The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity

The Name of War:  King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity


King Philip's War, the excruciating racial war--colonists against Indians--that erupted in New England in 1675, was, in proportion to population, the bloodiest in American history. Some even argued that the massacres and outrages on both sides were too horrific to "deserve the name of a war." Telling the story of what may have been the bitterest of American conflicts, and its reverberations over the centuries, Lepore has enabled us to see how the ways in which we remember past events are as important in their effect on our history as were the events themselves.


Winner of the Bancroft Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize and the Berkshire Prize, the New England Historical Association Book Prize and a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize.

“Lepore displays remarkable gifts as a storyteller. ... She possesses the special gift of our most enduring historians: a flair for finding strange and ironic episodes whose details reveal the past’s most fundamental and painful contradictions. ... An evocative, powerful, and troubling book about a little-known war that speaks to all wars.”--The New Republic

“Fascinating ... rich in imagination, in moral ruminations about the meaning and justice of war.”--The New York Review of Books

“Lepore captures the experience of the war, for whites and Indians alike, in prose that is worthy of the tormented writing that emerged from the Civil War, World War I and Vietnam.”--The New York Times Book Review

“Brilliant. ... Lepore’s grasp of the complexities and varieties of the human beings in her drama matches that of a fine novelist. ... This is history as it should be written. ... The delights of Jill Lepore’s prose are enough by themselves to make this a book for anyone who loves good writing.”--The Boston Globe


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Last updated on 12/04/2012