100 books like The War That Made America

By Fred Anderson,

Here are 100 books that The War That Made America fans have personally recommended if you like The War That Made America. 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 Redcoats

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Endgame 1758

From my list on the Seven Years’ War.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years, I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. In the decade that followed, I worked for Parks Canada on other French colonial and Acadian sites in Atlantic Canada. Along the way and since, I wrote hundreds of articles and 21 books. Some of those books have won prizes, and the government of France honored me by making me a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes académiques.

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

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

The Seven Year’s War was much more than a few famous names and a few celebrated battles. For any who want to get into the nitty-gritty of ordinary soldiers’ lives during the Seven Years’ War—on the British side—I recommend this book. It examines the experiences of the 'redcoats' between 1755 and 1763. Brumwell wrote it for a more academic readership than Paths of Glory, but it is still very readable. It explores the British Army's distinctive society and has lots to say about the ordinary soldiers who are usually written about with vague generalities. In this study, one reads about their experiences in combat, their occasional captivity among the Indigenous peoples, the women associated with the British Army, and the fate of veteran soldiers.

By Stephen Brumwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the last decade, scholarship has highlighted the significance of the Seven Years War for the destiny of Britain's Atlantic empire. This major 2001 study offers an important perspective through a vivid and scholarly account of the regular troops at the sharp end of that conflict's bloody and decisive American campaigns. Sources are employed to challenge enduring stereotypes regarding both the social composition and military prowess of the 'redcoats'. This shows how the humble soldiers who fought from Novia Scotia to Cuba developed a powerful esprit de corps that equipped them to defy savage discipline in defence of their 'rights'.…


Book cover of The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600-1763

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Endgame 1758

From my list on the Seven Years’ War.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years, I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. In the decade that followed, I worked for Parks Canada on other French colonial and Acadian sites in Atlantic Canada. Along the way and since, I wrote hundreds of articles and 21 books. Some of those books have won prizes, and the government of France honored me by making me a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes académiques.

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

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

Some readers want to see history as well as read it. Thankfully, there are many books about the Seven Years’ War that offer loads of illustrations, both from the era and produced more recently by illustrators. René Chartrand is the author of many such books, one of which is this one about the forts of New France. The author and illustrator present in-depth information about such French forts as Chambly, St. Frédéric (Crown Point), Carillon (Ticonderoga), Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA), Ouiatenon (Quebec) and Vincennes (IN). As with all of Chartrand’s books, this one enriches our understanding of the Seven Years’ War, in this case by looking more carefully at the French side.

By René Chartrand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Forts of New France in Northeast America 1600-1763 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'New France' consisted of the area colonized and ruled by France in North America. This title takes a look at the lengthy chain of forts built by the French to guard the frontier in the American northeast, including Sorel, Chambly, St Jean, Carillon (Ticonderoga), Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA), and Vincennes. These forts were of two types: the major stone forts, and other forts made of wood and earth, all of which varied widely in style from Vauban-type elements to cabins surrounded by a stockade. Some forts, such as Chambly, looked more like medieval castles in their earliest incarnations. Rene Chartrand examines…


Book cover of Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe

A.J.B. Johnston Author Of Endgame 1758

From my list on the Seven Years’ War.

Why am I passionate about this?

For 23 years, I was a staff historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. In the decade that followed, I worked for Parks Canada on other French colonial and Acadian sites in Atlantic Canada. Along the way and since, I wrote hundreds of articles and 21 books. Some of those books have won prizes, and the government of France honored me by making me a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes académiques.

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

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

Most historians see the 1759 siege of Québec as the ultimate battle in the Seven Years’ War. The pivotal character in that real-history drama was Major General James Wolfe, who died just as the battle on the Plains of Abraham was won. The story of Wolfe (and his French counterpart Montcalm) and the titanic struggle they were involved in has been told many times. What Stephen Brumwell adds in this multiple award-winning book is a fascinating biography of the figure at the center of it all. The author follows Wolfe from childhood to death and readers don’t want to miss a thing. It’s a brilliant, fast-paced, highly readable book.

By Stephen Brumwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER: 2008 C. P. STACEY PRIZE (Best book in Canadian Military History) WINNER: 2008 DISTINGUISHED BOOK AWARD, SOCIETY OF COLONIAL WARS Ugly, gangling, and tormented by agonising illness, Major General James Wolfe was an unlikely hero. Yet in 1759, on the Plains of Abraham before Quebec, he won a battle with momentous consequences. Wolfe's victory, bought at the cost of his life, ensured that English, not French, would become the dominant language in North America. Ironically, by crippling French ambitions on this continent Wolfe paved the way for American independence from Britain. Already renowned for bold leadership, Wolfe's death at…


Book cover of The Indian World of George Washington: The First President, the First Americans, and the Birth of the Nation

William Heath Author Of William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest

From my list on the Great Lakes/Ohio Valley Frontier.

Why am I passionate about this?

William Heath has a Ph.D. in American Studies at Case Western Reserve University. He has taught American history and literature as well as creative writing at Kenyon, Transylvania, Vassar, the University of Seville, and Mount Saint Mary’s University, retiring as a professor emeritus. He has published two poetry books, The Walking Man and Steel Valley Elegy; two chapbooks, Night Moves in Ohio and Leaving Seville; three novels: The Children Bob Moses Led (winner of the Hackney Award), Devil Dancer, and Blacksnake’s Path; a work of history, William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest (winner of two Spur Awards); and a collection of interviews, Conversations with Robert Stone

William's book list on the Great Lakes/Ohio Valley Frontier

William Heath Why did William love this book?

Calloway has written a series of important books about the Great Lakes frontier, but this is a kind of capstone to his distinguished career. Building on Wiley Sword’s groundbreaking book, George Washington’s Indian Wars, Calloway discusses in detail the often overlooked importance of Indian affairs during the Washington administration. None of Washington’s biographers have adequately researched Washington’s frontier policy, which led to a horrific war for the Old Northwest (it’s almost the equivalent of discussing the LBJ presidency while leaving out the Vietnam War!). What Washington and Henry Knox, his secretary of war, thought they were doing and what was actually happening on the ground were appallingly at odds. Thanks to Calloway, this crucial dimension of the Washington administration can no longer be ignored.  

By Colin G. Calloway,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Indian World of George Washington as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

George Washington's place in the foundations of the Republic remains unrivalled. His life story-from his beginnings as a surveyor and farmer, to colonial soldier in the Virginia Regiment, leader of the Patriot cause, commander of the Continental Army, and finally first president of the United States-reflects the narrative of the nation he guided into existence. There is, rightfully, no more chronicled figure.

Yet American history has largely forgotten what Washington himself knew clearly: that the new Republic's fate depended less on grand rhetoric of independence and self-governance and more on land-Indian land. Colin G. Calloway's biography of the greatest founding…


Book cover of Calico Captive

Anna M. Aquino Author Of An Ember In Time

From my list on Christian history so amazing they sound fictional.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a huge self-proclaimed history dork. I love reading real stories of how God uses the ones that no one would expect in extraordinary ways. I love hearing how God turns horrible situations around. Even in my own manuscripts, from a historical fiction perspective, I love to immerse it in such truth that you think, “That couldn’t really happen... Could it?” I have an ongoing phrase in ministry and life that you need to take “The poo you walk through and let God turn it into fertilizer.” These book recommendations definitely do that. Bad things do happen. They don’t come from God but through Him we can overcome them.

Anna's book list on Christian history so amazing they sound fictional

Anna M. Aquino Why did Anna love this book?

This is one of my favorite books as a young child and has continued to be one of my favorite books. Based on a true story, it is about the capture of a young girl on the brink of love and womanhood. Her fight, spunk, and ability to sew are truly what help her and her family escape. I have always loved this book. I love it for its humanity and truth. I love it for its ability to take the reader and see that even in the worst circumstances, one can still find themselves and learn how to overcome.  

By Elizabeth George Speare, W.T. Mars (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Calico Captive as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

From a Newbery Medal–winning author, an “exciting novel” about a colonial girl’s experience during the French and Indian War (Saturday Review).
 
In the year 1754, the stillness of Charlestown, New Hampshire, is shattered by the terrifying cries of an Indian raid. Young Miriam Willard, on a day that had promised new happiness, finds herself instead a captive on a forest trail, caught up in the ebb and flow of the French and Indian War.
 
It is a harrowing march north. Miriam can only force herself to the next stopping place, the next small portion of food, the next icy stream…


Book cover of The Light in the Forest

Stephen Holgate Author Of Madagascar

From my list on strangers in a strange land.

Why am I passionate about this?

Strangers in a strange land – an evocative phrase that originated in “Exodus” (the one by Moses, not Leon Uris) and has echoed within my own life. As a diplomat, I lived nearly fourteen years overseas and know the particular dislocation of trying to make a new life in a country not my own. This experience forms the center of my four published novels. It’s also the theme of The Hero’s Journey a story at the heart of every culture; the hero sets off toward unknown lands and comes back transformed, as did I. Here’s my list of the five greatest novels about strangers in a strange land.

Stephen's book list on strangers in a strange land

Stephen Holgate Why did Stephen love this book?

I remember as a kid enjoying the movie based on the book.

Though fiction, the tale is inspired by the experiences of many whites captured by American Indians and raised among them. In this short, well-paced novel, True Boy, a captive of the Lenape tribe since age four, is forcibly returned to his white family. He soon yearns to return to the freedom he knew with the Lenape.

I was raised on Westerns and developed a fascination with American Indians that this story addresses well. A fine novel about those who are fated to be strangers wherever they go.

By Conrad Richter,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Light in the Forest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A beautifully illustrated edition of a novel that has enthralled young American readers for generations. It is the story of John Cameron Butler-captured as a small child in a raid on the Pennsylvania frontier by the Indian tribe Lenni-Lenape. Adopted by the great warrior Cuyloga and renamed True Son, he has spent 11 years living and thinking of himself as fully Indian. But when the tribe signs a treaty that requires them to return their white captives, 15-year-old True Son is returned against his will to the family he had long forgotten, and to a life that he no longer…


Book cover of George Croghan: Wilderness Diplomat

Jason Cherry Author Of Pittsburgh's Lost Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort

From my list on the French and Indian War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in western Pennsylvania where my dad loved history and always tried to stop at any battlefield or historic sign that happened to be within his field of vision. My mom was a passionate researcher of our family ancestry and I spent our childhood looking in cemeteries for specific names and gravestones. When I was ten years old, we joined a living history reenactment group that portrayed everyday life in the 1750s, and I was immediately hooked. I began researching about our group known as “Captain William Trent’s Company” and after almost thirty years of living and breathing summer weekends at 18th Century historic sites, the pages of Pittsburgh’s Lost Outpost: Captain Trent’s Fort came to life. I picked these five books because I want future readers to be transported like I was when I first read them.

Jason's book list on the French and Indian War

Jason Cherry Why did Jason love this book?

When I first heard about trader George Croghan, I heard many historians call him “King of the traders”. Well, this book explored the man behind the myth and brought forth to light many details not known before about Croghan, including the name of his horse. Wainwright’s attention to detail in this biography only showcased his great research, and his hard work paid off. By the time he finished this book, he had for the first time unearthed the final resting place of one of the most notorious traders of Pennsylvania during the 18th Century. 

By Nicholas B. Wainwright,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

George Croghan--land speculator, Indian trader, and prominent Indian agent--was a man of fascinating, if dubious, character whose career epitomized the history of the West before the Revolution. This study is based on Croghan's long-lost personal papers that were found by the author in an old Philadelphia attic.

Originally published in 1959.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both…


Book cover of Christopher Gist: Colonial frontiersman, explorer, and Indian agent

Jason Cherry Author Of Pittsburgh's Lost Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort

From my list on the French and Indian War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in western Pennsylvania where my dad loved history and always tried to stop at any battlefield or historic sign that happened to be within his field of vision. My mom was a passionate researcher of our family ancestry and I spent our childhood looking in cemeteries for specific names and gravestones. When I was ten years old, we joined a living history reenactment group that portrayed everyday life in the 1750s, and I was immediately hooked. I began researching about our group known as “Captain William Trent’s Company” and after almost thirty years of living and breathing summer weekends at 18th Century historic sites, the pages of Pittsburgh’s Lost Outpost: Captain Trent’s Fort came to life. I picked these five books because I want future readers to be transported like I was when I first read them.

Jason's book list on the French and Indian War

Jason Cherry Why did Jason love this book?

This book to me was my first in-depth look at an Indian agent and trader during the 1750s and it didn’t disappoint. Though Christopher Gist’s life was cut short by illness, his contribution was nonetheless remarkable and allowed me to explore my own research to all the people Gist interacted with during his lifetime. I also credit the author for making the book so easy to read for anyone learning about Christopher Gist for the first time. 

By Kenneth P. Bailey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Bailey, Kenneth P


Book cover of The Most Extraordinary Adventures of Major Robert Stobo

Jason Cherry Author Of Pittsburgh's Lost Outpost: Captain Trent's Fort

From my list on the French and Indian War.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in western Pennsylvania where my dad loved history and always tried to stop at any battlefield or historic sign that happened to be within his field of vision. My mom was a passionate researcher of our family ancestry and I spent our childhood looking in cemeteries for specific names and gravestones. When I was ten years old, we joined a living history reenactment group that portrayed everyday life in the 1750s, and I was immediately hooked. I began researching about our group known as “Captain William Trent’s Company” and after almost thirty years of living and breathing summer weekends at 18th Century historic sites, the pages of Pittsburgh’s Lost Outpost: Captain Trent’s Fort came to life. I picked these five books because I want future readers to be transported like I was when I first read them.

Jason's book list on the French and Indian War

Jason Cherry Why did Jason love this book?

When I first found this gem at a colonial market fair, I was just overjoyed to read about a figure who fought with young George Washington at the beginning of the French and Indian War. When I began reading it, it exceeded all expectations. Here was a surprise adventure saga that kept me involved until the very last page. The best part was it is all true! I remember reading it and saying, wow this story should be made into a movie. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the French and Indian War, war, and the Seven Years' War?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the French and Indian War, war, and the Seven Years' War.

The French And Indian War Explore 19 books about the French and Indian War
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The Seven Years' War Explore 13 books about the Seven Years' War