• Crucible of War

  • The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766
  • By: Fred Anderson
  • Narrated by: Paul Woodson
  • Length: 29 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-27-18
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

Regular price: $48.99

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Publisher's Summary

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 political motives of the participants with unforgettable portraits of Washington, William Pitt, Montcalm, and many others, Anderson brings a fresh perspective to one of America's most important wars, demonstrating how the forces unleashed there would irrevocably change the politics of empire in North America.

©2000 Fred Anderson (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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A Detailed History

Fred Anderson remains one of (and there are not many) best writers on the period just prior to the American Revolution. While this is, by the author's admission, a very long book it still stands as one of the better detailed history of the French and Indian War and the run-up to the Revolution. That being said, those looking for a more concise history would be better suited to Anderson's "The War That Made America." I consider myself something of a history nut, especially 18th Century American history, and so this book was exactly what I was looking for.

Positives:
Woodson delivers decent narration.
A detailed history of a forgotten global conflict that would make England the greatest power on the planet since the Empire of Rome and, ironically, sow the seeds of revolution within her colonies.
Anderson is a good author and the work does more than just relate what happened. He takes us "into the weeds" when necessary to gain an understanding of the personalities at work and the repercussions of both good and bad decisions made on the battlefield without losing sight of the bigger picture.

Negatives:
It is a detailed history. Its long and so is probably not what the casual reader/listener is looking for.
Anderson does allow his bias to come through a little more on this work. He is particularly critical of Wolfe and the run-up to the the Battle on the Plains of Abraham. The criticism is not unwarranted but its seems forgotten that a great deal of France's military strategy in North America centered on what they themselves called "savage war."
In many instances, Anderson adheres to the usual interpretation of personalities and events.

Recommendation:
If you are looking for an excellent, detailed overview of the French and Indian War, this is your book. Anderson is right that one cannot properly understand 1776 without understanding the events of 1754-1766.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Historical Account

The origins in the American Revolution lay in the 7 Years War. This Anderson's work provides an excellent, in-depth account of that war. He provides the perspective of most participants. It was a fascinating look at a time that few remember or appreciate.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Rest of the Story

I really enjoyed learning so many details from the Seven Years War. So many more Americans played a crucial roll in this conflict, both here and overseas that I was unaware of. Not just George Washington, but Lees, Franklin, Adams and more. British officers who would play rolls in during our Revolution either were involved in the “first world war” or had relatives who did.
Good read/listen.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Incredibly Detailed

Incredibly detailed in depth look at the Seven Years War covering ALL things military, economical, and political in the colonies and England. The author clearly spent a lot of time researching the material. However, it was almost too much information as I struggled to finish the last third of the book, which focused on the political aftermath of the conflict.

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Long but really interesting

Was skeptical that a book of this length on this topic would keep my interest. But, I liked it. And much of what I learned in history classes about the seven years war was crap. This book tells the story of the first global war as more than prologue to the American Revolution. This war shaped the future of North America, the indigenous peoples who lived there, America, Canada, Britain, Spain and France.

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An Excellent and Informative Book

The author successfully balances historical narrative with full descriptions of the major, and even some minor, men & woman whose decisions & actions, or lack thereof in a considerable number of cases) that brought about the changes in North America (the French & Indian War), as well as international reconfiguration of Empires (the Seven Years War).

If you have any interest in this period of American history (to me the majority of the book), and a question or two about how England built a huge Empire in such a short time, this book is an excellent place to begin.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful