Save 40% on UNC Press books during our American History SALE

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

By Paul W. Mapp

480 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 4 halftones, 39 maps, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-0086-4
    Published: February 2013
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-3894-5
    Published: December 2012

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Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press

Awards & distinctions

2013 W. Turrentine-Jackson Prize, Western History Association

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.
For more information about Paul W. Mapp, visit the Author Page.


"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