David L. Preston’s Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution provides an exploration of one of the earliest battles of the French and Indian War. In May 1755 Edward Braddock, a general of the British Army, led three thousand soldiers to exceptional defeat in western Pennsylvania. Braddock’s ignorance of North America and his bigotry undermined the campaign. The battle as one man’s failure is a narrative that other historians have accepted without further investigation. In three sections, covering preparation, battle, and aftermath, Braddock’s Defeat offers a more in-depth analysis of the campaign. Preston begins by connecting defeat to deficient soldiers and supplies. British and French perspectives, described in the second section, establish the pan-Indian military alliance as decisive to victory. In the final section readers learn how the Monongahela Valley campaign prompted the American Revolution.

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