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1759 : The Year Britain Became Master of The World

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If not for the events of 1759, the entire history of the world would have been different. Called the "Year of Victories," 1759 was the fourth year of the Seven Years, or the French-and-Indian War and defeat of the French not only paved the way for the global hegemony of the English language but also made the emergence of the United States possible. Guiding us through England's conquests (and often extremely narrow victories) in India, North America, and the Caribbean, Frank McLynn (Wagons West) controversially suggests that the birth of the great British Empire was more a result of luck than of rigorous planning. Along with stirring depictions of the two greatest battles of 1759, Quebec and Quiberon, McLynn includes anecdotes of the intellectual and cultural leaders of the day–Swedenborg, Hume, Voltaire–and interweaves primary sources, ranging from material in the Vatican archives to oral histories of Native Americans, in a brilliant chronicle of a pivotal year in world history.