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1812 (American Story #2)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  593 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
The war of 1812 would either make America a global power sweeping all the way to the Pacific--or break it into small pieces bound to mighty England. It was a second revolution of sorts to prove to the British that America had to be taken seriously. The principal actors in this drama were James and Dolley Madison, and Andrew and Rachel Jackson. Their courage and determinati ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published July 15th 1997 by Forge Books (first published July 1st 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,279)
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Jul 30, 2008 Joel rated it really liked it
This book was written in exaclty the style that is easy to read history books, from the perspective of the people who lived through it. Though this might technically be considered Historical Fiction, there were no fictional characters, just an attempt to add reality to the events. I had already read another book about the war of 1812 but this one opened my eyes to many aspects I hadn't previously understood.
The book deals with the political struggle between the Federalists in the North and the
I enjoy historical fiction, especially that based on well-researched facts and which includes prominent historical figures. I am also a fan of David Nevin's work, though I did find Dream West arduous and disappointing. But this book was a solid effort.

First of all, it gets extra credit for dealing with the not-often-explored-in-fiction War of 1812. Wedged between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, this conflict - the young United States' second war with England - is often forgotten. Howeve
Feb 11, 2012 Dale rated it really liked it
Good but with problems

If you do not already know something about the War of 1812, I cannot recommend this book for your reading pleasure. Why not? The author, David Nevin, goes into the story without much of an explanation of who the characters are and just assumes you know who they are. I would have recommended a small two to three page introduction that laid out the issues of the day and something about the personalities of the day as well.

Instead, we spend page after page getting these introd
Jacob Delgadillo
Jan 06, 2016 Jacob Delgadillo rated it it was amazing
I liked the book because of its american history and its characters and its detail.It was one of the biggest and hardest books but soon I understood it.It actually had lots of suspense.If you like to read about action and american history ,this book is for you.
Jan 17, 2016 Marty rated it liked it
This sizeable novel (over 560 pages) tells you almost all you would ever want to know about the War of 1812. Focusing on about four major personalities, you learn the ins and outs of the politics of war as well as tactics and problems of warfare. At least a nodding acquaintance of the history of the period is helpful. It is also a love story focusing on the Madisons --- James and Dolley, and the Jacksons --- Andrew and Rachel. Rachel is important, but not one of the major characters.. the fourth ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Art rated it really liked it
James and Dolley Madison and Andrew and Rachel Jackson are the central characters in this exciting historical fiction entry about the War of 1812. I learned a lot (must have been absent the day they taught this war) and now want to dig into Jackson a bit. Certainly the stories about how he came to be called "Old Hickory" and his leadership at the Battle of New Orleans ("We fired our guns and the British kept a comin'...")are stirring, as are Dolley's actions to save key historical records from t ...more
Sep 13, 2011 D.w. rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Having finished this, one can only think that reading the end of the story is much like the Battle of New Orleans and the end of the war. It was already over when the Battle took place. We had so many more pages to go, when the story really was over.

While I may not believe that some of the attributes he gives to the leading characters in the story, the Madisons, Winfield Scott and Andy Jackson, are correct, Nevin has done his homework. It is a large historical novel and telling us some of what h
Jul 29, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it
Mixed reactions on 1812. Part of me really, really enjoyed it. Part of me eh...

The good - This is somewhat of a personal item, but I know next to nothing about the war of 1812. I recall some from us history in 1995, but in general, its a bit of void. So, I liked that perspective. And it was a gentler brush than you would have gotten in a history book. I also really, really, really enjoyed Nevin's battel descriptions. I'm not a huge battle guy. While I read a lot about war, some of the details st
Oct 04, 2015 Justin rated it it was ok
I suppose I've been spoiled when it comes to historical fiction. No one compares with Dickens or Hugo or Tolstoy. This book has good historical information about the war of 1812 and Jackson and Madison. But if someone is going to write a historical fiction set in a time period, I believe it best to not use the main historical figures as the main characters in the fiction.
Bev Walkling
Jul 08, 2012 Bev Walkling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, history
I picked this book up to read mainly because it is the 200th anniversary of this war and I knew I would be visiting an exhibit at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa (1812 Four Perspectives). I hadn't realized that the book was written from the American perspective until I started reading it and initially I was disappointed as I like to hear the Canadian perspective on such things. I found myself really enjoying the book and it certainly made it so I better enjoyed the exhibit at the museum when I ...more
Rick Bavera
Mar 16, 2013 Rick Bavera rated it liked it
Although this is historical fiction, so not always absolutely accurate history, 1812 does a very good job of giving the reader a feel for the time period, the important people in history, and a look at the "average" person as well.

The author let's the reader know about any discrepancies he is aware of in the telling of the story in an afterword at the end of the book.

I liked the book. Even though I enjoy history and historical novels, I felt that this one got a little confusing at times, in pa
Joe Holman
Sep 28, 2014 Joe Holman rated it it was amazing
Very well written. Takes history and adds conversation and thoughts that fits the character of the historical figure but can only be an educated guess as to what was actually said or thought. Makes history more readable to a larger audience.
Syble  Cranford
Apr 06, 2011 Syble Cranford rated it it was amazing
I never knew much about the politics of 1812, but this book explains much of it and is good reading. If you want to learn about the war that has been mostly forgotten in history.. read this one. There is wonderful history in this book and much about Jackson's personal life. He was a believer in pulling this country together after the Revolution and did everything in his power to make it happen. He succeded in bringing the country together and riding it of the British and other invaders. He was o ...more
Jul 20, 2014 Donna rated it liked it
The war of 1812 was such a pivotal war in early American history. European countries, used to going to war, may have looked upon this budding new country as 'easy pickens' as they may have wanted to increase their holdings. They often fought over this island or that one, over this country or that one and did what they had to do to gain control and then to maintain it.

I am glad that the author, David Nevin, chose to write about this lesser known war. I liked his use of words. My only real complai
Mar 03, 2016 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this audio book. I do not recall much about the war of 1812 from school history classes and first became interested after a visit to Niagara on the Lake. This was very entertaining and informative with colorful dialog that may or may not have happened.
Jan 18, 2015 Michele rated it really liked it
In depth historical fiction based on known events and people leading up to and throughout the duration of the war of 1812 (which lasted thru 1814). An excellent book with many, many fascinating facts of our American history. I was especially moved to read in depth the circumstances of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. I should have read this book when I wasn't so busy. Not a great book to read during the holidays when you have kids out of school and lots to do.
Lynn Pribus
Jul 26, 2011 Lynn Pribus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long, well-researched book about the "second war of independence" with all those familiar names from 200-year-ago history -- Madison, Monroe, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson -- creating this nation. I wonder what they'd think about today's politicians who are clearly much more interested in their upcoming elections than the fate of the nation. (This is written during the infuriating partisan wrangling about the deficit ceiling.)

I think they would be truly disgusted. Do you think anyone in 200 y
George Nap
Jan 10, 2015 George Nap rated it really liked it
Four stars just for using John Wool as a character. Longest serving American general at the start of the Civil War.
Apr 22, 2011 Brian rated it liked it
The War of 1812 is a period of American history that seems to be skipped over. In history books it is mentioned but it seems to rarely take up more than a page. After I read David Nevin's Treason, I found out that he had also written this book.

The subject matter to me was interesting, and overall I thought the book was very good. I enjoyed getting into the minds of James and Dolley Madison, Andrew and Rachel Jackson, and Winfield Scott. This was not a fast read, however, which is not a bad thin
Dec 27, 2012 Amanda rated it liked it
1812 puts the reader right in the heart of each and every battle. Unlike his earlier and more epic tale, Dream West, this novel emphasizes battles and politics, not personal stories, romances, and struggles. I prefer the latter, so this novel was a bit of a disappointment for me. I did, however, learn a great deal about this forgotten war and gained a greater appreciation for the American heroes of General Andrew Jackson and President James Madison. Nevin is very skillful in bringing to life rea ...more
Ruth Hyland
Jun 03, 2012 Ruth Hyland rated it it was ok
this was an interesting book. i couldn't decide if it was a romance novel or treatice on tactics. one minute dolly madison is seducing james madison and the next it is 10 minutes of battle with play by play. (I listened to this). i never love reading these historical fictions, but whenever i'm done i always feel smarter because i'm a history idiot. i love getting history put into a story. it makes it more real and understandable. this book uses real people and gives them personalities, etc. so i ...more
Tisha Loranger
Apr 30, 2015 Tisha Loranger rated it liked it
I shouldn't have been surprised but it was looonnnggg Need a 2nd borrow to finish
Jul 16, 2014 Peter rated it liked it
(entered years later; read before Goodreads)

Probably enjoyed it.

Newmarket library.
Just A
Mar 24, 2014 Just A rated it it was ok
Wanted to read about the war of 1812 in 2012. So I did
Jul 06, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
I never realized that James Madison had such an interesting presidency.
Feb 16, 2015 Cindy rated it liked it
Overly long. A good historical lesson, and fictionalized, but long and not page turning. I listened to the audio and the narrator messed up a few words, like Celtic. But overall, I thought the narration was very good.
Jun 11, 2008 Deb rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Deb by: Daughter
Shelves: keep
This is the second time I read this book. I don't usually reread books--a reflection of how good this book is. The characters really come to life through Nevin's words. Andrew Jackson becomes the focus character and gave this reader a new respect for the hardships and sacrafices men, and women, of the 1800's dealt with. The public and political pressures on President Madison to end the war seem close to home as we consider our current involvement in affairs oversees. Excellent read!
Jim Swike
Apr 24, 2015 Jim Swike rated it really liked it
I did not know a lot about the burning of the White House, and the thirty months of the War of 1812. Now I do, well written. Enjoy!
Dec 11, 2015 Du rated it liked it
2.5 stars. This is another book that made it on my to read list, and might have been one to skip. There was nothing wrong with it, but also nothing extraordinary. It was a decent historical fiction book. It tells a story, pretty well, but not necessary a story that adds much to my understanding of the historic period. Writing was fine, characters were decent, but nothing I read will be with recalling and telling anyone else to read.
Gerald Simpkins
Mar 06, 2013 Gerald Simpkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-reading
I thoroughly enjoyed this account of the war of 1812 as seen through the eyes of these characters. I found the book to be most illuminating regarding the political happenings in America at this time, as well as the strategy employed by Britain to stop our westward expansion as well as to divide and conquer us as they tried to do in our war for independence.
A marvelous read and I will be reading other works by David Nevin.
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David Reinhardt Nevin was born in Washington. His father, a veterinarian in the US Army when it had a horse cavalry, was soon assigned to Fort Sam Houston in Texas. Mr. Nevin joined the US Navy as a teenager and served in the Pacific. After the war he did poorly in college, but could write well enough to be hired as a police reporter for The Brownsville (Texas) Herald. That led to work for Time an ...more
More about David Nevin...

Other Books in the Series

American Story (5 books)
  • Dream West
  • Eagle's Cry
  • Treason
  • Meriwether: A Novel of Meriwether Lewis and the Lewis & Clark Expedition

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