100 books like Louisbourg

By Fairfax Downey,

Here are 100 books that Louisbourg fans have personally recommended if you like Louisbourg. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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

Andrew Lipman Author Of The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast

From my list on the rise and fall of empires in North America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a born-and-bred New Englander and I teach history at Barnard College, Columbia University. I have always loved sailing and the ocean, so I’m fascinated with the early modern Age of Sail. My focus is the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic World, when the histories of the Americas, Europe, and Africa became permanently entangled. My first book, The Saltwater Frontier, won the Bancroft Prize in American History in 2016. My second book, The Life and Times of Squanto, is hitting bookshelves in Fall 2024. 

Andrew's book list on the rise and fall of empires in North America

Andrew Lipman Why did Andrew love this book?

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. 

By Fred Anderson,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Crucible of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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 and to sow the seeds of its eventual dissolution.

Beginning with a skirmish in the Pennsylvania backcountry involving an inexperienced George Washington, the Iroquois chief Tanaghrisson, and the ill-fated French emissary Jumonville, Anderson reveals a chain of events that would lead to world conflagration. Weaving together the military, economic, and…


Book cover of Washington: A Life

John Koopman III Author Of George Washington at War - 1776

From my list on a fresh look into the past.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been interested in history and in particular military history for my entire life. Since 2006 I have been a George Washington interpreter. I portray the great man in first person live presentations and in documentary film. I have devoted a great deal of time in study of him. As a result of my studies of Washington, I felt compelled to write a book about him. I wanted to capture aspects of him not covered in most books or in film. Four of the books I reviewed involve George Washington.

John's book list on a fresh look into the past

John Koopman III Why did John love this book?

I find Ron Chernow’s biography to be the most informative and comprehensive. It is quite a tome at over 800 pages, but worth the read. Chernow has fascinating insights into his character. Washington had a temper that he sought to control. Even in that, he made an impression on people. From the introduction of the book, “His contemporaries admired him not because he was a plaster saint or an empty uniform but because they sensed his unseen power.”

We see Washington develop over his life from early childhood. The loss of his father at age eleven brought him closer to his brother Lawrence, fourteen years his senior. Lawrence became a father figure to him.

After service in the French and Indian War, Washington married Martha Custis. There was true love in the marriage. She spent every winter with him throughout the eight years of the Revolution. She came with…

By Ron Chernow,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Washington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The celebrated Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of America. With a breadth and depth matched by no other one-volume life, he carries the reader through Washington's troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian Wars, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

Despite the reverence his name inspires Washington remains a waxwork to many readers, worthy but dull, a laconic man of remarkable self-control. But in this groundbreaking work Chernow revises forever the uninspiring…


Book cover of France and England in North America

Jason Born Author Of Quaker's War

From my list on the war that made America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jason has written over twenty historical novels on topics ranging from the Roman Empire to the Islamic invasion of Spain and to the spread of the Viking Age into North America. His latest series, The Long Fuse, follows a young man as he navigates the deadly conflicts of the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War in Eighteenth-Century America.

Jason's book list on the war that made America

Jason Born Why did Jason love this book?

When the deities dedicated to the history of the French and Indian War got together to recommend their own list of the best books on the war that made America, they made Francis Parkman’s multi-volume work required reading. And the good news is that even if they had not, it is worth diving into headfirst.

The French and Indian War is often overshadowed by the American and then French Revolutions that followed on its heels. Yet, neither of them would have ever happened without the completely lopsided British victory in the first. Parkman, writing in the Nineteenth Century, was among the first scholars to shed light on the immense impact wrought by the fight for control over North America in the 1750s. His work is massive as it digs into the very origins of both countries’ humble beginnings and rapid growth in the New World. But fear not! If his…

By Francis Parkman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked France and England in North America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This Library of America volume, along with its companion, presents, for the first time in compact form, all seven titles of Francis Parkman’s monumental account of France and England’s imperial struggle for dominance on the North American continent. Deservedly compared as a literary achievement to Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Parkman’s accomplishment is hardly less awesome than the explorations and adventures he so vividly describes.

Pioneers of France in the New World (1865) begins with the early and tragic settlement of the French Huguenots in Florida, then shifts to the northern reaches of the continent and…


Book cover of The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757

Scarlett Dunn Author Of Whispering Pines

From my list on to fall in love with the historical romance genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always had a passion for history and the American West in particular. From a young age, my reading reflected my passion, with a few mysteries in the mix. I didn’t read many romance novels until one day I was flying to another city and I forgot to pack a book. My assistant drove me to the airport and she pulled a historical romance novel from her handbag. It was her favorite and she was an expert on romance novels. Before my plane landed, I was hooked—and I’m still hooked. That started my career as a historical romance novelist.

Scarlett's book list on to fall in love with the historical romance genre

Scarlett Dunn Why did Scarlett love this book?

This one will probably surprise a few people, but it is a historical romance. For those who haven’t read the book, please know that the movie starring Daniel Daydream- Lewis does not accurately parallel the book. I chose this novel because it is an American story with American characters, published in 1826. Cora is another very strong character, certainly ahead of her time and admired by Hawkeye, who was also an unusual character for the period. I enjoyed the historical details intertwined with fiction. Definitely worth your time to read.

By James Fenimore Cooper,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Last of the Mohicans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Book cover of Louisbourg : The Phoenix Fortress

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future

From my list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years I was lucky enough to work in the 18th century. Well, as close as is possible for someone born in the 20th century. That happened because I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg, where I passed many hours studying a million pages of documentation and over 500 maps and plans of the long-ago society. That research allowed me to write many books and articles—for both academics and the general public—about the onetime French stronghold and bustling seaport. I found the work fascinating, and I credit my time at the Fortress of Louisbourg for making me the historian and writer I became.

A.J.B.'s book list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

This book is a true marriage of images and words. The photographer and the writer worked closely together to establish the central storylines they wanted to communicate — under the themes of seaport, fortress, and community. They then chose the best photos to illustrate and enliven the evocative text. Reardon’s photos are outstanding. They highlight the many moods, colors, and characteristics of the renowned Canadian national historic site. First published in 1990, the book remains a wonderful photographic portrayal of the Fortress of Louisbourg and its costumed animators.

By A.J.B. Johnston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louisbourg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A wonderful photographic look at the fortress accompanied by text that illuminates its history.


Book cover of Louisbourg Portraits

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future

From my list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years I was lucky enough to work in the 18th century. Well, as close as is possible for someone born in the 20th century. That happened because I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg, where I passed many hours studying a million pages of documentation and over 500 maps and plans of the long-ago society. That research allowed me to write many books and articles—for both academics and the general public—about the onetime French stronghold and bustling seaport. I found the work fascinating, and I credit my time at the Fortress of Louisbourg for making me the historian and writer I became.

A.J.B.'s book list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

Using a wide range of original sources — diaries, letters, official correspondence, criminal cases, and maps and plans — Christopher Moore does a terrific job in this book of presenting the world of 18th-century Louisbourg. He restores to vivid life five people who actually walked the streets of the colony over two and a half centuries ago. Through the dramatically different stories of those five individuals, Moore offers innumerable insights into what society and culture was like in the French colonial town. First published in 1982, the book won Canada’s Governor General’s prize for best non-fiction book of the year.

By Christopher Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louisbourg Portraits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the Fortress of Louisbourg on the coast of Cape Breton Island to visit the reconstruction of part of the original eighteenth-century fort and town. Using the same records, diaries, letters, and charts that were used to recreate the site, Moore restores to vivid life five people who actually walked the streets of the colony over two hundred years ago. First published in 1982, this bestselling book of fascinating true stories represents what historian Desmond Morton calls “social history as it should be written.”


Book cover of French Fortresses in North America 1535-1763: Québec, Montréal, Louisbourg and New Orleans

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future

From my list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years I was lucky enough to work in the 18th century. Well, as close as is possible for someone born in the 20th century. That happened because I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg, where I passed many hours studying a million pages of documentation and over 500 maps and plans of the long-ago society. That research allowed me to write many books and articles—for both academics and the general public—about the onetime French stronghold and bustling seaport. I found the work fascinating, and I credit my time at the Fortress of Louisbourg for making me the historian and writer I became.

A.J.B.'s book list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

As fascinating as Louisbourg’s history is all by itself, it is also important to place it in a wider context. René Chartrand provides just such a comparative look in this well-illustrated book about four major French colonial centers, including Louisbourg. Readers are able to grasp the imperial significance of the French colonial stronghold on Cape Breton Island (then known as Ile Royale) and compare it to the brief histories of three other North American towns: Québec, Montréal, and New Orleans.

By René Chartrand, Donato Spedaliere. (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked French Fortresses in North America 1535-1763 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This title provides a detailed examination of the defenses of the three largest fortified cities in Canada - Quebec, Montreal and Louisbourg - and also covers New Orleans in America. Quebec City is the best known and most impressive of the sites covered, and was the strongest of the fortresses of New France: besieged twice by the British (1690 and 1759) and once by the French (1760), it was captured in 1759 by General James Wolfe. Montreal was also strongly fortified and its strategic location ensured its prominence in the fur trade early on. Fortress Louisbourg was built as a…


Book cover of Louisbourg, From Its Foundation To Its Fall, 1713-1758

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future

From my list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years I was lucky enough to work in the 18th century. Well, as close as is possible for someone born in the 20th century. That happened because I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg, where I passed many hours studying a million pages of documentation and over 500 maps and plans of the long-ago society. That research allowed me to write many books and articles—for both academics and the general public—about the onetime French stronghold and bustling seaport. I found the work fascinating, and I credit my time at the Fortress of Louisbourg for making me the historian and writer I became.

A.J.B.'s book list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

Not many history books remain in print — and highly useful — more than a century after publication. Yet this book by John Stewart McLennan, first published in 1918, is one. His narrative of the rise and fall of Louisbourg remains a compelling and fact-based history that continues to satisfy many readers, especially those primarily interested in Louisbourg as a pawn in the game of imperial struggle between France and Great Britain. To be sure, McLennan’s book is light on the social, cultural, and religious history of Louisbourg, but there are lots of other authors who have explored those themes in more recent decades. 

By John Stewart McLennan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Louisbourg, From Its Foundation To Its Fall, 1713-1758 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Louisbourg, From Its Foundation To Its Fall, 1713-1758 has been considered by academicians and scholars of great significance and value to literature. This forms a part of the knowledge base for future generations. So that the book is never forgotten we have represented this book in a print format as the same form as it was originally first published. Hence any marks or annotations seen are left intentionally to preserve its true nature.


Book cover of Aspects of Louisbourg: Essays on the history of an eighteenth-century French community in North America

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future

From my list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years I was lucky enough to work in the 18th century. Well, as close as is possible for someone born in the 20th century. That happened because I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg, where I passed many hours studying a million pages of documentation and over 500 maps and plans of the long-ago society. That research allowed me to write many books and articles—for both academics and the general public—about the onetime French stronghold and bustling seaport. I found the work fascinating, and I credit my time at the Fortress of Louisbourg for making me the historian and writer I became.

A.J.B.'s book list on the history of Canada’s fortress of Louisbourg

A.J.B. Johnston Why did A.J.B. love this book?

For a wide range of scholarly — yet highly readable — essays on the onetime French stronghold, Aspects of Louisbourg offers a great starting point. It’s an eclectic collection of fifteen essays by ten different authors. The focus in each paper varies, with some writers examining economic or social themes, and others looking at military history. From the rugged life of 18th-century fishers to gardens and material culture, to the complexities of the garrison or recent commemorative activities, the essays paint a comprehensive picture of both French colonial Louisbourg and what in the 20th century became the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada.

By Eric Krause (editor), Carol Corbin (editor), William O’Shea (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aspects of Louisbourg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aspects of Louisbourg is an eclectic collection of essays that considers the economic, social, military, and commemorative events in the lives of the people of Louisbourg. From the rugged life of an 18th -century fishing family, to gardens and material culture, to today's commemorative activities, these essays paint a picture of the life of Louisbourg.


Book cover of Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation

Shirin M. Rai Author Of Depletion: The Human Costs of Caring

From my list on social reproduction and the costs of maintenance of life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an academic and writer based in the UK. I have always wondered why capitalism claims to know the price of everything but the costs of nothing, unless it gets in the way of increased profit. I have been puzzling over gender inequalities in the political economy of our global society for many years now. This is not only an academic interest but a personal one; the rich buy in the labour of others and the poor get depleted more and faster. I wonder what our world would feel like if this labour of life-making was equally distributed, and valued as it should be.

Shirin's book list on social reproduction and the costs of maintenance of life

Shirin M. Rai Why did Shirin love this book?

A tour de force! This is an amazing book that takes a historical view to explain the story of women’s exclusion from public life and the physical and epistemic violence they experienced through the witch trials in Europe.

I would never have put these two elements together–bringing witch trials into view to help us understand the exclusion of women from the political economy of everyday life. This, Federici argues, led to the restructuring of household relations and the role of women in them, which in turn reflected the changing needs of society with the rise of capitalism.

I found this book illuminating and inspiring as it also tells us about the struggles of women against the shifts in their roles. 

By Silvia Federici,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Caliban and the Witch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A groundbreaking work . . . Federici has become a crucial figure for . . . a new generation of feminists' Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room

A cult classic since its publication in the early years of this century, Caliban and the Witch is Silvia Federici's history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages through the European witch-hunts, the rise of scientific rationalism and the colonisation of the Americas, it gives a panoramic account of the often horrific violence with which the unruly human material of pre-capitalist…


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