Review of Bloody Mohawk

Bloody Mohawk  by Robert Berleth

This is simply a fantastic book, both in terms of writing and content.  I thoroughly enjoyed it from the moment I started reading until the moment I put it down.  It takes you through the Mohawk Valley from 1713-1794 and details the major ethinic groups and individuals that lived and competed in the area.

I was primarily interested in the French and Indian War for this area, but I was riveted with the American War of Independence sections as well.  The area was involved with the Saratoga Campaign which is one of the events that I have previously researched.

I had always wondered what “Palatine Germans” were when reading about events here and now I know.  The interplay between the different ethnic groups is clearly defined and explained in the book against the back drop of two wars and many events.   You leave the  book knowing why events happened here and with a detailed account of the major battles as well.  The writing is very well done and captures your interest from the outset.

By 1713 the Mohawk Valley was home to Palatine Germans, Dutch, English, Scots, Irish, New Englanders, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.  Each of these groups intermarried and related to the others through trade and travel.  It’s during this time that the Iroquois League denigrates and New York becomes more than a backwater.
Can’t recommend it enough, get this book if you are interested in the FIW!

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3 Responses to Review of Bloody Mohawk

  1. Ray August 31, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    Thanks for the heads up, I’ve not heard about this book before!!

    • Rusti August 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      I consider this book crucial for understanding the conflict. It really dispels the whole, “the Indians didn’t care who won as long as they kept whites off their land” argument some folks make. Plus it’s a great book to help with scenario writing and all sorts of war-gaming things.

    • cllusk October 27, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

      This book does way more than just cover a series of battles. It is engrossing, broad-spectrum, and a model of how popular history should be written. Don’t neglect the footnotes; they can be profitably read when you have finished the book,in their entirety of the book.

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