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1812: The Navy's War | [George C. Daughan]

1812: The Navy's War

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, America's prospects looked dismal. It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean but America's war fleet, only 20 ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, the American navy managed to take the fight to the British and turn the tide of the war.
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Publisher's Summary

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, America's prospects looked dismal. It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean, but America's war fleet, only 20 ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, the American navy managed to take the fight to the British and turn the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific.

In 1812: The Navy's War, prize-winning historian George C. Daughan tells the thrilling story of how a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews overcame spectacular odds to lead the country to victory against the world's greatest imperial power. A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy's War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America's future.

©2011 George C. Daughan (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The War of 1812 was America's first great naval war, and George Daughan tells the story, from the coast of Brazil to the Great Lakes, from election campaigns to grand strategy to ship-to-ship combat. Sweeping, exciting and detailed." (Richard Brookhiser)

"A solidly researched, well-crafted account of U.S. sea power in the War of 1812… Daughan’s achievement is contextualizing the effect of [the U.S. Navy’s] victories…. What kept the peace, Daughan argues provocatively, was America’s post-war commitment to 'a strong navy, an adequate professional army, and the financial reforms necessary to support them' - in other words, an effective deterrent." (Publishers Weekly)

"Vietor’s timing and pacing are perfectly aligned with the narrative style of the text." (Audiofile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (259 )
5 star
 (70)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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4.0 (225 )
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Story
4.0 (223 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ruth Robinson Detroit, Michigan, USA 09-17-12
    Ruth Robinson Detroit, Michigan, USA 09-17-12 Member Since 2011

    Canopy King

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "200 years later"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you have the slightest interest in US History or Naval History you will enjoy this book


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Terre Haute, IN, United States 08-18-12
    Wayne Terre Haute, IN, United States 08-18-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poorly researched"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    proper research. example: the author describes Alexander Hamilton as wanting a king in the United States. anyone who has read even the small amount of his writings as i have will know that this is completely false. he was opposed to such a person.


    What was most disappointing about George C. Daughan’s story?

    see above


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment. clearly the author is intent in rewriting history. also, i am interested in that period, the navy, and the lessions learned.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 04-13-14
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 04-13-14 Member Since 2011

    Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tedious but worthwhile"
    Where does 1812: The Navy's War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the middle.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Did not care for the book until the end, now I think it's fine!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 02-10-14
    Corey DOVER, DE, United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2013
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    10
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    "An in-depth history of the war of 1812"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It can get a bit long-winded at times.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    He provided some truly interesting stories and anecdotes from first-hand accounts which really spiced up the story and kept my interest.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader was serviceable, caused me to get a bit sleepy after a while. Possibly because his reading pace was a bit slow.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael J. Morris Raleigh, NC 01-25-14
    Michael J. Morris Raleigh, NC 01-25-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "A Great End-to-End Review of the War of 1812"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Covers multiple angles of the War of 1812, not just the Navy. Includes Army battles, US politics, Napoleon's wars, etc. Everything that affected this war.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The US Navy captains who didn't give a crap about British superiority at sea and took the fight to the British again and again


    What does Marc Vietor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Proper pronunciations of all the names and sites


    Any additional comments?

    A bit hard to keep track of all the names and places. It was fun to listen to the battles around Buffalo and Niagara Falls since I grew up there, but the rest of the places were hard to keep up with. I found myself checking Google maps later

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jack RIVERVIEW, FLORIDA, United States 12-18-13
    jack RIVERVIEW, FLORIDA, United States 12-18-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Book and intriguing story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, very interesting facts about American in it's infancy and how we muddled through in this early war.


    What about Marc Vietor’s performance did you like?

    HIs emphasis was always spot on.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John L. Moncrief NYC 12-17-13
    John L. Moncrief NYC 12-17-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Facts, Nothing But the Facts"

    If you are into all of the details of naval and land battles during the War of 1812, this is your book. Every sailing maneuver during battles between the heroic (but crazy) frigates along with compositions of crews, number killed and wounded, damage reports, sails and riggings carried away... all preparations taken for land battles, compositions of armies (regulars, militiamen, Indians, liberated slaves), fortifications, armaments, tactics, blunders, killed and wounded, intentional torching of towns and cities... Honestly, this really is of interest to me. In addition, there is a very detailed account of the disputes between England and the US, of the political maneuvering between the Federalists and the Republicans, of the attitudes in England exhibited by the Parliament, the ministers and the press... The War of 1812 ended in a kind a stalemate... the status quo from the beginning of the war was put back in place... but it had great significance for relations between the US and England... We got respect and England became our friend.for centuries . For Madison it was a titanic struggle.. many blunders, many bad appointments but to his credit he stuck it out and changed our government for the better...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Charlotte, NC, United States 12-11-13
    William Charlotte, NC, United States 12-11-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
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    Story
    "A Lot of History"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, The book was good, but a lot of history and dry at times. I did learn many details about the War of 1812. This is one that I would listen to again because I missed some details during the first listening.


    Would you be willing to try another book from George C. Daughan? Why or why not?

    Yes, I love History.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Acteon Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 12-05-13
    Acteon Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 12-05-13 Member Since 2009

    Acteon

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well worth listening to"
    What made the experience of listening to 1812: The Navy's War the most enjoyable?

    The exciting sea battles. This book really gives a sense of what they were like, as well as their significance.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 1812: The Navy's War?

    The victories of Decatur, Hull, Porter, Biddle, etc. at sea. But two moments that touches me most were the disappearance of the Essex after its victories and the Epervier carrying the Moroccan peace treaty and two newly-wed lieutenants Decatur was sending home so that they could join their wives. Through this book, I became more aware of the hardship of being at sea in those days as well as the horrors of sea battles (officers had a very good chance of being killed or wounded in every encounter). I was particularly impressed by the atrocious way seamen in the British navy were treated, something which led to widespread desertion and the impressing of American seamen that was one of the major reasons for the war. The bad treatment was not restricted to the Royal Navy; the detestable Admiral Bainbridge who was the highest ranking officer in the American navy also made himself hated by his men. But by and large the US seamen fared much better (depending on the captain), and I take a personal pleasure in imagining that this played a part in England's failure to beat the Americans whom the English politicians and military held in such contempt.


    Any additional comments?

    The book gives an excellent, thrilling (for the most part), and very detailed account of the war, its circumstances and its significance. I hesitated between 4 and 5 stars but opted for the latter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Wilmington, DE, United States 03-27-13
    Amazon Customer Wilmington, DE, United States 03-27-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Forgotten War"
    What made the experience of listening to 1812: The Navy's War the most enjoyable?

    The reader. Marc Vietor is an excellent reader, with a good combination of voice talents to keep what I'm sure was a slog of a read interesting for more than 10 hours.


    Would you recommend 1812: The Navy's War to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only if you're history-minded. The book is absolutely dense with unnecessary detail about individual ships and their crews. I really didn't need to know the number of crewmen on a ship that only appeared as part of a list of ships sunk in a battle.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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