The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763

Paul W. Mapp
Paperback price: $45
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Publisher: Omohundro Institute and University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: OIEAHC
Cloth/Hardcover Publication Date: 02/2011
Pages: 480
Paperback ISBN: 9781469600864
Paperback Publication Date: 02/2013
Ebook ISBN: 9780807838945


A truly continental history in both its geographic and political scope, The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire, 1713-1763 investigates eighteenth-century diplomacy involving North America and links geographic ignorance about the American West to Europeans’ grand geopolitical designs. Breaking from scholars’ traditional focus on the Atlantic world, Paul W. Mapp demonstrates the centrality of hitherto understudied western regions to early American history and shows that a Pacific focus is crucial to understanding the causes, course, and consequences of the Seven Years’ War.

About The Author

Paul Mapp is associate professor of history at the College of William and Mary.


W. Turrentine-Jackson Award, Western History Association (2013)


The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire is written in a graceful, conversational style that asks good questions and makes thoughtful answers.”–Journal of American History

“Path-breaking. . . . A rich and novel story that will force historians to rethink some of the standard interpretations of the struggle for empire in 18th-century North America.”–London Review of Books

“Deeply researched and carefully argued.”–American Historical Review

“Recommended for classroom use and the general history buff seeking a new perspective.”–Colonial Latin American Historical Review

“Mapp’s prose is lucid and engaging, and he displays a dazzling knowledge of early modern European cartography. . . . [This] book is first class all the way, from the many reproduced maps to the generous space allotted for the index, and it is a pleasure to pick up and peruse.”–Arkansas Historical Quarterly

“Thoughtfully researched, structured, and argued. . . . Mapp has written an excellent book.”–Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“An impressively well-researched and thoughtful work.”–Southwestern Historical Quarterly

“[A] thought-provoking study of the eighteenth-century colonial West before 1763.”–The Historian

“Mapp displays a knowledge of European diplomacy and Borderlands history that will dazzle. . . . [He] places the elusive West back on the misinformed maps of the time and restores contingency to the course of empire.”–New Mexico Historical Review

“Deeply researched and beautifully written and illustrated book. . . is highly recommended.”–Tennessee Historical Quarterly

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