Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book Review Osprey Fortress series #105 Forts of the American Frontier 1776-1891 California, Oregon, Washingron and Alaska

Author: Ron Field
Artist: Adam Hook
ISNN: 978-1-84908-315-7

     I have long had a "thing" for forts and castles, my family will complain at length because almost every vacation will involve a "fort day" during which I will drag them to see some fort, fortress, earthwork or moldering foundations. I take lots of pictures with the dream of building scale models at some distant future date. When I first saw the Osprey Fortress series I knew they had read my mind, that I would compulsively by almost anything under the imprint "Fortress". Sadly this has been largely true. On the upside the series has been universally excellent. Which brings us to the title under consideration.

     This book follows the standard Fortress model, sixty-four pages liberally sprinkled with an excellent selection of period and modern photographs and illustrated in the grand Osprey style of many full-page drawings that clearly show the various forts in an isometric view. Tantalizing bits of history give color and meaning to these now quiet (or long-gone) structures and almost demand further research. Happily there is a good bibliography as a starting place and even better there is a lengthy list of the forts and the agency currently in charge of them with website listed alongside. I have found this to be an invaluable asset as most have good websites and you can usually contact the personnel at the fort thought the site. They have, in my experience, been more than happy to assist the enthusiast or researcher.

     If you are at all interested in this subject, or just 19th Century forts generally this is an excellent book. Me, I read the book in one sitting and then spent hours on the Internet gawking at the websites.

    Very highly recommended (as is the entire series).

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