The First Way of War

American War Making on the Frontier, 1607–1814

by John Grenier

This 2005 book explores the evolution of Americans' first way of war, to show how war waged against Indian noncombatant population and agricultural resources became the method early Americans employed and, ultimately, defined their military heritage. The sanguinary story of the American conquest of the Indian peoples east of the Mississippi River helps demonstrate how early Americans embraced warfare shaped by extravagant violence and focused on conquest. Grenier provides a major revision in understanding the place of warfare directed on noncombatants in the American military tradition, and his conclusions are relevant to understand US 'special operations' in the War on Terror.
  • Cambridge University Press; January 2005
  • ISBN: 9780511108990
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: The First Way of War
  • Author: John Grenier
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

"Read it as a clear, informed survey of the lesser-known wars of early American history, or as a strongly argued reinterpretation of the pattern and relevance of early American military experience, John Grenier's excellent book earns a place on the short shelf of essential books in U.S. military history."
-John Shy, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor