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Publisher's Summary

Apart from The Last of the Mohicans, most Americans know little of the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years' War, and yet it remains one of the most fascinating periods in our history. In January 2006, PBS will air The War That Made America, a four-part documentary about this epic conflict. Fred Anderson, the award-winning and critically acclaimed historian, has written the official tie-in to this exciting television event.

In The War That Made America, Anderson deftly shows how the expansion of the British colonies into French territory in the 1750s and the ongoing Native American struggle for survival would erupt into seven years of bloodshed and unrest spreading from the backwoods of Pennsylvania to the high courts of Europe, eventually overturning the balance of power on two continents and laying the groundwork for the American Revolution. Beautifully illustrated, richly detailed, and utterly compelling, this is the story of how America as we know it today emerged from a series of fractured colonies and warring tribes into a nation ripe for independence, and nobody tells this story better than Fred Anderson.

©2005 The War That Made America, LLC (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Like the best popular historians, Anderson combines exhaustive research and an accessible prose style in a volume that should help rescue the French and Indian War from historical obscurity." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Silver Spring, MD, United States
  • 03-15-10

A thorough and absorbing history

This is a thorough and absorbing history of mid-18th century colonial America and the war that laid the foundations of our modern republic. Anderson is an outstanding historian and an expert in the field. This military and political history is a shorter version of the longer, more nuanced study in his "Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766." Nevertheless, this book is a worthy history in itself. Anderson's analysis is balanced and even-handed throughout, and hardly an apologia for any particular side in the war. His research speaks for itself, and the native Americans fare no better than the British and French in the accounts of their mistaken judgments, greed and duplicity. Listeners will have to draw their own conclusions about the allegedly "revisionist" nature of Anderson's treatment of white policy toward native Americans since 1620, but I suggest it is very far from a "blame white America" work. This is a most interesting study of a little-known period in our history and well worth the attention one pays to it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Quick and solid

Packed plenty of history into a short book. Keep your ears open or you will miss alot. Historically balanced and not over simplified.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 07-23-14

Prologue Promises More

This book was alright, but I really expected more on the Indian part based upon the prologue. Still, the title does say Short, so I should have expected what I got, I guess. Not a bad intro, and I did learn somethings, particularly about Washington.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

French and Indian War

A mini-series of the same name was produced for PBS and it attracted my attention. I had never realized the impact the "French and Indian" war had on the eventual American Revolution. This book describes in detail the travails of the Americans and British in fighting a guerilla war on the western frontier in 1752. It also shows how the Indians became the big losers in this war as they were nearly exterminated in the next 150 years. This is a detailed account in many respects but provides knowlege to the armchair American historian that is somehow missing in our British slanted formal education.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 07-27-13

Very Good Overview of The FIW!

I enjoy reading about the French Indian War, and this audiobook was a pleasure to listen to. It gives a great overview of the war, but is very Washington-centric. Simon Vance does a good job of narrating, and pulls it off so that you don't find it boring at all. Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 06-29-13

History Trumps Fiction

If you could sum up The War That Made America in three words, what would they be?

This book masterfully tied up some loose ends in my knowledge of pre-revolutionary North American History

What other book might you compare The War That Made America to and why?

It was written in the woven style of Chernow in Washington: A Life. George was a key figure in the French and Indian war,also.

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Simon Vance should be cloned. He is an excellent narrator who moves to French with ease and whose cadence is perfect.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Blood and Gore for a Winning Score

Any additional comments?

I appreciate the intrigues of the Iroquois League much better. What better way for Quakers to fight than to have Indians do it for them!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Villa Rica, GA, USA
  • 12-31-06

Good book not a great book

The book suffered a bit with revisionist history and some PC but not bad. It did a good job of reflecting the normal miscalculations on all sides that lead to most Wars. Alot of effort was made to make Washington look less Christian than his own writings did. But a good review of a war not much covered.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Pittsburgh, PA, United States
  • 07-04-12

Love History

Would you listen to The War That Made America again? Why?

Yes, helped me understand what was going on

Who was your favorite character and why?

Washington , he was the hero

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The treatment of the Indians

Any additional comments?

Enjoyed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrius
  • New Castle, NH, United States
  • 05-07-12

Key to Understanding US History

What made the experience of listening to The War That Made America the most enjoyable?

Well writen and compelling for anyone who has an interest in history. Well performed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Gives so much depth and context to a war usually treated in a paragraph

Unless you are quite the history buff, you probably have a vague recollection that the French and Indian war had something to do with the US war for independence, and that it wasn’t actually fought between the French and the Indians. The War that Made America fills out the conflict with all the details we never learned in school—like that there were multiple tribes involved in the conflict, some pro-English, some pro-French, and all sophisticated, powerful strategic actors in their own right. Frankly, just hearing the names of different tribes rather than just “the Indians” was worth the price of admission, if you ask me. Anderson also weaves in the geopolitics of the Seven Years war in Europe and beyond to give context and depth to what can seem to be a fairly simple, straightforward event. He takes it even further with a really insightful and compelling analysis of how the war shaped the future—of George Washington, the American conflict with the British, the American relationship with native tribes, and the whole British Empire. Despite the scope and breadth of his analysis, he has written an accessible and fascinating account that fills in the gaps usually missing in the history of colonial America.