David L. Preston, Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution (2015)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Deservedly a winner of the Guggenheim–Lehrman Prize for Military History, this magnificent book is an instant classic. The author’s innovative research, ranging from French, British, and colonial records through Indian accounts and lengthy canoe trips down French logistics routes, resulted in a vivid account of a disaster that has sharp lessons for today’s military. The Seven Year’s War, or French and Indian War, is rarely studied in military or history classrooms, yet its multi-sided warfare in North America, with great powers wooing native tribes they rarely understood (the French at least tried to grasp the cultural intricacies, while senior British officers were dismissive) and atrocities spinning out of control—along with the challenge posed by unruly local client governments—offers a great deal of cause for reflection on contemporary engagements in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere—where we too often play the role of the Redcoats.



Ralph Peters is the author of twenty-nine books, including works on strategy and military affairs, as well as best-selling, prize-winning novels. He has published more than a thousand essays, articles, and columns. As a US Army enlisted man and officer, he served in infantry and military Intelligence units before becoming a foreign area officer and global scout. After retiring in 1998, he covered wars and trouble spots in the Middle East and Africa. He now concentrates on writing books but remains Fox News’s strategic analyst. His latest novel, Hell or Richmond, a gritty portrayal of Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign, follows his recent New York Times best seller, Cain at Gettysburg, for which he received the 2013 Boyd Award for Literary Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association. Video: Ralph Peters on the importance of military history education in the militaryPeters is also the author of the Civil War novel, The Damned of Petersburg.