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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

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  293 Ratings  ·  37 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 January 1st 2009)
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Jan 16, 2011 Pamela rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 26, 2009 Mike rated it did not like it
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
Sep 24, 2009 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
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
Julia Spencer-Fleming
Jul 03, 2011 Julia Spencer-Fleming rated it it was amazing
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!
Eric Smith
Feb 22, 2015 Eric Smith rated it it was amazing
A very good book with a lot of detail. I enjoyed learning about Robert Rodgers and the time period. The stories of his adventures were riveting. I had read a few other books recently that made reference to Robert Rodgers, so I purchased this book to learn more about the man. The book is well written, and the detailed maps that were provided were greatly appreciated. My only slightly negative comment on the book is that it is a longer read than it needs to be. The story could have been told equal ...more
Mar 11, 2014 Gerry rated it really liked it
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
Jul 11, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it
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
Nov 21, 2012 Lee rated it really liked it
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
Jan 03, 2012 Greg rated it really liked it
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.

Apr 20, 2011 Benjaminxjackson rated it really liked it
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
Jul 02, 2012 M rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 18, 2010 William Smith rated it it was amazing
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
I have always been interested in this period of history. This book filled in a lot of gaps in my understanding of the flow of history because it didn't just deal with one major event or war, it followed Robert Rogers from childhood to death. If you are a fan of Northwest Passage or The Last of the Mohicans you will love this book. I gave it 4 stars because, it was a little slow going half way through, or maybe it was just that it was summer and my kayak called.
Feb 25, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it
I had read of some Roger 's accomplishments in other books but until reading this book, had no idea of the full scope of them nor of his lofty ideas and serious impediments (both on and off the battlefields). Caught between two wars where the crown was both a friend and foe, trapped Rogers more than any ambush on the battlefield could. His late life was remarkably sad for such a hero.
Ross' book brings this forerunner of modern day Rangers and Seals to life as well as the turbulent times in which
Jul 22, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting overview of Robert Rogers, the founder of the modern day Rangers. Rogers, trained and lead a small group of skilled colonists into battles during the French and Indian War as well as the American Revolution.
Dave Beeman
Aug 25, 2014 Dave Beeman rated it really liked it
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
Nov 11, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
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.
Dec 17, 2013 David R. rated it it was amazing
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
Eric Atkisson
May 20, 2016 Eric Atkisson rated it really liked it
Great read, especially the larger portion of the book that deals with Rogers's exploits in the French and Indian War. The author has an incredible gift for evoking all the psychological and environmental factors that men face in combat, extreme weather, and starvation. His chapters on the famous St. Francois Raid of 1759 are among the most riveting nonfiction I've ever read. His narrative of events after the war is somewhat less satisfying, but only because Rogers's life itself became a sorry, d ...more
Jeff Kuchak
Jun 06, 2016 Jeff Kuchak rated it it was amazing
amazing amount of research had to go into this book it is filled with information. great book .
Sep 17, 2014 Curt rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2010 Chuck rated it really liked it
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.
May 22, 2016 Deborah rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 03, 2014 Christopher rated it liked it
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
Apr 21, 2014 Mark Myers rated it liked it
Shelves: history
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.
Jul 14, 2009 Tom rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 26, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
The majority of the book deals with his time during the French and Indian War. From about 1765 until the end of his life, it is crammed into a few pages. I really loved this book until then. It's almost as if the author grew tired of writing.
Aug 04, 2012 John rated it really liked it
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.
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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
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