Leckie betrays his Francophilia with extensive court gossip and decadent anecdotes of the European elite; the most detailed accounts of colonialism concern New France and the efforts of its military governors, traders, and priests to wrest order from a landscape imperiled by Iroquois attackers, British invaders, and, perhaps most fatally, corruption from within the governing body itself. (In his concluding chapter on Montcalm's defeat on the Fields of Abraham, Leckie speculates that Quebec's governor, Vaudreuil, might have deliberately sabotaged his nation's defenses out of monetary self-interest.) A Few Acres of Snow also rejects recent scholarship on the French-Indian Wars by Richard White and Robert Merrill, which has revised traditional Native American roles from that of bloodthirsty savages to active participants in the Northwest Territory's political economy. Leckie's account often reads like a cantankerous, politically incorrect throwback to an era of historical writing where the Iroquois spent most of their time torturing Jesuits and roasting babies while the European civilizations, corrupt and flawed as they were, ultimately claimed an unruly empire. --John M. Anderson
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New France was a huge territory claimed by French explorers, stretching from present day Quebec through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi Valley. The Iroquois were the people of several tribes in the Eastern United States and Canada, who controlled large areas before European settlement and allied themselves variously with French, British and Americans during their 18th century wars.