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Montcalm And Wolfe: The French And Indian War Paperback – October 23, 2001
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Corruption and arrogance among public officials seems to be characteristic of those trusted to protect the populace and prosecute conflict. This was a noteworthy theme of the bookPublished 15 days ago by Matthew Wohlberg
They don't make them like they used to and that holds true here. Comprehensive history yet readable and never losing sight of the impact of individuals on the outcome of history. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Peter Corrigan
This is a clear and concise explanation of this often overlooked time in American history.Published 9 months ago by Robyn
Great read, learned about the French and Indian war in details I never thought was available,Published 14 months ago by Frank J. Schimberg
You have to be into the FIW to enjoy this. Not for the wanna be'sPublished 14 months ago by richard caldwell
Parkman must have researched nearly all available primary sources and exhaustively footnotes them! Many excerpts are in French, which I can't read much of, but it shows an... Read morePublished 20 months ago by G. Newman
The author did exhaustive research on the subject (check out the footnotes) and provides a great picture of North America at the time the book was written. Read morePublished 21 months ago by John Evanoff