Book Review: The Seven Years' War: Global Views


by Mark H. Denley and Patrick J. Speelman, editors

Leiden/Boston: E. J. Brill, 2012. Pp. lviii, 586. Illus., maps, tables, notes, biblio., index. $252,00. ISBN: 900423408X

Essays on the Most Pivotal War of the Eighteenth Century

Professors Denley (Memphis) and Speelman (USMMA) have collected a score of essays by various scholars that address what they call the “problem” of the Seven Years’ War, a conflict normally viewed as a struggle between England and France in Europe and North American from 1756 to 1763, with a nod to Prussian, Austrian, and Russian participation, and an occasional note of events in other areas.  These essay argue that although the struggle was primarily a European one, it was not just between those powers, and it a global war as well.  The great powers or their allies fought with each other or with local third parties in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Central Asia, India, and even the Far East, conflicts in which the third parties were not necessarily mere tools of the Great Powers.  Even the war’s duration is unclear, lasting in North America from 1754 to 1765, and in India from 1751 to 1765.  It is these anomalies that these essays address.  There are essays on the war in its European context, but also on events in the other theatres, such as on the nature of alliances with Native Americans, the connections between the war in Europe and Russian expansion in the Far East and Central Asia, and interesting looks at the effect of contemporary media on British military practice and the war as perceived by the philosophes of the Enlightenment. 

A volume in the excellent Brill series “History of Warfare, The Seven Years’ War: Global Views is an important work for anyone interested in the eighteenth century or the concept of “world war.”


Note : The Seven Years’ War is also available as an e-book, ISBN 978-9-004-23644-8

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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