Northern Armageddon: The Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution

D. Peter MacLeod. Knopf, $35 (448p) ISBN 978-0-307-26989-8
In this detailed military history, MacLeod (The Canadian Iroquois and the Seven Years’ War), curator at the Canadian War Museum, zeroes in on a pivotal battle of the Seven Years’ War to show how the French lost its foothold on North America. From 1754 to 1763, eastern North America was embroiled in a territorial war between France and Britain, with each side cultivating alliances with Native American tribes. The British hoped to take Québec and put an end to France’s ambitions in North America. Drawing on an impressive array of firsthand sources and writing with a keen eye for the dramatic, MacLeod tells this story in a big way, giving equal time to each side. Major figures such as James Wolfe and Louis-Joseph de Montcalm receive careful attention. MacLeod also describes the battle, which took place just outside Québec City on Sept. 13, 1759, through the eyes of ordinary people: nuns, businessmen, soldiers, and sailors. This supports his contention that a loss of morale and willpower caused the French defeat. Yet to include so many perspectives, he had to chop chapters into small subsections, hindering a smooth narrative. Still, the events of the battle are finely rendered, and MacLeod makes a strong case for their importance as a precursor to the American Revolution. Maps & illus. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2016
Release date: 03/22/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 264 pages - 978-1-926685-75-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-050-7
Hardcover - 379 pages - 978-1-55365-412-4
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