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The War of Jenkins' Ear

The Forgotten War for North and South America and the World that Made It: 1665-1742

Filled with unforgettable characters and martime adventure, the incredible story of a forgotten war that shaped the fate of the United States—and the entire Western Hemisphere.

In the early 18th century, the British and Spanish Empires were fighting for economic supremacy in the Americas.  Tensions between the two powers were high, and wars blossomed like violent flowers for nearly a hundred years, from the War of Spanish Succession (sometimes known as Queen Anne's War in the Americas), culminating in the War of Jenkins' Ear.

This war would lay the ground work for the French and Indian War and, eventually, the War of the American Revolution.  The War of Jenkins' Ear was a world war in the truest sense, engaging the major European powers on battlefields ranging from Europe to the Americas to the Asian subcontinent.

Yet the conflict that would eventually become known as the War of Jenkins' Ear—a moniker coined by the 19th century historian Robert Carlyle more than a century later—is barely known to us today.  Yet it resulted in the invasion of Georgia and even involved members of George Washington’s own family.  It would cost fifty-thousand lives, millions in treasure, and over six hundred ships.

With vivid prose, Robert Gaudi takes the reader from the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay to the rocky shores of Tierra del Fuego.  We travel around the Cape of Good Hope and across the Pacific to the Philippines and the Cantonese coast, with stops in Cartagena, Panama, and beyond.  Yet even though it happened decades before American independence, The War of Jenkins' Ear reveals that this was truly an American war; a hard-fought, costly struggle that determined the fate of the Americas, and in which, for the first time, American armies participated. 

In this definitive work of history—the only single comprehensive volume on the subject—The War of Jenkins’ Ear explores the war that establed the future of two entire continents.

Robert Gaudi is the author of African Kaiser.  At one time or another, he has worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, tended bar, and managed a classic car restoration shop. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.