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Don't Tread on Me: A 400-Year History of America at War, from Indian Fighting to Terrorist Hunting Paperback – November 27, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There is something in this iconoclastic book to offend just about everyone. Crocker, a journalist and former political speechwriter, seems to delight in poking fun at a wide variety of targets in his survey of U.S. military conflicts from the colonial period to the present: Native Americans were savage, merciless barbarians; in the War of Independence, British generals were timid playboys, and many American patriots fought to protect their right to smuggle; Eisenhower was a cautious, political general who should have pushed American forces further east to limit Soviet domination. The one constant object of Crocker's admiration is the prowess of the ordinary American fighting man, portrayed by Crocker as tough, disciplined, and able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances on the battlefield. This isn't a scholarly work, and specialists could cringe at Crocker's sweeping generalizations and hyperbole. But laymen who wish to gain a general acquaintance with America's military history might appreciate Crocker's breezy narrative and irreverant style. Jay Freeman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A rousing crash course on the U.S. military tradition.”
-National Review

“The best single volume I’ve found paying tribute to the American military is Don’t Tread on Me, a sweeping, fast-paced four-hundred-year history of America at war.”
—David Limbaugh, nationally syndicated columnist

“In witty and irreverent prose, author H. W. Crocker III provides a broad survey of America’s martial history. . . . Don’t Tread on Me deftly illuminates the full spectrum of America’s rich military traditions.”
—New York Sun

“A lively popular history of Americans at war. . . . [Don’t Tread on Me] fills gaps left by the grand narrative of American military history.”
Washington Times

“H. W. Crocker’s history of America’s wars is a rarity: a controversial and absorbing read about a crucial topic, the role that the military has played in shaping America’s past. I recommend it highly.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (November 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400053641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400053643
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If more historians covered their subject matter the way Harry Crocker does, perhaps today's younger generation wouldn't suffer from the historical "amnesia" that afflicts it. Fast-paced, stirring, and thoroughly researched, "Don't Tread on Me" is at once moving and action-packed. Painting a 400-year panoramic picture of the broad sweep of military history is difficult, but Crocker does it with bold and detailed strokes. This is a must-read.
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Format: Hardcover
I presume H.W. Crocker III wrote his crackerjack book for many reasons, one of which must be to set the record -- and the ranters and ravers -- straight. While one is tempted to ignore the shocking errors of some off-the-mark critics, here are the facts, as Crocker lays out in detail:

(1) "Desert Storm" was not incorrectly labeled "Desert Saber." The fact is the book rightly says that "Desert Saber" was the land component of "Desert Storm."

(2) Chief Joseph was, in fact, bested by General Nelson Miles rather than General Oliver Howard. After all, Chief Joseph surrendered to Nelson Miles, and no one else.

Everyone is entitled to disagree with Crocker's POV, which is, after all, boldly challenging much conventional wisdom. But critics ought not resort to glaring errors in an attempt to point out purported mistakes. This book should be an important part of an open -- and honest -- conversation about our nation's historic legacy and America's place in the world.
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Format: Hardcover
Freedom isn't free, and whether it was at Valley Forge or Pearl Harbor, the United States has had to fight for the right to remain an exceptional nation. H.W. Crocker's story is a great tribute to the men and women who have served in uniform and defended our borders. Needless to say, in these uncertain times, "Don't Tread on Me" is an important reminder that we Americans cannot take our freedoms for granted.
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Format: Hardcover
Harry Crocker has written a very interesting and compelling history. The book gives us a very effective overview of how Americans have gone to war over the past several centuries. I highly recommend it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This great book should strike fear into those who wish Americans harm. Over the past couple of centuries there has been no greater enemy than America. Harry Crocker has given us a marvelous view of our major military campaigns complete with the miscues and faulty judgments that have for the most part worked out miraculously in our favor. What the politicians dreamed (or screwed) up, the American fighting man's tenacity and valor (along with darn good weapons) have pulled off. This book should be in our schools! This is how (and what)history should be taught. Buy it, read it, tell your friends. It's an easy, enjoyable read. Well written, witty, and yes, politically incorrect (I've always thought that a redundant phrase). This is a book for your library, to pass on to kids and grandkids who are for the most part subjected to bowlderized versions of America's greatness.
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Format: Hardcover
Crocker makes a potentially dry discussion of tactics and details into a fascinating and efficient read. One comes away with a newfound respect for the art of historical writing; that effective writers like Crocker do exist to inform and to entertain without wasted words. I encountered no heavy eyelids in this read as I have in so many other historical treatises. I'm looking forward to Crocker's next effort.
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Format: Hardcover
DON'T TREAD ON ME: A 400-YEAR HISTORY OF AMERICA AT WAR, FROM INDIAN FIGHTING TO TERRORIST HUNTING is one of the most sweeping military histories in print: it comes from a journalist who offers a close analysis of America's military over the past four hundred years, contrasting wars, strategy, ideology and methodology across the decades. From current insights on why a civil war in Iraq needn't be a U.S. disaster to how 1886 justified Southern succession in the 19th century, many eye-opening discussions arm DON'T TREAD ON ME and make it a top pick not just for general-interest and military collections, but for college-level classrooms debating American military and political policies.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. Easy read. I read it as an Iraq War vet less than a year after my return from a tour in Ramadi, Iraq. It really put things in perspective, especially since I was dealing with all the questions post war while attending a liberal college. It helped me to understand why I'd actually been in Iraq and why the wars were going the way they were going in AFG and IRQ.
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