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War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier Paperback – April 26, 2011


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War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier + Bloody Mohawk: The French and Indian War & American Revolution on New York's Frontier + White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery And Vengeance in Colonial America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553384570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553384574
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Modern practitioners of military special operations know of Robert Rogers’ principles of their craft, but history readers are apt to ask, Rogers who? American Heritage editor Ross answers that query absorbingly, creating a colorful portrait of a remarkable American colonial officer of the French and Indian War. Of Scots-Irish immigrant heritage, Rogers (1731–95) experienced frontier raids in what is now New Hampshire in his boyhood. As a young man, Rogers acquitted himself with shrewd scouting as well as in brutal battles with woodland parties of the French and their Indian allies and was awarded an officer’s commission in the British army (an honor George Washington coveted in vain). Rogers’ hard-won eminence in colonial society came apart after the peace of 1763. He was court-martialed, went to debtors’ prison, sided with Tories in 1776, ensnared Nathan Hale, then receded from history. Ross’ recovery of Rogers from the footnotes closes a gap in colonial historiography with a sanguinary war biography that is practically a movie script unto itself. Buffs of the period will love it. --Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A lively, evocative and at times moving biography . . . Ross [brings] this extraordinary man back to life.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Nothing less than a tour de force that will appeal to a wide range of readers . . . This remarkable book should go far to rescue a once-famous figure in American history.”—Winston-Salem Journal
 
“In this exhaustive book, variously scholarly and white-knuckle exciting, John Ross has done the great man justice.”—The Washington Times
 
“Rousing . . . The story of Rogers, as told by Ross, is an American tale.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
“[A] sweeping account . . . a thrilling narrative.”—The Boston Globe

More About the Author

John F. Ross is the former Executive Editor of American Heritage and Invention & Technology magazines and was a Senior Editor of Smithsonian magazine before that. On assignment, he has chased scorpions in Baja, dived 3,000 feet underwater in the Galapagos, dogsledded with the Polar Inuit in Greenland, lived with the Khanty reindeer herders in Siberia, and launched the most northern canoe trip in the Canadian Arctic. He has published more than 200 articles and spoken at the Explorers Club of New York, the Smithsonian Institution, NASA's Ames Research Center, and BMW's Herbert Quandt Foundation.

While doing research for WAR ON THE RUN, Ross walked and kayaked many parts of Roger's tracks, giving him valuable on-the-ground experience with which to bring Roger's experiences vividly to life. He is the author of The Polar Bear Strategy: Reflections on Risk in Modern Life (Perseus Books) and lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

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I found this book to be very informative and at the same time enjoyable to read.
Peter Fellows
Well worth reading especially eye opening to the french and indian war in the north east and expansion of the trade routes of the great lakes region.
Jeff H
This is a well researched and vividly written book about one of the most colorful and complex characters in colonial America.
T. Crocker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Rose on May 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In my own book -- and I apologize for the self-serving plug, but it's pertinent -- Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring, I devoted part of a chapter to Robert Rogers, one of the most remarkable killing gentlemen of Colonial (and Revolutionary) America. I always, however, wanted to know more about this bewitching, wild creature, and so I'm glad that John Ross has undertaken the burden of excavating his life and times from the murk of the past.

Good, narrative-driven history-writing is tricky to pull off, but, having blazed through the book, I think Ross has done a sterling job introducing Rogers to a modern audience. Ross is particularly skilled at evoking the frightening nature of the wilderness and the unique exigencies of frontier fighting. The vast, unexplored backcountry was densely thicketed by forests, rumpled by towering mountain ranges, and watered by unbridgeable rivers -- and Rogers was master of it all. Small wonder his enemies (and friends) were terrified of him; small wonder that they (in Ross's words) "could not get their imagination around the man, this master of nature and humans who could lead unimpressionable New Englanders to the edge of death over and over."

Now, while I had once foolishly assumed that Rogers was merely a rough-hewn, if cunning, ranger with an eye for the main chance, I'm happy to admit that War on the Run set me straight.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Cartwright on October 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am acquainted with Lake George, and the terrain around Fort Ticonderoga. Robert Rogers is a familiar name, but I knew precious little about the rest of his career. This fascinating tale, covering his early life struggles in New Hampshire, to his continental Lewis & Clark-like ambitions, to his eventual post-Revolutionary War demise in London, provides a comprehensive, unabashedly adoring review of the father of the US Army Rangers. I was particularly impressed with the author's descriptions of Rogers' mid-winter sorties up and down a hazardous Lake George. Ross's topographical description of the Battle on Snowshoes is spot on. (I have lost many golf balls on the fourth hole precisely where the conflict hit its full stride.) Ross puts the reader into a true three-dimensional realm whereby we vividly feel the terrain, the weather, and the battle raging around us. The savagery of the times comes through from battles at Fort William Henry, Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point to the impressive raid on St. Francois and subsequent weeks of staggering retreat. Dismemberment, scalping, cannibalism, and other grotesquery shocks the modern reader, but interestingly proved valuable content for a nascent newspaper industry in colonial America. Indeed, Rogers' star was fully ascendant during the French & Indian wars, and during the global seven years war between Great Britain and France, Ross makes the case that no other soldier did more to tip the outcome in favor of the English. Through backwoods cunning, outdoors skill, Yankee daring, and true American enterprise, Robert Rogers rose from country bumpkin to the rank of British officer, a feat accomplished by no other, even George Washington.Read more ›
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By T. Crocker on June 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a well researched and vividly written book about one of the most colorful and complex characters in colonial America. I highly recommend it. The author, apparently an outdoorsman as well as an historian, brings to bear insights on Rogers's accomplishments and presents a vastly entertaining and enlightening read in the tradition of Francis Parkman. This formative period of American history deserves much more attention, and Mr. Ross has done it justice with a book that every father should like to receive this Father's Day-- or any day.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Mitchell VINE VOICE on July 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a very detailed biography about an American everyone knows a little about. Most of our knowledge comes from "Rogers' Rangers" and "Northwest Passage", the book or the movie. Mr. Ross fills in all the historical gaps.

The book, and Rogers' life, can be broken down into three phases: Rogers beginnings in New Hampshire and how he developed into an Indian fighter, the French and Indian War and his rather ignominious later years during the Amercian Revolution.

The first and last phases of the book were filled with revelations. The middle eventually got bogged down in the details. Every battle was recapped from supply to return to base. Perhaps this was because this part had the most material from which to work including Rogers' own written accounts.

Most importantly though, this is a very readable biography. Mr. Ross did well to put Rogers in perspective: he was one of the great heroes of his time (until the Revolution); he perfected a new brand of warfare merging European technology with Indian methodology; and, when he went to Europe, he was equal to Franklin as the best known American. He also picked the wrong side, albeit reluctantly, in the Revolution (from Americans' points of view) and lost all public relations advantages he had when he captured Nathan Hale.

Rogers is a rather forgotten colonial hero. Mr. Ross does well to bring him back into perspective. This biography is highly recommended.
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