On July 9, 1755, British and colonial troops under the command of General Edward Braddock suffered a crushing defeat to French and Native American enemy forces in Ohio Country. Known as the Battle of the Monongahela, the loss altered the trajectory of the Seven Years' War in America, escalating the fighting and shifting the balance of power. An unprecedented rout of a modern and powerful British army by a predominantly Indian force, Monongahela shocked the colonial world - and planted the first seeds of an independent American consciousness. The culmination of a failed attempt to capture Fort Duquesne from the French, Braddock's Defeat was a pivotal moment in American and world history. While the defeat is often blamed on blundering and arrogance on the part of General Braddock - who was wounded in battle and died the next day - David Preston's gripping new work argues that such a claim diminishes the victory that Indian and French forces won by their superior discipline and leadership. In fact the French Canadian officer Captain Beaujeu had greater tactical skill, reconnaissance, and execution, and his Indian allies were the most effective and disciplined troops on the field. Preston also explores the long shadow cast by Braddock's defeat over the 18th century and the American Revolution two decades later. The campaign had been an awakening to empire for many British Americans, spawning ideas of American identity and anticipating many of the political and social divisions that would erupt with the outbreak of the revolution. Braddock's Defeat was the defining generational experience for many British and American officers, including Thomas Gage, Horatio Gates, and, perhaps most significantly, George Washington. A rich battle history driven by a gripping narrative and an abundance of new evidence, Braddock's Defeat presents the fullest account yet of this defining moment in early American history.
©2015 David L. Preston (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Preston has written a great American history book about a well-known but completely misunderstood battle in the environs of today's Pittsburgh (not yet Pittsburgh). It is fast paced, well-narrated, does not presuppose a deep familiarity of the French-Indian War (but nevertheless does not bore & never fails to surprise those of us familiar with it). The work is especially strong in the run-up to the battle, both on the French side & the British/colonial. I bought the actual book for a relative. It is filled with many pictures, illustrations and maps. I found it very helpful to browse through the old-fashioned book a couple of times while in the course of listening. The audio version does not lack, but any military piece like this one is always clarified by having the maps.
This was a great insight into pre-revolutionary war history. Living in Baltimore I have crossed Braddock's road traveling Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania and didn't even know it. It brings history alive for me and is a great way to connect past with present. Highly recommend!
Have read much about the revolution and this account of Braddock's journey adds to the depth of the struggle for the Americas by natives and foreigners alike, laying additional layers to the conflict and lives of those who lived during this epoch. This story was well told and the performance was in line with the sober subject.
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