The best French and Indian War books 📚

Browse the best books on the French and Indian War as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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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

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

By Fred Anderson

Why this book?

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 the list:

The best books on the Seven Years’ War in North America

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Book cover of The War That Made America

The War That Made America

By Fred Anderson

Why this book?

For any who might feel that Anderson’s 900-page Crucible of War might be a bit too long, the historian thoughtfully produced this 382-page book on the same topic. There’s less detail, obviously, but Anderson still covers essentially the same ground and does so once again in highly readable fashion. It’s a journey in which Anderson explains how the conflict destroyed the French empire in North America, overturned the balance of power on two continents, altered the roles of Indigenous peoples, and contributed toward what a generation later would become the American Revolution. The book is well illustrated.

From the list:

The best books on the Seven Years’ War in North America

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Book cover of A History of the American Revolution

A History of the American Revolution

By John R. Alden

Why this book?

If you want to read one comprehensive history of the Revolutionary War from start to finish, this is the book you should read. Alden has packed in all the important events and personalities from the French and Indian War through George Washington’s inauguration. It is the best, most richly detailed source I know for the remarkable story of how thirteen colonies defeated the world’s most powerful military and achieved something unprecedented  – an independent democratic republic.

From the list:

The best books on the American Revolution from an American historian

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Book cover of General George Washington: A Military Life

General George Washington: A Military Life

By Edward G. Lengel

Why this book?

Washington historian Edward G. Lengel's book focuses only on his life in the military. George Washington begins his military career at age 21 in 1753 with the colonial rank of Major. He was sent by the governor of Virginia to deliver a letter to the French commander of a fort that was on property contested by the King of England. Washington and a small party traveled the wilds of the Ohio Country, modern-day western Pennsylvania. In this epic journey, young Washington almost loses his life twice. Washington is later involved in the first skirmish of the French and Indian War.…

From the list:

The most transformative history books with a fresh look into the past

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Book cover of Braddock's Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution

Braddock's Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution

By David L. Preston

Why this book?

Every author, when writing nonfiction about a particular time period, always hopes that one day readers will read their book and will declare it the best book written on the subject. For me, Dr. Preston’s book was the “mic drop” about a certain disaster in the backwoods of western Pennsylvania in the summer of 1755 that changed the life of a young George Washington and history altogether. His vast research on the battle inspired me to uncover every detail as I began my own journey in writing my first nonfiction book.

From the list:

The best books about the French and Indian War time period

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

Christopher Gist: Colonial frontiersman, explorer, and Indian agent

By Kenneth P. Bailey

Why 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. 

From the list:

The best books about the French and Indian War time period

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