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Liberty or Death: Wars That Forged a Nation

By Carl Benn and Daniel Marston
Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-5560

Liberty or Death: Wars That Forged a Nation by Carl Benn and Daniel Marston is a textbook about three wars in America's early history. The book is broken into three parts that coincide with the wars covered in the text. Part One is an in-depth look at the French and Indian war. The time period covered in this section is 1754 to 1760. Part Two is a detailed review of the American Revolution, the period of 1774 to 1783. Part Three is a thorough look at the War of 1812 and covers the years of 1807 to 1815.

Each of the sections in the book begins with an overview of the issues and circumstances that led up to the war covered in that part of the book. The authors are thorough in their efforts to convey the political and social environment that existed during the time period covered. Each section contains amazingly detailed descriptions of many of the major battles that occurred. When compared with battles of today, the numbers of soldiers involved sounds incredibly small, but the number of casualties is tragically high. The types and methods of warfare were well explained and understandable. A conclusion and consequences discussion ends each section of the book. The authors use these discussions to tie the wars together into the overall theme for the book, wars that forged a nation.

The book is a well-written textbook that falls into a high school level of sophistication due to the geopolitical topics covered by the authors. It has many maps and detailed illustrations that greatly aid comprehension of the subject matter. A non-history buff might find this book somewhat dry; however, a history fan should find this text both thorough and fascinating.

Product review by Jim Price, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, October 2006

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