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The Age of Fighting Sail: The Story of the Naval War of 1812 (Mainstream of America)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  118 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
No one has been so well equipped as C. S. Forester to dramatize the sea battles of the War of 1812, to characterize the heroes more skillfully, or to comprehend more shrewdly the world unrest that made it possible for an infant republic to embarrass a great nation rich in one hundred years of sea triumphs.
Paperback, 284 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Chapman Billies (first published 1956)
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Mark Roth
Mar 06, 2010 Mark Roth rated it liked it
An interesting book about the naval activity during the War of 1812. Written by the author of the classic Horatio Hornblower series (fiction), this book has a similar writing style, which is a somewhat odd fit for a history book; the approach is neither typical storytelling nor typical historical analysis. However, despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of the typical rigor of a historical work (e.g., there is no bibliography, so it's not clear what primary source material the author consulted ...more
John Nevola
Jul 12, 2013 John Nevola rated it really liked it
A Fresh Look at the War of 1812

When one picks up a Forester book, one usually thinks immediately of the Horatio Hornblower series for which he is well known. He is an accepted expert on sailing ships, especially warships, and brings all of his insight knowledge and experience to the party in The Age of Fighting Sail.

If this book were to be only about the one-on-one frigate actions in which American ship design and seamanship bested their vaunted British counterparts, the book would be worth it.
Sep 25, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Really interesting detailed description & analysis of one of the last Western wars fought using sail power, the War of 1812 between America & England.
That said, the reader should be an aficionado of sailing & sailing books. I defy the general reader to understand such terminology as "wearing ship", "weather advantage", and "lee shore" without such knowledge.
To that extent, this is a fairly technical book, although Forester is a master at rendering this intelligibly & in gripping
C.S. Forester describes the War of 1812 in his usual engaging and informative style.

This is another of my old Book-of-the-Month Club editions which I first read in grade school.
Tom King
Oct 14, 2010 Tom King rated it really liked it
Forester really understands the Napoleonic era navy. This is a terrific book if you love history and wooden sailing ships.

And I do.
Josiah Courter
Mar 18, 2013 Josiah Courter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
An amazing history of the U.S.N. in the war of 1812. He makes it come alive!
Great book.
Jul 25, 2011 Mark added it
Shelves: general-history
Great history by a great writer! 'Nuff said.
Dec 12, 2009 Jeffery rated it it was amazing
If you like history and the sea, this is a must read.
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Cecil Scott Forester was the pen name of Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, an English novelist who rose to fame with tales of adventure and military crusades. His most notable works were the 11-book Horatio Hornblower series, about naval warfare during the Napoleonic era, and The African Queen (1935; filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded t ...more
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