• The Greatest Fury

  • The Battle of New Orleans and the Rebirth of America
  • By: William C. Davis
  • Narrated by: David H. Lawrence
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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The Greatest Fury

By: William C. Davis
Narrated by: David H. Lawrence
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Publisher's Summary

"Davis’s accounts of small fights won by hot blood and cold steel are thrilling." (The Wall Street Journal)

From master historian William C. Davis, the definitive story of the Battle of New Orleans, the fight that decided the ultimate fate not only of the War of 1812 but the future course of the fledgling American republic.

It was a battle that could not be won. Outnumbered farmers, merchants, backwoodsmen, smugglers, slaves, and Choctaw Indians, many of them unarmed, were up against the cream of the British army, professional soldiers who had defeated the great Napoleon and set Washington, DC, ablaze. At stake was nothing less than the future of the vast American heartland, from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, as the ragtag American forces fought to hold New Orleans, the gateway of the Mississippi River and an inland empire.

Tipping the balance of power in the New World, this single battle irrevocably shifted the young republic's political and cultural center of gravity and kept the British from ever regaining dominance in North America. In this gripping, comprehensive study of the Battle of New Orleans, William C. Davis examines the key players and strategy of King George's Red Coats and Andrew Jackson's makeshift "army". A master historian, he expertly weaves together narratives of personal motivation and geopolitical implications that make this battle one of the most impactful ever fought on American soil.

©2019 William C. Davis (P)2019 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"A finely researched volume that spotlights the good, bad and ugly of a polyglot army stumbling to war.... The strength of Mr. Davis’s chronicle is its meticulous research and the way it frames the Battle of New Orleans in the context of a vibrant, evolving, occasionally vicious South.... The Greatest Fury is one of the most comprehensive looks at a fight that became a punctuation mark in the tale of Manifest Destiny." (The Wall Street Journal)

"William C. Davis reframes the historic significance of the Battle of New Orleans in a book that is both learned and accessible. Known for his wide ranging research, Davis wields his energetic writing style to bring to life military and political history in a story sure to engage an appreciative audience." (Ronald C. White, New York Times best-selling author of American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant)

"With prose so sharp the reader will hear the canons’ roar and feel the heat of the fire, William C. Davis has crafted an epic of American history. It’s all here, from the clash of warships on Lake Borgne to Andrew Jackson’s line of heroic fighters, to the Redcoats who took on an enemy inferior in numbers, weapons and experience - and suffered defeat. The Greatest Fury is a rousing read." (Winston Groom, New York Times best-selling author of The Allies and Patriotic Fire)

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Fantastic

As a military history buff and history major, I found this book to be incredibly well researched and written. I highly recommend this book to learn more about the battle of New Orleans. It is far more thorough and balanced and any other account I’ve read.

1 person found this helpful

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excellent!

thorough research, riveting, even when he got wonky on artillery (but necessary). clarified the roles of participants.

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Mispronounced names and locations

I grew up in New Orleans with January 8th an annual holiday in my family. I loved the author's research into events before 1814-1815. I've read other books by the author and though they were sometimes bogged down with details, they were worth the effort.
Here's my complaint. The narrator (probably through no fault of his own) mispronounces so many names and locations, I could not bear to listen. I stopped the audio after 2 hours. I'll buy and read the book, but I won't go back to the audiobook.

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Very detailed. I had no idea.

This was a bit too much for someone who knew nothing about this battle. It was like drinking from a firehose. I will come back to this again.

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Important, interesting but lengthy

This book significantly expands the knowledge of the reader about important milestones in American history. There is some excess in names of persons involved in battles and politics which adds to the length of the book but not the story. Despite this it’s a great “. read.”