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Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763

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Book by Fowler, William M.


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30 review for Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jerome

    A well-researched and well-written history of the Seven Years’ War in North America. Fowler covers a vast subject in a way that is easy to comprehend, and does a fine job putting the war into its global and European contexts. Fowler demonstrates an easy command of the subject matter, his writing is gripping and his rendition of the key battles is vivid. Most of the book is focused on the perspective of the British and French, and his treatment of the Canadians and Indians is adequate if not as i A well-researched and well-written history of the Seven Years’ War in North America. Fowler covers a vast subject in a way that is easy to comprehend, and does a fine job putting the war into its global and European contexts. Fowler demonstrates an easy command of the subject matter, his writing is gripping and his rendition of the key battles is vivid. Most of the book is focused on the perspective of the British and French, and his treatment of the Canadians and Indians is adequate if not as in-depth. He clearly explains each side’s objectives and war effort. He vividly describes the personalities involved, the importance of each development, and the the effect of such factors as geography. An informative and interesting history. Fowler tells this history well, but his book is basically fact-based, with little memorable or compelling about it, especially if you’ve read about the war elsewhere.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    In my quest to become an expert on the French and Indian War, I think I have found the definitive source. Fowler not only presents a very readable text, he also offers a time line, a list of characters (in alphabetical order) with bios, and interesting illustrations. The only thing I could ask for that he didn't present would be more maps and perhaps more color. (Perhaps the hard cover edition has more color?). Overall, a great source and an interesting read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jedishampoo

    This was a pretty straightforward history book with a focus on the American theater of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War). It thankfully started with some of the "pre-war war" events, like Major Washington's pre-emptive attack on the French. The book gave me a decent grasp of the war and had some interesting details, especially about individual battles such as the sieges of Quebec and Montreal. At other times I was confused by lack of detail or generalizations, especially in regards to This was a pretty straightforward history book with a focus on the American theater of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War). It thankfully started with some of the "pre-war war" events, like Major Washington's pre-emptive attack on the French. The book gave me a decent grasp of the war and had some interesting details, especially about individual battles such as the sieges of Quebec and Montreal. At other times I was confused by lack of detail or generalizations, especially in regards to the Native Americans and the war in Europe, though I can understand the need for less detail in the latter considering the setting of this book. Overall, though, it did help me understand the war a lot better. :)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Don LeClair

    A very readable book on an era that doesn't get a lot of attention. He makes an interesting case that rather than being a purely North American conflict, it was the really the first world war. The book also provides excellent coverage of what happens to the Native Americans, during this era and how much harder it got for them after this.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisbeth

    A good overview of the French and Indian War - maps are a little lacking - I would recommend this book for a newcomer to the field.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    An excellent read about the French and Indian War/The Seven Years War.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tony Heyl

    I picked up Empires at War after visiting the Heinz History center in Pittsburgh and seeing the display on the French and Indian War. Part of the interest to me is how it is connected so much to Pittsburgh, and it's fun to not only notice the location but see names like Pitt, Braddock and Duquesne which become important places in Southwest PA. This book is filled with information, which is good and not so great. I liked learning about the war, but it felt very dry at times and I would have to sha I picked up Empires at War after visiting the Heinz History center in Pittsburgh and seeing the display on the French and Indian War. Part of the interest to me is how it is connected so much to Pittsburgh, and it's fun to not only notice the location but see names like Pitt, Braddock and Duquesne which become important places in Southwest PA. This book is filled with information, which is good and not so great. I liked learning about the war, but it felt very dry at times and I would have to shake my head and think "wait, why are they fighting again?" The war itself was extremely bloody and intense and so felt very stupid to me. That's not that author's fault though, it just often made me scratch my head and wonder what the point of all this death was. With such a long war, it's interesting to see how many players change do to death and just internal politics in England and France. It shows that politics matter and local issues can have global implications. The tension between Parliament and the kings were interesting. This really was the first World War with battles and consequences not just in America and Europe, but also in India, Africa and the Pacific. The tactics of war are also a good read because they just couldn't happen today with modern technology. The Indians also are well represented here, as should happen given the war, and they aren't just put out there as dimwitted savages but warriors who are at the same level as the French and English with similar economic goals but a very different culture as societies and warfare. In fact, reading this book makes it clear why a native people would find the European style of warfare so silly. That said, the book has no one narrative that grabs your attention throughout. There is so much to discuss that it sometimes feels more like a recap of many events without making enough of a connection with the reader. My interest waned after just a couple chapters. It's worth the read for the learning experience, but I left feeling glad I was done with it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Symmons

    I have long been a serious follower of our American History and find myself interested in some of the more obscure time periods and events that shaped our country. This book covers one of those periods--what we commonly call the French and Indian or the Seven Years War... though the time over which the troubles occurred between Great Britain and France for control of North America lasted far longer than seven years... a fact which Mr, Fowler points out. One of the most significant things which h I have long been a serious follower of our American History and find myself interested in some of the more obscure time periods and events that shaped our country. This book covers one of those periods--what we commonly call the French and Indian or the Seven Years War... though the time over which the troubles occurred between Great Britain and France for control of North America lasted far longer than seven years... a fact which Mr, Fowler points out. One of the most significant things which he tells us in that this was, in fact, the first world war fought more than a century and a half before the diastrous and catastrophic inferno which held Europe captive in the early 20th century. Truly, all the major powers... Germany, Russia, Austria and others were indirectly involved as allies of one side or the other though not as combatants on our Continent. The author pulls no punches in his truthful if often scathing depiction of the leaders on both sides, both in the political arena and on the battlefield. I found it fascinating to see and read about Major Robert Rogers (of Northwest Passage fame), Gen'ls Montcalm, Wolfe, Amherst, and many others whom I had seen depicted on the screen including some real life examples upon which the characters in J.F.Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans" were based. All in all, my only critique is that like many grandiose narratives of an event as large scale as this one I found myself confused by names and titles, especially on the French side. For history buffs and those interested in this time period and how it helped shape us and lead us toward the path to revolution, I would recommend "Empires at War" highly.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rex

    Though largely overlooked by historical standards, the French and Indian War was a key part of the Seven Years War involving all the major European powers. In Empires at War, William Fowler will convince you that -- with fighting in Europe, America, Africa, India, and the Caribbean -- this was, indeed, the first world war. My keen interest in this "Wilderness War" probably caused me to bump the rating up a notch. After all, I can look out my office window and see the staging area for some of the Though largely overlooked by historical standards, the French and Indian War was a key part of the Seven Years War involving all the major European powers. In Empires at War, William Fowler will convince you that -- with fighting in Europe, America, Africa, India, and the Caribbean -- this was, indeed, the first world war. My keen interest in this "Wilderness War" probably caused me to bump the rating up a notch. After all, I can look out my office window and see the staging area for some of the fighting, where troops landed at Alexandria and General Braddock began construction of his famous road. (Who among the thousands who travel the road daily know that Braddock and his troops spent weeks building it for an attack on Fort Duquesne at present-day Pittsburgh? Or that Braddock and a young George Washington were ambushed a couple of miles outside the fort, and Braddock is now buried somewhere beneath his road?) Those interested in this period will find a complete account of the events in North America, as well as enough of the worldwide conflict to see the true motivations and pressures facing the British and French commanders. For that, it deserves 3 or 4 stars. However, the account is largely fact-based with little to keep non-history buffs awake... and thus no fifth star from me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    A very readable summary of a complex piece of American history. The most interesting aspect of this chapter of American history is its foreshadowing of the coming Revolutionary War. The colonists tolerated the British presence as a means of protecting the colonies' ever expanding frontiers. Once the borders were settled as a result of the peace made between the French and British (everything to the east of the Mississippi would from then on be British controlled), the highly politicized colonies A very readable summary of a complex piece of American history. The most interesting aspect of this chapter of American history is its foreshadowing of the coming Revolutionary War. The colonists tolerated the British presence as a means of protecting the colonies' ever expanding frontiers. Once the borders were settled as a result of the peace made between the French and British (everything to the east of the Mississippi would from then on be British controlled), the highly politicized colonies just stopped needing the protection of the imperial army. The British crown's imposition of various taxes on the colonies following the war ignited the colonies. The taxes were a direct result of Britain's funding of the French and Indian War. Also of note is the observation that this was really the first true "world war." Multiple countries were belligerents and theaters of war were present on four continents. The European powers sought to expand and consolidate their empires in every corner, fighting in the West Indies, West Africa, India, North America, the Philippines, and on the European continent. England emerged mostly victorious, with consolidations of power in various areas. The cost was high, though, and within 15 years of concluding the Seven Years' War, England's already strained military would be tested, and defeated, by the same colonies they had fought to retain.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    William M. Fowler Jr. is a scholar, teacher and author who has produced a highly readable history of the conflict which reverberated far from the North American colonies. As Fowler recounts, one of the more interesting aspects of the war is how it the shooting between Colonial-British militia, led by George Washington, and the French in the Ohio valley sparked the conflict which eventually led to British control of Canada. This conflict is not only preceded the Revolution by twenty years, it fig William M. Fowler Jr. is a scholar, teacher and author who has produced a highly readable history of the conflict which reverberated far from the North American colonies. As Fowler recounts, one of the more interesting aspects of the war is how it the shooting between Colonial-British militia, led by George Washington, and the French in the Ohio valley sparked the conflict which eventually led to British control of Canada. This conflict is not only preceded the Revolution by twenty years, it figured heavily in its creation. The British army, seen as the guiding force of the colonial militias in the 1750's, was not appreciated by colonists in the 1770's who had nothing more to fear from a French invasion from Canada, and worse yet, became seen as an oppressive presence for enforcing the increasingly irksome taxes imposed in part to defray the costs of defeating the old French enemy. This book is a great source of learning how the colonies and the mother country had interacted positively on military matters.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Hatfield

    A decent accounting of the war. This account of the French and Indian war is one of the more suckable ones out there. Delves in the details while at the same time giving you a bit of background. Although the authors style could be considered cold you have to remember that this is a book more concerned with the facts and actions than the stories. It is good for what it is.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Actually a 4 star book, with one star deducted as I feel the beginning of each chapter should have a map detailing the area of operations. Other than that it is well researched, and a bit eye opening in spots as to relations with the native tribes.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ned Leffingwell

    This is a nice account of what the author refers to as the first world war. He does a good job of describing the code of honor that was present at the time. All aspects of the war are dealt with in a fairly concise manner.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Decent book about the French and Indian war.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Charles Cummings

    It had some potential, but failed to deliver. It wasn't detailed enough and the writing was a bit haphazard.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    Good history of the French and Indian War. I didn't know that George Washington had a major role in starting the thing. new vocab. peculations

  18. 5 out of 5

    Iain

    A well written book about the French & Indian War, covers the French side better than most. A well written book about the French & Indian War, covers the French side better than most.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Very Good read. Probably a good starting point for a person interested in diving into this deep subject.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark Levandoski

    Good general overview of this time period. Fleshes out some of the locations visited growing up in NY State.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Terrance Yount

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brian Hamilton

  23. 5 out of 5

    Todoran Ioan Florin

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lucchesi

  25. 4 out of 5

    David

  26. 4 out of 5

    Phill

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joseph burrell

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ray Sarnacki

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt Crawford

  30. 4 out of 5

    john

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