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"Best book to read about F&IW " Topic

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924 hits since 7 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Haitiansoldier Inactive Member07 Mar 2017 4:01 p.m. PST

If you could recommend just one must read book on the F&IW, which would it be?
This is actually kind of two questions here. The best book about the entire war and the best book on a single battle.
For the entire war my pick goes to Fred Anderson's Crucible of War. That was one of the first books on the F&IW I read and I still remember how good it is.
For a single battle the best book IMO is Northern Armageddon. I bought it at my local bookstore couple months ago and found it impossible to put down. It is the definitive book on the Plains of Abraham and having visited the battlefield four years ago it made more sense than reading a Waterloo book, since I have never been there.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Mar 2017 6:02 p.m. PST

Second the Anderson, great book.
Haven't read the other,but now I want to.

vtsaogames Inactive Member07 Mar 2017 7:41 p.m. PST

A third for Anderson.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2017 8:38 p.m. PST

The Osprey compendium book Empires Collide: The French and Indian War, 1754-63 is a good one stop shop. It has plenty of information about the beginnings of the war, the various campaigns, and the units and uniforms.


Haitiansoldier Inactive Member07 Mar 2017 9:58 p.m. PST

Hafen von Schlockenberg: Yes, Northern Armageddon is a must read if you are interested in the French and Indian War. It was released in paperback last month, and if you live near a Barnes and Noble they are likely to have a copy.
I especially enjoyed the book because I visited the Plains of Abraham four years ago. While not a battlefield like Gettysburg or Little Bighorn, it is a nice historical site to see. There are monuments to Montcalm and Wolfe, a museum about the battle and Canadian military history, but as for the battlefield it is just like any other park in the world, except on the ground was fought out of the decisive battles of North American history.

Oh Bugger Inactive Member08 Mar 2017 4:28 a.m. PST

Anderson is the one as everyone has said.

I thought Braddock's Defeat by Preston very good too.

JimDuncanUK08 Mar 2017 4:42 a.m. PST

I have the Osprey compendium book Empires Collide: The French and Indian War, 1754-63, as yet unread.

I am keeping it for holiday reading this summer.

historygamer08 Mar 2017 5:38 a.m. PST

Montcalm and Wolfe, by Francis Parkman. Still the classic.

Preston book is excellent.

Anderson's is first rate too (though I am struggling to recall any major differences between it and Parkman's book).

Empire of Fortune, by Jennings.

More focused book – Redcoat by Brumwell (any book by Brumwell.

coopman Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

I'm with ColCampbell, EMPIRES COLLIDE.

Personal logo 22ndFoot Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2017 6:53 a.m. PST

Not a battle but an action: White Devil by Stephen Brumwell; fascinating read, also by Brumwell, Redcoats and his Paths of Glory is very good too.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2017 9:06 a.m. PST

Here you go: Crucible of War and Empires Collide and from a TMP Good Trader.

TMP link


tancred Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2017 10:44 a.m. PST

A neat book is The Forbes Road. It's actually a travel
Book but Embleton did some great paintings for it.

historygamer09 Mar 2017 10:39 a.m. PST

Is this the one you mean?:


Early morning writer12 Mar 2017 9:38 p.m. PST

Wilderness Empire by Eckart or Guns at the Forks by O'Meara both got me started and I'm thirty years on – and over 1,200 figures painted (15 mm) – with an abiding interest. Anderson's is the best single book on the period I've encountered – and the best introduction to the American Revolution, too. But those first two I mentioned give a great sense of the period in a way few other books do.

historygamer14 Mar 2017 6:04 a.m. PST

Not having read Anderson in some time, can someone tell me how it is better than Parkman's work?

Steelkilt12 Apr 2017 7:51 a.m. PST

Hi Historygamer, I'm coming late to this conversation, but I've been considering your question myself. Here are my thoughts on their pros and cons:

1. Parkman was writing close enough to the war that he was able to interview descendants of the war's participants, sometimes at only one remove.

2. However, Jennings, in particular, accuses Parkman of historical fabrications and misuse of sources.

3. Some people find Parkman's chauvinism an obstacle (towards the French, towards Roman Catholics, especially towards the Native Americans, whom he repeatedly compares to swarming insects).

4. Anderson's history meets the highest contemporary academic standards.

5. Anderson, as he says in the introduction, adopts the cultural framework used by Richard White in "The Middle Ground: Indians, empires, and republics in the Great Lakes region, 1650-1815." That means that the Native Americans nations are treated in all their diversity and their complex motives are not reduced to simple antagonism to Europeans.

6. Anderson is much better for showing the broader context of individual battles: In particular, I was impressed by his illustration of how the Battle of Quiberon Bay ensured the naval superiority that the Battle of Quebec depended on, and how the Treaty of Easton ensured that Forbes' campaign against Fort Duquesne didn't meet the same fate as Braddock's expedition.

I love both books.

Ottoathome Inactive Member06 May 2017 8:32 p.m. PST

Do not forget Frank McLynn's "1759, the year England conquered the World." Excellent book on the whole 7 years war but what puts it over the top is the long lead ins to various chapters on the culture and world view of the people in the 18th century. The section on Canada and the Sublime is the best. Anderson does follow Parkman almost step by step, but they are both worth reading. Do not be too hard of Parkman for his prejudices. We can afford to be more tolerant (really indifferent not tolerant) because we do not have vivid memories of massacres of people known or related to us. It's nice to sneer at these people of bygone ages, but these pains were very real to them and not easily forgotten.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2017 2:59 p.m. PST


historygamer10 May 2017 5:17 a.m. PST

Interesting write up about the man:


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