deeply researched and clearly written book, the Pulitzer Prize–winning
historian Alan Taylor tells the riveting story of a war that redefined North
America. During the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed
their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution. Soldiers,
immigrants, settlers, and Indians fought in a northern borderland to determine
the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British
from Canada? Or would the British Empire contain, divide, and ruin the shaky
world of double identities, slippery allegiances, and porous boundaries, the
leaders of the republic and of the empire struggled to control their own
diverse peoples. The border divided Americans, former Loyalists and Patriots, who
fought on both sides in the new war, as did native peoples defending their
homelands. Serving in both armies, Irish immigrants battled one another,
reaping charges of rebellion and treason. And dissident Americans flirted with secession
while aiding the British as smugglers and spies.
the war, both sides struggled to sustain armies in a northern land of immense
forests, vast lakes, and stark seasonal swings in the weather. In that
environment, many soldiers panicked as they fought their own vivid
imaginations, which cast Indians as bloodthirsty savages. After fighting each
other to a standstill, the Americans and the British concluded that they could
safely share the continent along a border that favored the United States at the
expense of Canadians and Indians. Both sides then celebrated victory by
forgetting their losses and by betraying the native peoples.
narrative of an often brutal (and sometimes comic) war that reveals much about
the tangled origins of the United States and Canada. Download and start listening now!