Synopses & Reviews
The Seven Yearsand#8217; War was the worldand#8217;s first global conflict, spanning five continents and the critical sea lanes that connected them. This book is the fullest account ever written of the French navyand#8217;s role in the hostilities. It is also the most complete survey of both phases of the war: the French and Indian War in North America (1754and#8211;60) and the Seven Yearsand#8217; War in Europe (1756and#8211;63), which are almost always treated independently. By considering both phases of the war from every angle, award-winning historian Jonathan R. Dull shows not only that the two conflicts are so interconnected that neither can be fully understood in isolation but also that traditional interpretations of the war are largely inaccurate. His work also reveals how the French navy, supposedly utterly crushed, could have figured so prominently in the War of American Independence only fifteen years later.and#160;A comprehensive work integrating diplomatic, naval, military, and political history, The French Navy and the Seven Yearsand#8217; War thoroughly explores the French perspective on the Seven Yearsand#8217; War. It also studies British diplomacy and war strategy as well as the roles played by the American colonies, Spain, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Sweden, and Portugal. As this history unfolds, it becomes clear that French policy was more consistent, logical, and successful than has previously been acknowledged, and that King Louis XVand#8217;s conduct of the war profoundly affected the outcome of Americaand#8217;s subsequent Revolutionary War.
For its first eighty-five years, the United States was only a minor naval power. Its fledgling fleet had been virtually annihilated during the War of Independence and was mostly trapped in port by the end of the War of 1812. How this meager presence became the major naval power it remains to this day is the subject of American Naval History, 1607and#8211;1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy
. A wide-ranging yet concise survey of the U.S. Navy from the colonial era through the Civil War, the book draws on American, British, and French history to reveal how navies reflect diplomatic, political, economic, and social developments and to show how the foundation of Americaand#8217;s future naval greatness was laid during the Civil War.
Award-winning author Jonathan R. Dull documents the remarkable transformation of the U.S. Navy between 1861 and 1865, thanks largely to brilliant naval officers like David Farragut, David D. Porter, and Andrew Foote; visionary politicians like Abraham Lincoln and Gideon Welles; and progressive industrialists like James Eads and John Ericsson. But only by understanding the failings of the antebellum navy can the accomplishments of Lincolnand#8217;s navy be fully appreciated. Exploring such topics as delays in American naval development, differences between the U.S. and European fleets, and the effect that the countryand#8217;s colonial past had on its naval policies, Dull offers a new perspective on both American naval history and the history of the developing republic.
The inventor, the ladies man, the affable diplomat, and the purveyor of pithy homespun wisdom: we all know the charming, resourceful Benjamin Franklin. What is less appreciated is the importance of Franklins part in the American Revolution: except for Washington he was its most irreplaceable leader. Although aged and in ill health, Franklin served the cause with unsurpassed zeal and dedication. Jonathan R. Dull, whose decades of work on The Papers of Benjamin Franklin have given him rare insight into his subject, explains Franklins role in the Revolution, what prepared him for that role, and what motivated him. The Franklin presented here, a man immersed in the violence, danger, and suffering of the Revolution, is a tougher person than the Franklin of legend. Dulls portrait captures Franklins confidence and self-righteousness about himself and the American cause. It shows his fanatical zeal, his hatred of King George III and Georges American supporters (particularly Franklins own son), and his disdain for hardship and danger. It also shows a side of Franklin that he tried to hide: his vanity, pride, and ambition. Though not as lovable and avuncular as the person of legend, this Franklin is more interesting, more complex, and in many ways more impressive.
For nearly two hundred years huge wooden warships called “ships of the line” dominated war at sea and were thus instrumental in the European struggle for power and the spread of imperialism. Foremost among the great naval powers were Great Britain and France, whose advanced economies could support large numbers of these expensive ships. This book, the first joint history of these great navies, offers a uniquely impartial and comprehensive picture of the two forces—their shipbuilding programs, naval campaigns, and battles, and their wartime strategies and diplomacy. Jonathan R. Dull is the author of two award-winning histories of the French navy. Bringing to bear years of study of war and diplomacy, his book conveys the fine details and the high drama of the age of grand and decisive naval conflict. Dull delves into the seven wars that Great Britain and France, often in alliance with lesser naval powers such as Spain and the Netherlands, fought between 1688 and 1815. Viewing war as most statesmen of the time saw it—as a contest of endurance—he also treats the tragic side of the Franco-British wars, which shattered the greater security and prosperity the two powers enjoyed during their brief period as allies.
About the Author
Jonathan R. Dull served as the senior associate editor of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin series until 2008. His other books include The Age of the Ship of the Line: The British and French Navies, 1650-1815 (Nebraska 2009) and The French Navy and the Seven Years War, available in a Bison Books edition.