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Conquered Into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles Along the Great Warpath That Made the American Way of Warby Eliot A Cohen
Synopses & Reviews
Americans often think of the Civil War as the conflict that consolidated the United States, including its military values and practices. But there was another, earlier, and more protracted struggle between and#8220;Northand#8221; and and#8220;South,and#8221; beginning in the 1600s and lasting for more than two centuries, that shaped American geopolitics and military culture. Here, Eliot A. Cohen explains how the American way of war emerged from a lengthy struggle with an unlikely enemy: Canada. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;In andlt;Iandgt;Conquered into Liberty, andlt;/Iandgt;Cohen describes how five peoplesand#8212;the British, French, Americans, Canadians, and Indiansand#8212;fought over the key to the North American continent: the corridor running from Albany to Montreal dominated by the Champlain valley and known to Native Americans as the and#8220;Great Warpath.and#8221; He reveals how conflict along these two hundred miles of lake, river, and woodland shaped the countryand#8217;s military values, practices, and institutions. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Through a vivid narration of a series of fightsand#8212; woodland skirmishes and massacres, bloody frontal assaults and fleet actions, rear-guard battles and shadowy covert actionsand#8212;Cohen explores how a distinctively American approach to war developed along the Great Warpath. He weaves together tactics and strategy, battle narratives, and statecraft, introducing readers to such fascinating but little-known figures as Justus Sherwood, loyalist spy; Jeduthan Baldwin, self-taught engineer; and La Corne St. Luc, ruthless partisan leader. And he reintroduces characters we thought we knewand#8212;an admirable Benedict Arnold, a traitorous Ethan Allen, and a devious George Washington. A gripping read grounded in serious scholarship, andlt;Iandgt;Conquered into Liberty andlt;/Iandgt;will enchant and inform readers for decades to come.
"Cohen, among America's leading defense analysts and military historians (Citizens and Soldiers: Dilemmas of Military Service), combines his skills in this comprehensively researched, well-written analysis of the international conflict that more than any other shaped the U.S. way of war. That conflict was between the colonies that eventually formed the U.S. and French, then British Canada. For a century and a half, through six global conflicts, the north-south axis between Albany, N.Y., and Montreal was the 'great warpath': 'ts battles fought with tomahawks and flintlock muskets, its supplies laboriously hauled by bateau and oxcart.' Focusing on specific engagements, from the 1690 raid on Schenectady, N.Y., to the Battle of Plattsburgh in 1814, Cohen describes lessons that endured. The warpath schooled Americans in a spectrum of combat, from skirmishes fought by irregulars to operations conducted along state-of-the-art European lines. The warpath taught pragmatism and flexibility. It demanded enterprise and ingenuity. It required concern for both logistics and operations. Even issues of contemporary concern, the problems of conventional forces facing irregular opponents and the belief that an adversary can be 'conquered into liberty,' were first confronted in these battles, as Cohen demonstrates in this original and illuminating study." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The author of Supreme Command and one of today’s leading thinkers on military affairs recounts the tumultuous history of “The Great Warpath,” the corridor between Albany and Montreal where the American way of battle was formed from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century.
Americans are accustomed to seeing the Civil War as the conflict that shaped their country. Offering a fresh, historical perspective, Eliot A. Cohen explains that America’s geopolitics and military culture were influenced in more fundamental ways by an earlier, more protracted war between “north” and “south.”
Cohen’s masterful narrative vividly details how five peoples—the British, French, Americans, Canadians, and Indians—spent more than 100 years fighting over what was the key to the North American continent: the corridor running from Albany to Montreal known to Native Americans as “The Great Warpath.” Focusing on a series of pivotal battles between 1689 and 1812, The Great Warpath demonstrates how they gave birth to a distinctively American approach to war as well as a particularly American military identity.
Filled with colorful characters in a surprising light—an admirable Benedict Arnold and disloyal George Washington—The Great Warpath is one of the most significant and original contributions to American history in recent years.
A fascinating history of warfare from the early 17th-19th centuries along the two hundred mile stretch from Albany to Montreal.
About the Author
Eliot A. Cohen is the Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University and founding director of the Philip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies there. A graduate of Harvard College, he received his Ph.D. in political science at Harvard in 1982. After teaching at Harvard and at the Naval War College (Department of Strategy), he served on the policy planning staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, coming to SAIS in 1990. His most recent book is Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (Free Press, 2002): other books include (with John Gooch) Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War. In 1991-93 he directed the U.S. Air Force’s official multi-volume study of the 1991 Gulf War, the Gulf War Air Power Survey. He has served as an officer in the United States Army Reserve, a member of the Defense Policy Advisory Board of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as other government advisory bodies.
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