Crucible of War

By Fred Anderson,

Book cover of Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766

Book description

In this vivid and compelling narrative, the Seven Years' War–long seen as a mere backdrop to the American Revolution–takes on a whole new significance. Relating the history of the war as it developed, Anderson shows how the complex array of forces brought into conflict helped both to create Britain’s empire…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Crucible of War as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The Seven Years’ War is obscure in the American historical imagination: if it’s remembered at all, it’s as a hazy, unimportant flintlocks-and-tomahawks event.

In this gripping, masterful narrative, Fred Anderson leaves his reader with no doubt of just how momentous this conflict was. He examines imperial, colonial, and indigenous actors to explain how the French were expelled from North America and how the war’s aftermath was a catalyst for both Native and colonial resistance to British rule.

Arguably the first world war, it could also be called the war that made America. 

This book is indispensable reading for those who want to grasp the great sweep of events during the Seven Years’ War in North America (better known to some as the French and Indian War). Anderson’s book has a rich and vivid narrative, which is all the more remarkable because the story he presents can be complex. He begins with a skirmish in the Pennsylvania backcountry, and soon moves on to reveal the various chains of events in different parts of the continent that ended in a pivotal world conflagration. Anderson skillfully weaves together the military, economic, and political motives of…

From A.J.B.'s list on the Seven Years’ War.

Crucible of War is a readable, modern-day classic. It is unparalleled at teasing out the details, causes, and ultimate effects of the French & Indian War. It is terrific at fleshing out hundreds of colorful characters in relatable terms so that we may appreciate the struggles overcome and victories won. Crucible of War makes it easy to put yourself in our forebears’ shoes.

From Jason's list on the war that made America.

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