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Brumwell, Stephen. White devil; a true story of war, savagery, and vengeance in Colonial America.

BRUMWELL, Stephen. White devil; a true story of war, savagery, and vengeance in Colonial America. Da Capo Press. 335p. maps. notes. index. c2004. 0-306-81473-0. $17.95. SA *

The war referred to here is the French and Indian War, and the White Devil is none other than Major Robert Rogers, leader of the legendary Rogers' Rangers. Although he is traditionally accepted without question as one of the genuine heroes of Colonial history, Rogers's Abenaki and French foes quite naturally regarded him and his backwoods commandos in quite a different light. Although this book certainly doesn't lionize Rogers and his actions, it is much more balanced than its title might suggest. The isolated French and British settlements and forts were terribly vulnerable to surprise attack, and everyone dreaded the "savage" Indians used by both sides. Ambush and raid, pursuit and terror, were common enough and there was plenty of brutality to share all around. The book provides an impressive insight into an important historical period usually given short shrift in the classroom. Like any good popular history, it puts the reader squarely in the action, planning thrust and defense amid tangled woodlands and swamps, with families to protect and a wily foe to outwit. The scenes are straight out of James Fenimore Cooper, who first described them in The Last of the Mohicans. This is an exciting read, a fine account of just how difficult it was to trek across--never mind fight in--the primeval wilderness of upstate New York in the 1700s. Better yet, the reader learns just how difficult it is to judge which side is "right" and which is "wrong" in a war long past. Raymond Puffer, Ph.D., Historian, Edwards AFB, Lancaster, CA

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Puffer, Raymond
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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