Braddock’s Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution (Pivotal Moments in American History)
by: Oxford University Press
Product rating: 5.0 with 7 reviews
On July 9, 1755, British regulars and American colonial troops under the command of General Edward Braddock, commander in chief of the British Army in North America, were attacked by French and Native American forces shortly after crossing the Monongahela River and while making their way to besiege Fort Duquesne in the Ohio Valley, a few miles from what is now Pittsburgh. The long line of red-coated troops struggled to maintain cohesion and discipline as Indian warriors quickly outflanked them and used the dense cover of the woods to masterful and lethal effect. Within hours, a powerful British army was routed, its commander mortally wounded, and two-thirds of its forces casualties in one the worst disasters in military history.
David Preston’s gripping and immersive account of Braddock’s Defeat, also known as the Battle of the Monongahela, is the most authoritative ever written. Using untapped sources and collections, Preston offers a reinterpretation of Braddock’s Expedition in 1754 and 1755, one that does full justice to its remarkable achievements. Braddock had rapidly advanced his army to the cusp of victory, overcoming uncooperative colonial governments and seemingly insurmountable logistical challenges, while managing to carve a road through the formidable Appalachian Mountains. That road would play a major role in America’s expansion westward in the years ahead and stand as one of the expedition’s most significant legacies.
The causes of Braddock’s Defeat are debated to this day. Preston’s work challenges the stale portrait of an arrogant European officer who refused to adapt to military and political conditions in the New World and the first to show fully how the French and Indian coalition achieved victory through effective diplomacy, tactics, and leadership. New documents reveal that the French Canadian commander, a seasoned veteran named Captain Beaujeu, planned the attack on the British column with great skill, and that his Native allies were more disciplined than the British regulars on the field.
Braddock’s Defeat establishes beyond question its profoundly pivotal nature for Indian, French Canadian, and British peoples in the eighteenth century. The disaster altered the balance of power in America, and escalated the fighting into a global conflict known as the Seven Years’ War. Those who were there, including George Washington, Thomas Gage, Horatio Gates, Charles Lee, and Daniel Morgan, never forgot its lessons, and brought them to bear when they fought again-whether as enemies or allies-two decades hence. The campaign had awakened many British Americans to their provincial status in the empire, spawning ideas of American identity and anticipating the social and political divisions that would erupt in the American Revolution.
Posted in Native American Tagged with: American, Battle, Braddock's, Defeat, History, Moments, Monongahela, Oxford University Press, Pivotal, Revolution, Road
The Deeper Genome: Why there is more to the human genome than meets the eye
by: Oxford University Press
Product rating: 4.2 with 4 reviews
Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn’t turn out that way. For a start, we turned out to have far fewer genes than originally thought – just over 20,000, the same sort of number as a fruit fly or worm. What’s more, the proportion of DNA consisting of genes coding for proteins was a mere 2%. So, was the rest of the genome accumulated ‘junk’?
Things have changed since those early heady days of the Human Genome Project. But the emerging picture is if anything far more exciting. In this book, John Parrington explains the key features that are coming to light – some, such as the results of the international ENCODE programme, still much debated and controversial in their scope. He gives an outline of the deeper genome, involving layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes; the impact of its 3D geometry; the discovery of a variety of new RNAs playing critical roles; the epigenetic changes influenced by the environment and life experiences that can make identical twins different and be passed on to the next generation; and the clues coming out of comparisons with the genomes of Neanderthals as well as that of chimps about the development of our species. We are learning more about ourselves, and about the genetic aspects of many diseases. But in its complexity, flexibility, and ability to respond to environmental cues, the human genome is proving to be far more subtle than we ever imagined.
Posted in Bioinformatics Tagged with: Deeper, Genome, human, meets, More, Oxford University Press, than, There