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The French and Indian War: Deciding the Fate of North America Paperback – October 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (October 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060761857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060761851
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Borneman offers an excellent general-audience version of Fred Anderson's Crucible of War (2000), the definitive academic history of the mid–18th-century French and Indian War and its long-term consequences for America and the world. Drawing on a broad spectrum of primary and secondary sources, Borneman (1812: The War That Forged a Nation) argues that the French and Indian War not only made Britain master of North America but created an empire that dominated the world for two centuries. What began in the Ohio Valley in 1755 as the local defeat of a small force under Gen. Edwin Braddock escalated into what legitimately merits designation as the First World War. Borneman connects that complex conflict in North America with events in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Although the Native Americans were "the real losers" in the war for their continent, they offered formidable resistance to a developing European hegemony. But the English colonials' discomfiture overshadowed Native Americans', as the settlers were expected to help finance the war but were denied its fruits by being forbidden to claim land west of the Appalachians. Britain's victory in the French and Indian War thus lit the kindling for the American Revolution. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Author of 1812: The War That Forged a Nation (2004), Borneman acknowledges that his new topic has already been thoroughly covered by Fred Anderson's magisterial Crucible of War (2000). Accordingly, Borneman presents a popular military account of the war's campaigns and battles that prunes back on detail. On paper, New France didn't stand a chance against the far more populous British colonies. Yet its forces inflicted numerous defeats on American militia and British regulars until subdued by the conquest of Quebec and Montreal in 1759-60. Borneman's battle narratives incorporate factors that benefited the French, such as adaptability to forest warfare and support from Indian allies, who understood that Americans posed a greater menace to their future than the French. Introducing the war's prominent commanders, from Edward Braddock to Montcalm to Pontiac, Borneman keeps a respectful eye on the war's bloody cost as he fluently acquaints readers with its strategic course. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Walter R. Borneman writes about American military and political history. His latest book, THE ADMIRALS: Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy, and King--The Five-Star Admirals Who Won the War at Sea (Little, Brown, 2012), is the story of the only four men in American history to achieve the rank of fleet admiral. Together they transformed the American navy with aircraft carriers and submarines and won World War II.

Recent titles include POLK: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America (Random House, 2008), which won the Tennessee History Book Award and the Colorado Book Award for Biography, and 1812: The War That Forged a Nation (HarperCollins, 2004). He lives in Colorado and has spent many days climbing its mountains.

QUOTE: My overriding goal in writing history has been to get the facts straight and then present them in a readable fashion. I am convinced that knowing history is not just about appreciating the past, but also about understanding the present and planning for the future.

Customer Reviews

From this war the victorious kingdom of Great Britain became the British Empire.
Bill Emblom
Mid way through the book you will find eight pages of magnificent pencil drawings, several I don't recall ever seeing before.
Monty Rainey
He writes clearly and enjoyably, making the book easy to read as well as informative.
Grant Fritchey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on November 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There have been a number of brilliant books written on the subject of what should have been known in history as the true First World War, or as we know it, the French & Indian War or Seven Years War. THE FRENCH & INDIAN WAR: DECIDING THE FATE OF NORTH AMERICA, by Walter Borneman may never reach the apex of that list, but it is indeed a fine work worthy of being in a class with Francis Parkman or Fred Anderson. Borneman brings a fresh writing style to the old subject that is a true joy to read.

The book does have a few slight knocks against it. I thought the introduction leading up to the war should have been more deeply explored than the brief narrative of the first two chapters. The circumstances pushing towards the world war could have easily taken several hundred pages by itself, but Borneman, in this work, seeks a rather brief 300 page account of the war and, given that limitation, does an incredible job.

The Third Chapter introduces the reader to Ben Franklin and his Albany Plan in as good a dissertation as I have read on the subject. The book contains sparse maps, but what is there is worthy of high praise as well as giving good explanation of troop movements, detail, dates and conditions on conflicts such as Braddock's defeat and Ticonderoga. Mid way through the book you will find eight pages of magnificent pencil drawings, several I don't recall ever seeing before.

Borneman concludes his work with twenty five pages of notes and a brief bibliography. Brevity is, at once, a slight for this book, but it also accomplishes what I believe to have been Borneman's intention; to present a comprehensive study of the French and Indian War in a compact reader. To that end, Borneman succeeds in magnificent fashion. Overall, I was very pleased with this book.

Monty Rainey
Junto Society
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on March 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The French and Indian War names the two losers in this war. From this war the victorious kingdom of Great Britain became the British Empire. We usually think of Braddock's march towards Fort Duquesne and Wolfe attacking Montcalm at Quebec during this war. However, there is also John Bradstreet's attack on Fort Frontenac on the shores of Lake Ontario, the battles in the Lake George and Lake Champlain area of New York state, the battles for Fort Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, along with numerous other conflicts that made up what was known as the Seven Years War in Europe which really lasted nine years. One definite strength of this book is the many maps which were placed in the appropriate chapters to illustrate exactly where the events took place. The lack of such maps in other books I've read on various subjects has been frustrating. The real losers in this war, of course, were the Native Americans. Regardless of which side won the war they would lose their land. England's victory in this war lit the spark for the American Revolution to follow, and it was the defeated France that assisted America to defeat England in America's revolution. Former Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison called the French and Indian War the first World War. It was, indeed, global in nature. The fate of William Pitt, Jeffery Amherst, Robert Rogers, Chief Pontiac, and other key participants is also covered. The book is 308 pages long, and there are a lot of names to keep track of. My knowledge of this war and its importance to future events in America were definitely increased with this reading. Stick with it to the end. It is worth it.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Floyd on January 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you google Walter R. Borneman, you will find not just a writer of history books, but a lawyer managing a substantial trust benefiting medical research, and also a mountaineer who has climbed all of Colorado's fourteeners and co-authored books on the subject. I cannot help but think that this background contributes to both the efficiency and the meticulous attention to detail and accuracy found in his recent books ("1812" and "French and Indian War"). This is not to say that his writing is not pleasing; it flows rationally and provides eminently pleasurable reading.

As work limits my pleasure reading, I am quite selective in choosing my material. In less than 400 pages Borneman has provided a complete, yet readable account of the global conflict referred to as the "French and Indian" war. I find most history books deficient in illustrations and maps, and I would like to have seen a few more here, but I managed by book marking the maps as to return to them easily as I read.

If you need a long tome to fill idle hours, they are out there. However, if you need a pleasurable, informative narrative history of the French and Indian war that is complete but can be finished in a reasonable interval, you should read this book.

Borneman has bracketed the American Revolution with his last two books. It would be kind of him to fill this gap someday.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery on July 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I would highly recommend this book for those like myself who are just barely acquainted with the history of the French and Indian War, which was formally recognized as lasting from 1756 to 1763. Battles and skirmishes had begun before this time, e.g. General Braddock's march and defeat at the hands of the French and Indian allies in 1755 near the Monongahela River, with a young George Washington also playing a part in this battle. Borneman is an excellent writer whose clear style will make this both an easy and informative read.

This is a fairly compact book that will not take long to read. In essence, Borneman shows how this war could be classified as the first truly World War. Both the French and British had claims over the North American continent (roughly with the British occupying the Atlantic coast and the areas just inland and the French occupying areas along the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River), and it was this close proximity between two ambitious nations that could perhaps only culminate in war. But in addition to these areas and the West Indies (also extremely important for both sides), the author takes us to Europe to show us the war occurring on the European mainland, which the government of France seemed more concerned with than with their possessions in North America.

We become acquainted with many of the political and military leaders from both the British and French sides, but also some of the leading American colonists, and the Indian leaders and tribes. We learn of the legends that developed around Roger's Rangers and General Wolfe on the British side, the leaders who would emerge in the American War for Independence some twenty years later, and the issues stirring behind the war on the European mainland.
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