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1812 (American Story #2)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  529 ratings  ·  55 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 1,094)
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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
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
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
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
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
Bev Walkling
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Four stars just for using John Wool as a character. Longest serving American general at the start of the Civil War.
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
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
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
I shouldn't have been surprised but it was looonnnggg Need a 2nd borrow to finish
(entered years later; read before Goodreads)

Probably enjoyed it.

Newmarket library.
Just A
Wanted to read about the war of 1812 in 2012. So I did
I never realized that James Madison had such an interesting presidency.
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 5 of 5 stars
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
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!
Gerald Simpkins
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.
Excellent history, well written ...very interesting.........Jackson was a trip
It presented the war of 1812 in an entertaining way and set the stage for how difficult that time period was. With how powerful America is today I forget how precarious the situation our country was in long after the revolutionary war. I found the book to a little over romantic and I tire easily of such non-stop romanticized language.
Took me the first half of the book to get into the story, but the second half was great. The depiction of the Battle of New Orleans was masterful. I had forgotten how important that battle was to the growth and development of the USA. Book good have used a list of characters with a brief description of their relationship to the story.
I choose historical fiction for the lack of profanity as well as great reading. I believe the author added a lot of sex talk and profanity to sell this book. It was certainly out of place with such characters as Jim and Dolly Madison.
I could NOT finish this book that I chose for historical fiction.
Vince Carter
Illuminates the doubts and uncertainties of a new nation trying to survive amid regional differences, financial woes and the threat of the Brits trying to grab back control. Vivid portrayals of Madison, Jackson and Winfield Scott and historic battles at the Canadian border and in New Orleans.
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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 (6 books)
  • Dream West
  • Dream West
  • Eagle's Cry: A Novel of the Louisiana Purchase
  • Treason
  • Meriwether: A Novel of Meriwether Lewis and the Lewis & Clark Expedition
Dream West Eagle's Cry: A Novel of the Louisiana Purchase Treason Meriwether: A Novel of Meriwether Lewis and the Lewis & Clark Expedition Road to Shiloh: Early Battles in the West (The Civil War)

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