The American Invasion of Canada: The War of 1812's First Year

Skyhorse
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“If history could be taught in the schools the way Berton writes about it, there wouldn’t be a more popular subject on the curriculum.” —The Globe and Mail
 
Of all the wars fought by the English-speaking peoples, this was one of the strangest—a war entered into blindly and fought (also blindly) by men out of touch not only with reality but also with their own forces.
 
To America’s leaders in 1812, an invasion of Canada seemed to be “a mere matter of marching,” as Thomas Jefferson confidently predicted. How could a nation of eight million fail to subdue a struggling colony of three hundred thousand? Yet, when the campaign ended, the only Americans left on Canadian soil were prisoners of war. Three American armies had been forced to surrender, and the British were in control of all of Michigan Territory and much of Indiana and Ohio.
 
In this remarkable account of the War of 1812’s first year and the events that led up to it, Pierre Berton transforms history into an engrossing narrative that reads like a fast-paced novel. Drawing on personal memoirs and diaries as well as official dispatches, the author gets inside the characters of the men who fought the war—the common soldiers as well as the generals, the bureaucrats and the profiteers, the traitors and the loyalists.
 
“A popular history as it should be written.” —The New York Times
 
“A catalogue of ironies and follies—dramatized through dispatches from each of the warring camps—which leaves hardly a legend intact.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“A wonderful historical work . . . a book of love, ambition, guile, heroism, tragedy and cowardice.” —The Detroit News
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A sweeping history of this natural wonder.

“The noble cataract reflects the concerns, the fancies, and the failings of the times. If we gaze deeply enough into its shimmering image, we can perhaps discern our own.” — Pierre Berton

“[Pierre Berton] makes a serious and convincing case for Niagara’s pivotal role in North American history … His Niagara is a lodestar for North American culture and invention: site of the first railway suspension bridge, inspiration for Nikola Tesla’s discovery of the principle of alternating current, and the subject of Frederic Church’s most celebrated landscape; a natural wonder that has bewitched generations of scientists, authors and utopians, and stimulated innovations and social movements still casting long shadows … surprising, rich and engrossing.” — New York Times Book Review

“Canadian historian Berton tells dozens of absorbing tales about the region and those who passed through it … He tells them all superbly, aided by essential maps and a few reproductions of posters advertising some of the more bizarre stunts.” — Publishers Weekly

 “Entertaining … Berton brings to life the adventurers and dreamers, visionaries and industrialists, who over centuries have been drawn to the Falls.” — Maclean’s

“Berton at his storytelling best; there is something for everyone … a vintage, full-bodied read.” — The London Free Press

“A book worth diving into.” — Calgary Herald

“By turns ironic, amused, shocked, horrified and awestruck, Berton traces Niagara’s history through the deeds of those who came in contact with it … all the while walking the fine line between detachment and emotion with agility and grace.” — The Whig-Standard (Kingston)
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Additional Information

Publisher
Skyhorse
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Published on
Jan 4, 2012
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781620874981
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Canada / Pre-Confederation (to 1867)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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In 1760, General Jeffery Amherst led the British campaign that captured Montreal and began the end of French colonial rule in North America. All Canada in the Hands of the British is a detailed account of Amherst’s successful military strategy and soldiers’ experiences on both sides.

Newly promoted general Jeffery Amherst took command of British forces in North America in 1759 and soon secured victories at Fort Duquesne, Louisbourg, Quebec, Fort Ticonderoga, and Niagara. In 1760 William Pitt, head of the British government, commanded Amherst to eliminate French rule in Canada. During the ensuing campaign, Amherst confronted French resurgence at Quebec and mounted sieges at Isle aux Noix and Fort Lévis, both of which were made difficult by French strategic placements on nearby islands. As historian Douglas R. Cubbison demonstrates, however, Amherst was well before his time in strategy and tactics, and his forces crushed French resistance.

In this first book-length study of Amherst’s campaign, Cubbison examines the three principal columns that Amherst’s army comprised, only one of which was under his direct command. Cubbison argues that Amherst’s success against the French relied on his employment of command, control, communications, and intelligence. Cubbison also shows how well Brigadier General James Murray’s use of what is today called population-centric counterinsurgency corresponded with Amherst’s strategic oversight and victory.

Using archival materials, archaeological evidence, and the firsthand accounts of junior provincial soldiers, Cubbison takes us from the eighteenth-century antagonisms between the British and French in the New World through the Seven Years’ War, to the final siege and its historic significance for colonial Canada. In one of the most decisive victories of the Seven Years’ War, Amherst was able, after a mere four weeks, to claim all of Canada. All Canada in the Hands of the British will change how military historians and enthusiasts understand the nature of British colonial battle strategy.
David Woodman's classic reconstruction of the mysterious events surrounding the tragic Franklin expedition has taken on new importance in light of the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus wreck, the ship Sir John Franklin sailed on during his doomed 1845 quest to find the Northwest Passage to Asia. First published in 1991, Unravelling the Franklin Mystery boldly challenged standard interpretations and offered a new and compelling alternative. Among the many who have tried to discover the truth behind the Franklin disaster, Woodman was the first to recognize the profound importance of Inuit oral testimony and to analyze it in depth. From his investigations, Woodman concluded that the Inuit likely visited Franklin's ships while the crew was still on board and that there were some Inuit who actually saw the sinking of one of the ships. Much of the Inuit testimony presented here had never before been published, and it provided Woodman with the pivotal clue in his reconstruction of the puzzle of the Franklin disaster. Unravelling the Franklin Mystery is a compelling and impressive inquiry into a part of Canadian history that for one hundred and seventy years left many questions unanswered. In this edition, a new preface by the author addresses the recent discovery and reviews the work done in the intervening years on various aspects of the Franklin story, by Woodman and others, as it applies to the book's initial premise of the book that Inuit testimony holds the key to unlocking the mystery.
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