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Extended Audio Sample The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War, by Fred Anderson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (278 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Fred Anderson Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 2006 PBS aired 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. 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “Simon Vance handles this complex narrative with a stately intelligence…He pronounces the many Native American place names and French-Canadian phrases with ease. Look for a young George Washington, who learns a number of valuable lessons that will serve him well two decades later.”


  • “Overall, this work is an excellent introduction to a complex, dynamic conflict that set the stage for the American Revolution. Recommended for all libraries.”

    Library Journal

  • “Lucid and swift-moving. With luck, Anderson’s book will awaken interest in a critically important period in colonial history that, he laments, is about as familiar now as the Peloponnesian War.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cynic | 2/20/2014

    " This books gives you an understanding of why the British thought so little of the colonists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ryan Finney | 2/16/2014

    " To the author's credit, the subject he attempted to cover in the short amount of pages was a challenging task, and one I believe he did as best as he could with. However, just as a preference, I think that the book sagged a little in the middle and became muddled with new places and characters so much that it became hard to keep track of them. The beginning and ending were nice touches, but overall I stand by 3 stars. I'm sure his much larger work on the topic, The Crucible of War, would remedy some of the issues I found with this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brennan | 2/7/2014

    " Wow! I loved this - picked it up in an airport and couldn't put it down. This is a highly readable account of what the author calls the first world war - and what I learned in school is not the whole picture. Anderson explores the French archives and also has a nuanced and thorough understanding of the role that indigenous people played: how their treaties and alliances among and against themselves and the British and French lead to very different policies toward frontier settlement and shaped policy of the new nations of North America on a path of genocide. Washington was incredibly lucky, and history could indeed have turned out very differently with seemingly inconsequential decisions made in the back woods around Pittsburgh in the mid-1700's. Fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Gillian Holmes | 2/4/2014

    " If having something like a "favorite war" wasn't such a reprehensible idea, then my favorite war would be the French and Indian War. This is a concise telling of it. Almost too concise actually--though the "plot" moves quickly, I felt a little rushed jumping from one battle to the next. I'd've liked a little more in-depth study of different figures, causes and effects. Still scratched my itch though. "

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About the Author

Fred Anderson, a professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is the author of Crucible of War, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Francis Parkman Prize and the Mark Lynton History Prize in 2001. Most recently, he coauthored The Dominion of War.