Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763 Hardcover – January 1, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$9.00 $0.18

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Most histories of the Seven Years' War focus on either the European or the North American theatre of the war. William Fowler's Empires at War is original, and praiseworthy, because he troubles to set the North American conflict in the European context. Bravo! Written in lively and engaging prose, Empires at War tells the story of what Fowler calls the "first world war." By keeping one foot in the North American wilderness and the other in the courts of Europe, Fowler makes a strong claim for the critical importance of early Canadian history to the history of the world. Fowler is also to be praised for the prominent role he assigns to the First Nations of eastern North America, who fought according to their own agendas and not merely as French or British auxiliaries. A third strength of this work is to found in Fowler's willingness to shatter myths. For example, many American historians have chosen to ignore George Washington's shameful conduct at Jumonville Glen, or they have looked for excuses for it. Fowler, to his credit, lays the blame right where it belongs: "It remains an open question why Washington felt compelled to attack a sleeping camp without warning at a time when two nations were at peace." Fowler is particularly good at fleshing out all of his characters: General Jeffrey Amherst is ruthless and brutal; James Wolfe nervous and complaining; the Marquis de Montcalm pessimistic and defeatist. The Seven Years’ War led directly to the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the rise of Great Britain as a 19th-century superpower. It is vitally important that we learn more about these connections, and Fowler's Empires at War is a great place to start. --William Newbigging

From Publishers Weekly

In this solid narrative history of a once neglected conflict, historian Fowler, author of The Baron of Beacon Hill: A Biography of John Adams, glances occasionally at the European and Caribbean theaters of this "first world war," but concentrates on the North American operations that determined Britain's victory over France in the struggle for imperial supremacy. The outcome, he makes clear, was a foregone conclusion given the British colonies' vast population and economic base in comparison with French Canada, British control of the seas, the high priority Prime Minister William Pitt assigned to the conquest of Canada and the indifference the people of Paris felt toward its "few acres of snow." But the French and their Indian allies fought well under competent commanders, administering bloody defeats to the redcoats and colonial militias until they were swamped by superior British numbers and logistics. Fowler's lucid account details the strategic, political and personal dynamics behind the campaigning and conveys the color and drama of this arduous struggle, in which the genteel etiquette of 18th-century warfare sometimes gave way to massacre and counter-massacre and the harsh wilderness terrain reduced combatants to starvation and cannibalism. The result is a judicious, well-paced and engaging introduction to a turning point in American and world history. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books; Original edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802714110
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802714114
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Matlock on February 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The French and Indian War of 1754 to 1763 is one of the historically ignored wars. It is completely overshadowed by the Revolutionary War fought a decade or so later. It's nice to see a book that puts this war in its proper perspective as a precursor to the Revolution. It served as a training ground for the officers (such as Washington), it established the British in Canada, it set up the French as allies of the United States in the Revolutionary War.

This book is well researched and exceedingly well written. It covers the nine years and wide expanse of the war in a manner that is easily comprehendable and understandable. He relates the activities taking place in the United States to what was happening around the rest of the world where the English and French were fighting.
Comment 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Fowler shows that France neglected French Canada to its own detriment. While the French government persistently ignored pleas for money and resources (Voltaire said famously: France should not waste its time on "a few acres of snow"), the British, especially under William Pitt, were manic about winning the North American war. Ironically, the British victory laid the foundations of the American Revolution as the British were bitter that American assistance was negligible even though it was to the benefit of the colonists, while the Americans were resentful of these British demands for men and money.

Fowler very clearly and ably describes the situations, personalities, and geography of the North American theater of the Seven-Years War. But along with this detail, this book very badly needs maps of what Fowler describes. They are essential items for Fowler's emphasis on describing the geography of the conflicts and its impact on the outcome.
Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
In his introduction, Fowler states, that the French and Indian War was the first world war. I would most defiantly agree with this statement. The French and Indian War went far beyond the continent of America. Battles, although on a smaller scale, occurred at the same time on the contents of Africa, Asia, and the India sub-continent. The numbers of troops, ships, and of course money were considered astronomical in those days.

As he clearly demonstrates in his book the amount of land, wealth, and potential of controlling America were the key factors in causing the war. Fowler integrates the politics of the Native Americas, English (and the colonists), and the French astonishingly well. He lays out clearly the goal of his side and how the various factions attempted to achieve those ends. From blunders, the surrendering of Fort Necessity, to successes, the Battle of Quebec, Fowler covers all aspects superbly.

Overall an excellent read and highly recommend and readable. I would just like to comment that here one can see the United States' gradual climb to the top of the world power food-chain; an event that would culminate at the end of World War II.
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I really tried to like this book. The topic seemed fascinating: a little known war that was, in fact, of huge significance, and, in the author's words, the first truly world war. The French and Indian War clearly set the stage for the American Revolution, even involving some of the same cast of characters ... somewhat analogously to the way World War I set the stage for World War II. Fowler writes about everything accurately (so far as I can tell) and comprehensively. So why was I not satisfied with this book? I've been trying to put my finger on it. I would say that the reading was just one fact following another, with very little to get emotionally involved in. It could simply be that Fowler, however good an historian he may be, is simply not the greatest writer. But let me suggest a more generous explanation: The subject of this long war may just be too big for such a relatively short book (290 pages).

Contrast it with "Almost a Miracle" by John Ferling, about the Revolutionary War. The material is similar, and the wars of equal length. But what a pleasure it was to read Ferling's book. Could the reason be simply that, coming in at 575 pages, Ferling's book had sufficient room to provide the colorful detail?
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent display of how the French and Indian war fits into a European context. The only reason I would not give it five stars is that it loses the global context that is really essential to the war. Fowler covers not only the crucial Indian involvement but the sheer hopelessness of a French Victory. He clearly lays out how the war unfolded and what each side had to gain. He shows how the British reorganize their systems in America and bring about an eventual victory. The British victory is put in the context of what it means for the American Revolution a little over a decade away.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good substance...horrible editing. The substance of this work is excellent. The more in-depth "Crucible of War" by Fred Anderson is still the best overall work on the subject, but "Empires at War" is a good, concise complement. Its strength is placing the French and Indian War in the context of what the author terms the real First World War (although others have argued that title belongs to the earlier War of Spanish Succession).

The weakness is in the editing, specifically that related, apparently, to converting to Kindle format. I don't know what the exact process is, but it looks like the result of an OCR scan of a hard copy work that is not subsequently reviewed for errors. Dates are messed up, either obviously wrong numbers (1783 instead of 1763) or really strange ones (i663...which is repeated several times). There are words that are hyphenated in the middle of a sentence, while two distinct words are shown as one....errors that a normal spell check would have highlighted had that been done. Finally, the graphics and maps are too blurry. Even when enlarged they do not sharpen up and are essentially worthless. Annoyances that detract from an otherwise solid work.
1 Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews