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Mr. and Mrs. Madison's War: America's First Couple and the Second War of Independence

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  14 reviews
August 28, 1814. Dressed in black, James Madison mourns the nation's loss. Smoke rises from the ruin of the Capitol before him; a mile away stands the blackened shell of the White House. The British have laid waste to Washington City, and as Mr. Madison gazes at the terrible vista, he ponders the future-his country's defeat or victory-in a war he began over the unanimous o ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Bloomsbury Press
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Excellent portrait of Washington's first "power couple", the Madisons. Dolly gets her due as a woman who helped shape Washington society, and a model for what First Ladies became in later years--partners who helped their husbands navigate the rocky politics of the nation's capitol and made a positive impression on the American people, and on foreign dignitaries and world leaders as well.

It's especially relevant during this anniversary of the War of 1812, and the description of the British invasi
Hugh Howard presents an interesting perspective on the War of 1812 from the viewpoint of James and Dolley Madison. This mild-mannered and geeky President was married to one of the most interesting, vivacious and colorful first-ladies of the 19th century. They were indeed an odd couple. Madison was very short (5 ft. 4 in. max) and dressed mostly in black. He did not smoke, drink, gamble, swear, or lose his temper. He was studious and introverted, and did not deliver a single speech during his ter ...more
Patricia O'Sullivan
In 1807 the HMS Leopard attacked the USS Chesapeake off the coast of Virginia. After blowing twenty-two holes in the Chesapeake's hull, the British boarded her and impressed a handful of sailors, most of them American, into the Royal Navy. So began a series of skirmishes between the British and the Americans that led to America's second war of independence, the War of 1812.

In a narrative style, Hugh Howard introduces his readers to the personalities and key events of the war. Dominating Howard'
Lasting three years, the War of 1812 needs a better name. In its time "Mr. Madison's War" was a name of scorn. A byproduct of this war, admitted by even those who opposed it, was that it brought the US great prestige. Author Hugh Howard, noting that the president's wife was his true partner in work as well as life, gives this war a more modern name as a term of respect.

While Pres. Madison was able to get the required votes by Congress, the war was far from popular, particularly among the New Eng
Jason Walker
I have read a lot of books on the Revolution Era and I know that the War of 1812 was often referred to as Jimmie Madison's war in newspapers. The fact that the war happened during his Presidency is really irrelevant. The fact the British burned Washington during his presidency is also irrelevant. The fact is the US was at a weak moment, Madison wanted to make a statement, the U.S. fleet was at the Barbary coast. The UK thought it would be a simple thing to reinstate themselves. Nothing is ever s ...more
Laura Horne
Was a little disappointed that few books are dedicated to Dolley Madison and her influence on both James Madison and the War of 1812. This one does better than most but the title is a bit misleading. Although it's very well written and devotes a fair number of pages to Dolley, it is mostly a play-by-play of the war tactics and less about the influence of Dolley, or that of her husband for that matter, on the war.
T.P. Williams
Fast paced history of War of 1812. Could have done without CSI type datelines beginning the chapters, but overall very good. Interesting how battles in the war were few and far between, contrary to what my impression had been. Section on burning of Washington extremely interesting.
Jim Savage
Heroic Americans de-ice Toronto, dasterdly British de-louse Washington. Both invited to Sugar Bowl, whence term "meaningless post-season extravaganza" was coined.
this book is so interesting, really sucked into it. the chapters are quite long. currently on page 115 and only on chapter 3!
Jim Blessing
This book about the Madison adminstration during the War of 1812, was mildly amusing and did not hold my attention much.
Jason Cecil
Nice history of a severely neglected but important war in US history. The vivid story telling keeps you hooked.
This is a fascinating look at the War of 1812. Well worth a read.
Great Book!
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