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.
"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)
If you have the slightest interest in US History or Naval History you will enjoy this book
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.
disappointment. clearly the author is intent in rewriting history. also, i am interested in that period, the navy, and the lessions learned.
Great book and reader did well too. Makes me want more information on other wars to see what I didn't know about them, especially the smaller wars in 1800s.
The content is interesting and provides a great in-depth look at the war, but it doesn't really support the thesis that this was "the navy's war".
Good account of how a young America showed it's navy was one to be respected. Interesting how Napoleon's war in Europe affected how the British fought the Americans.
Excellent revelation of important background. Excellent narration. To further appreciate our Navy and our history read this book.
It sounded like they were getting too deeply enmeshed in the operation of the ships and much too many details. Also, very repetitive!
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
The War of 1812 always gets short shrift in school, leading a lot of us to assume it was just a minor skirmish. I suppose in some ways it was. But there was still a lot going on, and this book does its part to fill in the blanks. Daughan does a great job setting up the background for the war. The specific issues of trade and impressment and how it was all related to the Napoleonic campaigns, the non-military tactics employed, the eventual breakdown, and the territorial designs of the US and Great Britain over Canada and the "Northwest".
Madison does not come off well in this story. In fact the partisan rivalry between Republicans and Federalists sounds all too familiar to the times in which we live. Madison may have been a great political thinker but he was a lousy war president. Tales of American military and political incompetence abound during this conflict. It would be funny if it weren't so shameful and tragic.
Daughan spends a lot of time on the details of individual military encounters. This really helped bring home the reality of men in the field dealing with what was right in front of them, as opposed to the orders reaching them after days or weeks from people in Washington who had no firsthand sense of what was going on. It also helped confirm that all the details in the Jack Aubrey books and the Hornblower books are pretty accurate.
The two events everyone associates with this war--the burning of Washington and the bombardment of Fort McHenry--turn out to be rather peripheral in the scheme of the overall campaign. Which isn't to say they aren't important.
It's easy in a history to have the thesis get lost in recounting details. But Daughan keeps revisiting his underlying premise that the US naval forces played an important role in changing the attitude of the British toward the US and contributing to the long peaceful affiliation the two countries have shared since that time. While Daughan addresses the issue of privateers, I couldn't help feeling that that story did not get proper weight. Perhaps someone else will tell that story someday.
Tried to cram too many stories into novel. Better look up 1800's nautical terms before you begin. Although this was an important time in our history as a nation the book was all over the place.
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