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Look Inside Redcoats

The British Soldier and War in the Americas, 1755–1763


  • Date Published: January 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521675383

$ 32.95

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About the Authors
  • In the last decade, scholarship has highlighted the significance of the Seven Years War for the destiny of Britain's Atlantic empire. This major 2001 study offers an important perspective through a vivid and scholarly account of the regular troops at the sharp end of that conflict's bloody and decisive American campaigns. Sources are employed to challenge enduring stereotypes regarding both the social composition and military prowess of the 'redcoats'. This shows how the humble soldiers who fought from Novia Scotia to Cuba developed a powerful esprit de corps that equipped them to defy savage discipline in defence of their 'rights'. It traces the evolution of Britain's 'American Army' from a feeble, conservative and discredited organisation into a tough, flexible and innovative force whose victories ultimately won the respect of colonial Americans. By providing a voice for these neglected shock-troops of empire, Redcoats adds flesh and blood to Georgian Britain's 'sinews of power'.

    • Accessible, topical, vivid and scholarly
    • Explores central themes as well as reflecting the experience of individuals
    • Exploits previously unpublished sources
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Stephen Brumwell's account of the British army in North America during the Seven Years' War offers the most complete, vivid, and sophisticated account we have of the experiences and views of eighteenth-century common soldiers. With wide research, lucid prose, and (above all) compassion, he counts the human costs of empire, and brings to life the terrible war that built it.' Fred Anderson, author of The Crucible of War

    'A fascinating, judiciously researched, and well-written study … This important book will enjoy a wide readership among specialists, students, and the general public. Its readability will make it a valuable addition in undergraduate survey courses and seminars.' Ben Vinson III, The Historian

    'This is an excellent, challenging book, convincingly argued through many vivid stories and original research.' Hugh Cecil, The Spectator

    '… perhaps Brumwell's main achievement is to bring to life the personnel of the army - an achievement made possible not simply by his meticulous research but also by his vivid and engaging prose.' History

    'Redcoats is an engrossing and readable work that adds greatly to our understanding of the British army in the eighteenth century. For American historians, it provides a much needed addition to the many studies on provincial armies … the work also has a much wider importance for eighteenth-century British cultural and imperial historians … Redcoats is a significant and innovative work which makes an important addition to the literature not only of the British army, but also of eighteenth-century Britain and North America.' War in History

    'The appearance of Redcoats … announces the arrival of a major military historian … an outstanding combination of historical scholarship and robust prose … the story is so well written as to make it an epic tale …' The Times Literary Supplement

    'Redcoats has much to offer, and makes an important contribution to the slowly-growing corpus of work on the eighteenth-century Army. It will be enjoyed by specialist and non-specialist alike' The Society for Army Historical Research

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521675383
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 167 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: approaching the 'American Army'
    1. Britain's war effort in the Americas
    2. Gone for a soldier
    3. Following the drum
    4. The environmental parameters of American campaigning
    5. The 'American Army' and Native Americans
    6. Irregular warfare in the Americas
    7. The tactical evolution of the Redcoats
    8. The Highland Battalions in the Americas
    9. The legacies of the 'American Army'.

  • Author

    Stephen Brumwell
    A former newspaper journalist, Stephen Brumwell earned his Ph.D in History from the University of Leeds in 1998. He currently works as a freelance writer in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His recent publications include White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery, and Vengeance in Colonial America.

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