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War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier
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War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Hailed as the father of today’s elite special forces, Robert Rogers was not only a wilderness warrior but North America’s first noteworthy playwright and authentic celebrity. In a riveting biography, John F. Ross reconstructs the extraordinary achievements of this fearless and inspiring leader whose exploits in the early New England wilderness read like those of an action ...more
Hardcover, 548 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by Bantam (first published 2009)
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What is it about the way U.S. history is taught that makes it uninteresting to so many Americans? I wish I knew. Perhaps the lessons we get in fourth grade — third grade was Colorado history for me —are so poorly constructed as to seem worn and trite. Regardless, it's a shame we can't do better at making history come alive for kids.

One period of history that is being removed from the books, even in states where it occurred, is the history of the French and Indian War (that's the Seven Years' War
I'm very disappointed. Robert Rogers is a fascinating figure. A good biography could provide great insights into early America- the great continental struggle between Britain and France, the complex and ever-evolving role of Indian nations, and the development of a uniquely "American" character in the British colonies. Lots of potential, but this book didn't tap it. Ross provides a lot of information on Roger's life, his narrative spares few details yet fails to be compelling. Incidents of high ...more
As a self-professed military history enthusiast I thought I knew something about Rogers but I was wrong. This book was a real revelation about a truly heroic and tragic figure. I knew of his special ops abilities during the French and Indian War which eventually gave birth to our own Army Rangers. Rogers would make today's ultra-athletes envious of his endurance and physical abilities. However, I knew nothing of his prescient vision for the American continent(decades ahead of Jefferson and Lewis ...more
Robert Rogers was a regular history lesson from some undisclosed point in American Schools up and until the late 1930’s – it’s conceivable that with the U.S. entering the Second World War in 1941 that the “Rogers” part of American History began to take a back seat to the current events of the nation (then) going forward.

This book was fundamentally important not of only Robert Rogers and “Rogers Rangers” on the frontier when the American Frontier was nothing more than what we take for granted tod
This book is well worth reading. This biography of Robert Rogers gives him due credit for developing small unit tactics that became the inspiration for the U.S. Army Rangers. He was well known both in England and America as well as being feared and respected by the French and their Indian allies. At a time when the English were suffering defeat after defeat, Rogers' Rangers took the war to the French and beat them at their own game. Rogers was a good woodsman, respected the Indians and adapted t ...more
An Excellent biography of Robert Rogers a colonial who fought valiantly for the British during the French and Indian War earning himself a commission in the British Army something even Georgge Washington was unable to do. Rogers known for using unorthodox tactics normally used by the Native Americans adopted these tactics for his Rangers setting a precedent that is followed by Special Forces to this day. The book details his long marches and hit and run tactics wreaking havoc among the French an ...more
Other than a minimal understanding of the French and Indian War (we are taught in school that its monetary demands led to the imposition of taxation and other British policies fomenting the Revolutionary War, and that George Washington served in it), I had very little knowledge of this early American hero and his contributions. Having picked up this book off the bargain rack, I was thoroughly surprised both by the quality of the writing as well as the truly tragic story of the man himself.

This biography of Robert Rogers was an interesting look at colonial America and the changes that were taking place both in North America and in the world during the second half of the 18th century.

The book describes both the life of Robert Rogers and the life of his ranger units that began during the French and Indian War. It describes how Rogers rose from being a small, unsuccessful farmer to a successful military man, and then his decline. Rogers developed the skills that would let him lead f
James (JD) Dittes
Robert Rogers was the first American hero, a man who embodied innovation, endurance, and adventure. After a hardscrabble youth spent in the wilds of New Hampshire, he narrowly escaped a prison sentence by joining the provincial army at the dawn of the French & Indian War.

It was Rogers' talents as a recruiter that first elevated him in the eyes of British commanders. He quickly raised 100 men and earned himself a promotion to captain. Moreover, as the British muddled around Fort Edward in the
This biography ranks right up there at the top of my list of favorite biographies (my other favorites are David McCullough's John Adams and Andrew Carnegie by Peter Krass) I was enthralled reading this and plan to read it again this summer. I bought copies to give as gifts and could not stop talking about it (my kids would roll their eyes and say "Oh, no, here she goes again..."). This is brilliantly researched and written, about a man I never had any interest in reading about. What piqued my cu ...more
William Smith
War on the Run by John F. Ross is subtitled "the epic story of Robert Rogers" - I would suggest it is really "the tragic story of Robert Rogers." This terrific biography of Robert Rogers ably demonstrates his enormous contributions to the British American cause in the French and Indian War. His relationships with a large number of American Indian tribes and his adaptation of the war tactics they used to create the first American based ranger units are the heart of the story. Unfortunately, these ...more
Dave Beeman
Excellent account of the life of Robert Rogers. From his early life on the American frontier to the heights of glory during the French and Indian War to the lows of court maritals and prison every aspect of his life is covered. Who started looking for the Northwest Passage and idenified the route that would be taken by Lewis and Clark some 30 years later? Who fought on the side of the British in the American Revolution and was responsible for the capture of Nathan Hale? Who so worried George Was ...more
This book reads like a novel, but a valuable history of America before the revolution. I was already familiar with the career of Rogers and the rangers during the French and Indian war, but I did not know the details. Really worth the read, as they don't teach this in school. Rogers and his rangers were once famous in America. I think that Roger's fame burned out because of his siding with the British during the American Revolution. I did not know that Robert Rogers was interrogated by George Wa ...more
David R.
A first rate rediscovery of a forgotten figure in America's colonial and revolutionary history. Robert Rogers was a pioneer of modern ranger tactics and in many ways set standards held by America's current day armed forces. Most fascinating was Rogers' relationship with native Americans. This tough soldier earned trust even of his native adversaries and was genuinely respected as an administrator. Ross breathed much life into this remarkable and larger-than-life man, especially as he ran afoul o ...more
A highly accessible book on Robert Rogers and his contributions to American history in the French and Indian war and American Revolution. Rogers is widely considered a founder of Special Operations Forces in America.

It is well written and concentrates on the man and his experiences rather than on battles, tactics, and military details.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in the French and Indian War and have heard about Robert Rogers but don't know much else about him.
I really enjoyed this book, but be warned - it's not for the squeamish! This was an eye-opening and unflinching account of the brutal reality of both eighteenth century warfare and wilderness survival.

Rogers was an extraordinary individual, whose accomplishments have had far-reaching effects on the American military. Ross has done an great job of dusting off the story and reputation of a man that should have far outlived his time.
The author fills in histories blanks with a lot of speculation, but doesn't label it clearly as such and for a book that is so fawningly praiseful of Rodgers, I'm left with a much worse opinion of him after having read it.
Mark Myers
Interesting biography of the father of the American Rangers or special forces during the French-Indian Wars of the 1750's with daring raids behind enemy lines and adoption of backwoods techniques into the military. Robert's Rangers were the precursor to today's special forces units. "Rogers Rules of Ranging" are still in use by those units.
A great book on Rogers, the French and Indian war in the Northeast, and British tactics (or lack thereof). Ross paints a good picture of several important figures of this period. I would balance this book with O'Toole"s "White Savage" on William Johnson and any of Fred Anderson's books on the F&I war.
Julia Spencer-Fleming
Gripping history and narrative combined with a primer on colonial times. The best narrative on the French and Indian War I've read and the true story of America's first Special Forces, Rogers Rangers. My Adirondack stomping grounds where I grew up and my book are set!
Another great book about an oft overlooked period of our country's development. Roger's Rangers Rangers are often mentioned in our HS and college history survey books but yet is so little is known about them and/or their leader. A captivating book.
I liked this book. Robert Rogers was the first special forces soldier. His rules for warfare are still followed today. He was great at war and not so great at peace.
Very readable account of the role Rogers played in the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War.
Apr 01, 2012 Steven added it
Very good detail so far. Like the info on Maj Rogers early years.
engaging first third. attempt at revisionism in second half is weak.
Féarghal Mac giobúin
Féarghal Mac giobúin marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Jeff marked it as to-read
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John F. Ross is the former Executive Editor of American Heritage and Invention & Technology magazines and was a Senior Editor of Smithsonian magazine before that. On assignment, he has chased scorpions in Baja, dived 3,000 feet underwater in the Galapagos, dogsledded with the Polar Inuit in Greenland, lived with the Khanty reindeer herders in Siberia, and launched the most northern canoe trip ...more
More about John F. Ross...
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