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White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery, and Vengeance in Colonial America
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White Devil: A True Story of War, Savagery, and Vengeance in Colonial America

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  269 ratings  ·  27 reviews
"A fast-moving tale of courage, cruelty, hardship, and savagery."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In North America's first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War, France and England--both in alliance with Native American tribes--fought each other in a series of bloody battles and terrifying raids. No confrontation was more brutal and notorious than the massacre o
Paperback, 335 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Da Capo Press (first published May 1st 2004)
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Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is nominally about Roger’s Rangers and Major Robert Rogers, the man who lead many ranging” missions. But much of the book deals with the history of Native American and European, primarily English, settler interactions. There were plenty of points of conflict but also many of peaceful interactions. This book is an excellent companion to Fred Anderson’s Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766. White Devil explains the genesis of sa ...more
Jeff Jellets
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The Abenakis Indians will also have cause to remember the name Robert Rogers, but when they do so it will be by a name of their own: Wobomagonda – White Devil.

Stephen Brumwell’s White Devil is everything I look for in a book of great history. Painstakingly well researched and packed with first-person accounts from eyewitnesses, Brumwell delivers with vivid detail and engaging prose the strange (and often contradictory) biography of Robert Rogers – war hero, patriot, and murderer – in a gripping
Mark Miano
Jul 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Stephen Brummell came out with a book about Benedict Arnold last year that I was hoping to read, but for some reason the DC Public Library didn’t purchase. Instead I found this book, WHITE DEVIL, and decided to give it a shot. The narrative is a bit plodding, but overall I enjoyed the book and an account of U.S. history that I don’t know much about. I can’t write a better summary than what came along with the book:

In North America's first major conflict, known today as the French and Indian War,
Brett Van Gaasbeek
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
The subject is compelling and the exploits of Rogers deserves the biography, but the author tends to discuss too many details and get bogged down in backstories of somewhat irrelevant people. The book certainly was well researched and has some solid historical facts and interesting events, but they were over-shadowed by the details that detracted from the flow of the narrative. This book would be very good for military historians, people who love the French and Indian War, or history buffs looki ...more
May 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Years ago as a kid I remember seeing a movie on TV called 'Northwest Passage" starring Spencer Tracy. It was about Robert Rogers and the Rangers and the French and Indian War. It was a great action adventure. Hollywood got some of it right and some of it wrong. 'White Devil' is the true story of what really happened in the fall of 1759. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it to one and all. ...more
Michael Wilson
Sep 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book about Major Robert Rogers is one of the books about an forgotten era in U.S. History. The image of Spencer Tracy's Northwest Passage has fed my imagination about this topic. In actuality, the tale is even more thrilling and amazing. The book is well written and worth the time. ...more
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brumwell takes a decidedly European view of the French and Indian War (1755-1763) in examining the campaigns undertaken in upstate New York and northern New England. European troops, along with their respective colonists and Native American allies, frequently collided along the boundary of New France and New England. Many "provincials" made a name for themselves fighting alongside British troops, none more so than Robert Rogers and his Rangers. "Rogers' Rangers" have been called the first specia ...more
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-edition
I read this as it was referenced in Elliot Pattison's amazing Duncan McCallum series. I've also had a bit of a fascination for Roger's Rangers given my own personal connection to update New York. This did not disappoint. The history alone was wonderful but the author did an amazing job writing this almost like a novel. This was a great story of the beginnings of what would become the United States. Completely readable. ...more
Ted Haussman
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it

Solid book covering Major Robert Rogers' exploits in the French and Indian War, culminating in the commando raid behind enemy lines to the Abenaki Indian of St. Francis in Canada. Aside from the overly judicious usage of the semicolon and colon as punctuation, the narrative picked up pace and captured my interest as the events unfolded.
Charles A. Mayhood
A thoroughly enjoyable read. The book includes a great deal of very specific information, but offered in a format that would welcome a casual reader as well as an enthusiast.
John Hansen
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A compelling read. I was drawn in more by the events than the characters, nonetheless, the story flowed well, was enjoyable and very informative. Highly recommend.
Jane Barber
Colonial US History. A lot better than the Tracy Spencer movie. The real story of a long and brutal slog from Vermont into Quebec to attack and burn the Abenaki village of St Francis, and the harrowing, deadly, winter trek back to Fort No. 4 in Charleston. The story of the rangers who participated in the slaughter.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
WHITE DEVIL by Stephen Brumwell is an interesting , entertaining and well- written historical narrative of Robert Rodgers, founder of the famous, or infamous to some Rodges' Rangers. During the French and Indian War , a brutal frontier battle for the domination of the North American continent between France and its Native American allies against Britian And its local fighters Rodgers originated the idea of local militia trained , experienced and committed to fighting as Indians, that is, on long ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brumwell has written a most engaging history of the skirmishes and conflicts of the French and Indian War, giving a vivid and in-depth picture of his main focus, Robert Rogers and his Rangers. The book centers on the brutal raid carried out against the St. Francis Abenaki Indians, who were generally allied with the French, but a scourge to the English, especially those encroaching on their frontier. What I liked most about this book is that it looks at all sides of this conflict, does not try to ...more
Bryn Dunham
Oct 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
Okay book about Robert Rogers and his Rangers of the French and Indian War. This book vividly describes the brutality of guerilla warfare on the American frontier and the cycle of violence that knew no limits almost to a fault. Though mainly about Rodgers and his mission to destroy the Abenakis, the author side tracks in details that unless you know the geography of the narrative it gets confusing and monotonous. The story of the first special forces unit and their missions was cool. Rodgers did ...more
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
So, I feel kinda guilty about this book. It's a part of US history I know very little about, and I'm trying to better myself. But...I didn't actually finish reading it. There's nothing inherently bad about it, but it's not very compelling. I kept picking up other books in the middle, and this one just got shunted to the side. After I ran out of library renewals for it (I think that's over two months), I gave up and took it back.

Having said this, if you're interested in the topic, or don't have a
Mark Luongo
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: French & Indian War buffs
Didn"t live up to expectations. It was quite a few pages before it got to the St. Francis Raid and then it was done. But you have to remember that the sources, particularly Primary, are scanty at best and the author had to do his best in sewing this story together. A number of paragraphs in Chapter 5 "Chosen Men" are devoted to the preparation and equipment of the Rangers and the other troops that accompanied them on this expedition in 1759.
The dissipation of Rogers' life is sad but how many tim
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. A brisk military history of the French and Indian War; at the center of the story is Robert Rogers, New Hampshire's intrepid woodsman-soldier, who led his "rangers" in pivotal engagements against the French and their Native allies. The grueling, brutal nature of 18th century warfare is highlighted, as is the central role played by North American Indians on both sides of the conflict. Most of us remain woefully uninformed on this critical period, this book is a great antidote for our i ...more
Ron Versetto
Nov 02, 2016 marked it as to-read
The setting of this book takes place before there was an America or Americans, but rather French and English empires both aligned with various native American tribes for "conquest" of the new world.

The book starts off in the mid 1700s where the eastern seaboard population of the native peoples had already been nearly wiped out by disease brought over from European settlers. For perspective " 1650 some ninety percent of the original Indian population had succumbed to epidemic illness."
Luke Henning
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I found this to be a well written work and a great glimpse at the little known aspect of warfare in Colonial America. Maj. Robert Rogers was instrumental in the foundation of a corps of elite light infantry that live on today in modern Ranger units. Fighting in the forests of New England against the French and their native allies, Rogers and his men became highly specialized in their area and this book does well giving the reader a glimpse of what Rogers and his men went through.
Pamela Klint
Mar 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I haven't read it. But Russ has and absolutely LOVED it [wants to give 6 1/2 stars. i tell him its not out of 10... :P]. He would recommend it but not to me. Adventure of a discarded Colonist Hero during the French/ Indian Wars. Filled with action, savage Indians, French and British rangers. Not for the faint at heart or politically correct Disney readers. Sided with the wrong side during Revolution so left out of the History books. ...more
Craig Tyler
May 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
While I don't agree with the title, the book was a good historical narrative of the exploits of Robert Rogers in Colonial America. The story follows the French Abenakis at St. Frances and the final raid by Rogers which destroyed the town. Certainly an interesting background and lead up to the American Revolution the focus was heavily portrayed during the French and Indian War. ...more
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A good overview of Robert Rogers and his rangers, it includes the French perspective a bit better than my other favorite bio of Rogers: "War on the Run: The Epic Story of Robert Rogers and the Conquest of America's First Frontier" ...more
Todd Rongstad
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The best book I've ever read on the battle between the French and British/Colonials over North America. The brutality of the fighting was so much worse than I imagined. Those Indians were some serious torturers. ...more
Terrance Yount
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very detailed account of Robert Rogers and the St Francis raid of 1759. Set in the context of the times. I enjoyed this book very much.
Great book. Love the story of Rogers Rangers exploits. How did these men do what they did? Think about it.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 20, 2009
Matt Watros
rated it liked it
Dec 17, 2015
Darcy Devlin
rated it it was amazing
Nov 01, 2019
David L. Scrip
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Sep 10, 2016
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Stephen Brumwell is an award-winning writer and historian with a specialist interest in eighteenth-century Britain and North America.

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57 likes · 19 comments
“On 24 July, Captain La Corne Saint-Luc left with another body of nearly four hundred Indians and two hundred Canadians. His departure had been delayed for two days – because of a lacrosse tournament between the Abenakis and Iroquois. The game was played with a ball and sticks curved in the shape of a crosier; it was this fancied resemblance to a bishop’s staff that inspired the French name for the tribal sport. The stakes in this grudge-match were high: one thousand crowns worth of wampum in belts and strings. Amongst the Indians, lacrosse was a serious business; it could result in broken bones and even the occasional death; it was not for nothing that the Cherokees dubbed it the little brother of war. The mission communities clustered around Montréal were particular aficionados; a 1743 plan of the settlement at the Lake of the Two Mountains shows an extensive lacrosse field. The neighbouring Caughnawagas were no less dedicated to the game and long remained so; a team of Mohawks from the village toured Britain in 1876. Their dazzling exhibition matches sparked the interest that led to the sport’s adoption, in a slightly less violent form, by British schoolgirls. Even that glum widow Queen Victoria considered the game very pretty to watch. It is unlikely that she would have used the same words to describe the Abenaki-Iroquois clash of July 1758.” 0 likes
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