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What We’re Reading: The War That Made Americans and Cold War...

Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution David L. Preston Gen. Edward Braddock was a British commander in what was called the French and Indian War, a subset of the Seven Years’ War, which pitted England and France against each other and then drew in the rest of Europe. In the United States the war was between the French, who wanted to drive the English out of North America, and the English, who wanted to do the same to the French by driving them and their Indian allies west, cross the Appalachians and cease the French holding in the Louisiana Territory. The war was fought between 1754 and 1763, roughly paralleling the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). The most important outcome of the French and Indian War was not the result itself but its creation of the American people. Until then, the colonists in North America regarded themselves as English. In the south in particular, the settlers had sought to create an English life and social order. George Washington’s grandfather was a failed English gentleman, trapped in the religious wars that had raged there. He came to North America to start a new life, acquiring a […]

What We’re Reading: Stories From the Troubles

Weekly reviews of what’s on our bookshelves.

What We’re Reading: Stories of Evolution and War

Weekly reviews of what’s on our bookshelves.

What We’re Reading: Gaullism and the Suez Canal

Weekly reviews of what's on our bookshelves.

What We’re Reading: Underpopulation and Familiar Food

Appetite for America By Stephen Fried When I was in my 20s, I frequently had to make overnight runs to get somewhere by early morning. Often these were places I had never been before, and during several points I needed to slam down some calories and have two cups of coffee. Local restaurants were closed and those open after midnight were dicey, plus I had no time for a knife fight. What was known to me, what was open, and what was likely safe was Waffle House (most of my trips were in the South). There, surly elderly women fed me. Years later, my now wife and I would, when we got the urge to eat, go to an IHOP, whose Swedish Pancakes with (I believe) boysenberry jam were a sensual delight — alas abandoned by them today. All of this began with a man named Fred Harvey. Harvey did two remarkable things in the 19th century. First, he created a vast chain of restaurants to serve the American West. Second, he staffed them with young women. In the U.S., and many parts of Europe in those days, a waitress was said to be available for rent or lease. Harvey, […]