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The French and Indian War: A Complete Chronology.

By Bud Hannings Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011, 344 pages,

Bud Hannings is an independent historian whose other works include Chronology of the American Revolution: Military and Political Actions Day by Day, Forts of the United States: A Historical Dictionary 16th Through 19th Centuries, The Korean War: An Exhaustive Chronology. Born in Philadelphia on 5 June 1942, Hannings was destined to become a great writer of history.

As a young man, Hannings joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve after high school. Later, he was elected to local office and served eight years as a commissioner in Pennsylvania. Always having been interested in history, Hannings finished writing his first work, The Eternal Flag, in 1979. Afterwards, he started writing a history of the American flag, but when it was rejected by a publisher, Hannings started his own publishing company in Glenside. Pa., called Seniram Publishing Incorporated (Marines spelled backwards). Hannings's first published book, A Portrait of the Stars and Stripes, led him to realize the hardships an unknown publisher faces without national acknowledgement. He would have given up had he not remembered his drill instructors telling him that nothing is insurmountable for a Marine and that Marines never quit. Those inspirational words and his beliefs that countless military accomplishments and lost heroes were not being recognized accordingly led to his determination and success. Today, having written numerous additional historical works since his first, Hannings is a tribute to historians and to anyone interested in the historical events that helped shape the United States.

The French and Indian War: A Complete Chronology gives, a very detailed, organized, and extensive chronological look at the conflict between Great Britain and France over which empire would rule North America. The French and Indian War, known as the Seven Years' War in Europe, affected not only Great Britain and France, but also India, Africa, and the West Indies as more nations became involved. Prussia fought for control of Silesia against Austria in the Third Silesian War, another part of Europe's Seven Years' War, and once the Spanish joined and brought the war all the way across the Pacific to the Philippines, a world war had begun.

This book closely examines campaigns within the colonies, documents battles both on the land and at sea, follows Pontiac's War in 1763, and focuses on military aspects. It also covers Britain's failures to overcome France's successes, and then Britain's comeback and eventual victory. Additionally, Hannings describes the natives and how they introduced their savage warfare methods to arriving British troops as well as the Indians' actions against the settlers, the settlers' families, and the settlements. Another facet of this book is the information on individual units and men, and how many who served later became prominent naval officers, general officers during the American Revolution, and political leaders.

This immensely comprehensive work was created through research of various journals, reference libraries, state archives, papers, and historical societies. At some points during his writing process, Hannings even contacted European libraries for aid in identifying certain people. Lastly, in order to help readers better identify geographical locations while reading, Hannings deliberately uses familiar names, such as Missouri and Indiana, even though many North American locations during the 18th century were not yet the states we know today.

Hannings starts the chronology in 1748 to explain what led up to the start of the war campaigns in 1754, and he finishes in 1766 as the North American colonies began to think about an American revolution due to Britain's tight rule. Each year is broken down into chronological sections by date, month, day of the week, and location. Most times, the dates are consecutive [i.e. July 15 (Sunday) 1759, July 16 (Monday) 1759, etc.], proving the amount of research Hannings had to do in order to write such a detailed work. To provide a concrete element to all of his facts, Hannings includes many sketches of people, events, and maps along with their descriptions and where he got them from throughout the pages of this book. The preface gives a complete rundown of what the reader should expect when reading, and the introduction presents events and many of the included peoples' backgrounds leading up to their roles and involvement within the war. Appendix A lists "British Nobility of the War Era," and Appendix B lists "Men Who Became Prominent Officers or Politicians in the American Revolution."

Many times, a long chronological work can seem redundant, and The French and Indian War is no different. However, despite these occasional moments, this book is splendid for aspiring historians and history-buffs alike. Hannings sets out to give a detailed account of the French and Indian War, succeeding beautifully with this extensive chronological reference. Also, even though all of the events mentioned in this book cannot truly be explained or conveyed in just one volume, Hannings gives concise, yet detailed information and does not drone on and on for several pages about minor occurrences. This handbook is invaluable to students, teachers, and researchers. The easy-to-follow timeline and comprehensive appendices, bibliography, and index aid all readers in their understanding of the war. I would suggest The French and Indian War: A Complete Chronology to anyone interested in or needing to research North America's French and Indian War, Europe's Seven Years' War, the involvement of other nations at the time, or the names of officers and royalty during the period.

Reviewed by Sarah Harden
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Author:Harden, Sarah
Publication:Infantry Magazine
Date:May 1, 2013
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