars to be the greatest American historian ever. This book is his masterpiece, written in 1884 as the final volume of his multi-volume work "France and England in North America." It tells the story of the Seven Years' War (also known as the French and Indian War), which is probably the most historically decisive war ever fought on the North American continent.

Parkman writes with precision, eloquence, and objectivity. With his vivid and fast paced narrative, he demonstrates a wonderful flair dramatizing history. At the same time, his tremendous knowledge about this vast and complex subject is evident on every page. For me, the most fascinating parts of this book were the chapters which described the conflict for Acadia, and the ultimate forced evacuation of the Acadians by the British; Braddock's defeat; and the battles of Louisbourg and Quebec. Parkman's descriptions of these key events, and the personalities behind them, make them seem to come alive.

Parkman writes in the romantic style popular in the late nineteenth century; yet, his prose is of such high quality that it never seems dated. In fact, as I was reading, I found it difficult to remember that "Montcalm and Wolfe" was written over a century ago! This book, which is already a timeless classic, is essential reading for those interested in the Seven Years' War. Most highly recommended.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By T. Graczewski VINE VOICE on March 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Francis Parkman (1823-1893) was the first great American historian and today the most prestigious award in the field bears his name. "Montcalm and Wolfe" represents volumes six and seven of his celebrated study on the Anglo-French conflict in North America. This book is more than an excellent history of a seminal but largely forgotten conflict; it is nothing less than a work of literary art and very much a piece of American history itself.

Even if you have little interest in the Seven Years' War or the colonial-era in general, Parkman's writing alone is reason enough to put "Montcalm and Wolfe" on your reading list. Here is one notable, but by no means unusual, example of Parkman's narrative abilities, which describes the journey of colonial troops through the marshes around Lake Oneida in upstate New York in 1755:

"Thither the bateaux were dragged on sledges and launched on the dark and tortuous stream, which, fed by a decoction of forest leaves that oozed from the marshy shores, crept in shadow through depths of foliage, with only a belt of illumined sky gleaming between the jagged tree-tops. Tall and lean with straining towards the light, their rough, gaunt stems trickling with perpetual damps, stood on either hand the silent hosts of the forest. The skeletons of their dead, barkless, blanched and shattered, strewed the mudbanks and shallows; others lay submerged, like bones of drowned mammoths, thrusting lank, white limbs above the sullen water; and great trees, entire as yet, were flung by age or storms athwart the current - a bristling barricade of matted boughs.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Fry on April 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Parkman's Montcalm and Wolfe is more than history, it's American Literature. His prose flows elegantly and distinguishly across each page. The reader can definitely tell that Parkman was most passionate about this work, he spent most of his life researching and writing it. The care and attention he gave to the work shows. Granted this is probably not the best book for a high school student on the French and Indian war, but for someone who has read and enjoys to read history this is definitely worth a go.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
Francis Parkman was a master storyteller. The French and Indian War is often seen simply as a precursor to the American Revolution. Simply put, Parkman illuminates this conflict between England, France, Prussia, Russia, etc. and more specifically between England and France for control of North America as the pivotal conflict of the 18th century. It truly was the first global conflict, the consequences of which are masterfully explained.
Parkman deftly describes the political manuevering of the English and French in order to win Native American allies. With respect to Native Americans, Parkman is not often kind. They are often described as 'savages' or 'barbarians' in reference to atrocities committed during the course of the war. Parkman often does not give as much attention to atrocities committed by the European powers, especially the English. However, Parkman did not have the lens of modern political correctness through which to view such behavior. It was a different time and Parkman should not be condemned for the prejudices of his time.
The descriptions of the natural beauty of the wilderness in which this conflict raged are timeless. One almost feels as if they are on the scene when Howe's army set off down Lake George to attack Montcalm at Ticonderoga. The mental picture one gets from Parkman's descriptions is absolutely vivid! Battle descriptions are just as exciting with detailed descriptions of troop movements and fighting techniques of the Europeans, Native Americans, and New England and Canadian militias.
The book is well annotated and meticulously documents all sources used during its preparation. The appendices contain many curious stories of individual soldiers and politicians.
In all, this was a great read.
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