The History Book Club discussion


Comments (showing 1-50 of 168) (168 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
This is a thread devoted to the discussion of the WAR OF 1812 (people, locations, events, books and other publications, battles, historic sites, maps, research information, urls, etc.)

Please feel free to add any and all discussion information related to this topic area in this thread.


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Don..these sound like great books..have you tried the add book/author feature of can add both the book cover and even a link to the author's page.

John Paul Jones A Sailor's Biography (Bluejacket Books) by Samuel Eliot MorisonSamuel Eliot Morison

The Battle of New Orleans Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory by Robert V. ReminiRobert V. Remini

James Monroe (The American Presidents) by Gary Hart Gary Hart

The Naval War of 1812 by Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt

Union 1812 The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence by A.J. LangguthA.J. Langguth

The War of 1812 by Henry Adams Henry Adams

[image error]Wesley B. Turner

Bernie and Don...I think it would be great to take this extended conversation to the Military History folder because there is a thread that is dedicated to the War of 1812 and both of you might get a conversation going with other group members which may be pretty exciting and interesting. I will also try to add these books to that thread as well.

These are great selections by the way Don...the links and author's url or photos help all of the members look the books up easily and obtain them if they like as well as read about the specific authors; finding out what other publications they might have. It is a great goodreads feature. You will see me encouraging everyone to use it.


message 3: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) 'Aussie Rick' here, can I offer two more suggestions, one which I have read, Walter Borneman's account and one I haven't read yet, Jon Latimer's book.

1812 The War That Forged a Nation by Walter R. BornemanWalter R. Borneman

1812 War with America by Jon LatimerJon Latimer

message 4: by Bernie (new)

Bernie Charbonneau (Skigolf) | 22 comments There is a brand new book that has been released for 2009 that I have reserved at my local library that revolves around the battle of Stoney Creek. I will list all the books that I have read concerning this war in the next day. I have also gone to a few re-enactments has anybody experienced any of these. Strange Fatality The Battle of Stoney Creek, 1813 by James E. ElliottJames E. Elliott

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Nov 17, 2009 04:19PM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Rick wrote: "'Aussie Rick' here, can I offer two more suggestions, one which I have read, Walter Borneman's account and one I haven't read yet, Jon Latimer's book.

[bookcover:1812 The War That Forged a Nati..."

Aussie are doing great with your recommendations and it looks like you have the book cover and author down to a science (smile). Thank you so much for your adds and recommendations.

By the is good that you are distinguishing yourself with your location because you are the third Rick and there is also a Richard in the group (lol).

message 6: by Bernie (new)

Bernie Charbonneau (Skigolf) | 22 comments Books that I have read in the last year regarding 1812 have dealt with each major battle that happened in the four years of conflict. I found these books more informative than just an overview of the war. I have been to these battlefields.
I also purchased a great guide book that lists all the landmarks both big and small that have to do with 1812. If you like to just get in the car and drive on a Sunday, this book is a must. [image error]Gilbert Collins Field of Glory The Battle of Crysler's Farm, 1813 by Donald E. Graves Red Coats & Grey Jackets The Battle of Chippawa, 5 July 1814 by Donald E. Graves Where Right and Glory Lead! The Battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814 by Donald E. GravesDonald E. Graves A Very Brilliant Affair The Battle of Queenstown Heights, 1812 by Robert MalcomsonRobert Malcomson For Honour's Sake The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace by Mark ZuehlkeMark Zuehlke

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Bernie, that guidebook looks great as do all of your other adds.

message 8: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Jan 22, 2010 01:46PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Bernie, I recently purchased a copy of Mark Zuehlke's "For Honour's Sake", so I'm hoping it will be a decent account of the War of 1812. It must be great being able to walk over the battlefields and places you have read about in your books, I'm very jealous!
I have a few other books on the subject that I haven't read yet:

Lords of the Lake The Naval War on Lake Ontario, 1812-1814 by Robert Malcomson and A Very Brilliant Affair The Battle of Queenstown Heights, 1812 by Robert Malcomson by Robert Malcomson

Flames Across the Border 1813-1814 by Pierre Berton and The Invasion of Canada 1812-1813 by Pierre Berton by Pierre Berton

The last few books that I did read on the War of 1812 were:

The Burning of Washington The British Invasion of 1814 by Anthony S. Pitch by Anthony S. Pitch

Patriotic Fire Andrew Jackson and Jean Laffite at the Battle of New Orleans by Winston Groom by Winston Groom

message 9: by Bernie (new)

Bernie Charbonneau (Skigolf) | 22 comments Good Morning Aussie Rick
Mark Zuehlke's book is very good. It's main focus is the signing in Ghent although it does a good job of giving an overview of the conflict. It is very good on how the two country's where able to get together to bring peace.
I do own Mr. Burton's books but have not read them yet. He also has a good book on Tecumseh who as you know played a very important role in keeping the Americans guessing from where he would attack.
The two books that you mentioned having read, I have put into my 'to read' Thank you

Death of TecumsehPierre Berton

message 10: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Nov 19, 2009 03:13PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Bernie,

Thanks for that, I will put Mark Zuehlke's book on top of my list of books to read. Out of those two books I mentioned above the book by Anthony Pitch; "The Burning of Washington", I felt was a pretty good account and a very enjoyable read.

I have read one book on Tecumseh, what an interesting man and leader! The book I read was written by Allan Eckert who uses what he calls a "narrative biography". Its a historical account with dialogue added, not sure if its considered by all readers as being a non-fiction account but I must confess that I loved reading this book and a few others from the same author.

A Sorrow in Our Heart The Life of Tecumseh by Allan W. Eckert by Allan W. Eckert

message 11: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) One book that I found it my library which I forget to add is: "Blaze of Glory: The Fight for New Orleans, 1814-1815" by Samuel Carter III. This book was published by St. Martins Press in 1971. I tried to find a link to the book but couldn't find a listing.

Samuel carter III

message 12: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I just pulled out my copy of; "Niagara 1814: America Invades Canada" by Richard Barbuto which looks pretty good. I will have to move it up to the top of my 'to-read' list. Has anyone read this title recently?

Niagara 1814 America Invades Canada by Richard V. Barbuto by Richard V. Barbuto

message 13: by Angie (new)

Angie (anrich02) | 31 comments The only book on the War of 1812 (outside of fiction) was written by one of my college professors. Strangely, I did not read the book for his class either.

The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict by Donald R. Hickey

message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 02, 2010 10:25AM) (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Angie wrote: "The only book on the War of 1812 (outside of fiction) was written by one of my college professors. Strangely, I did not read the book for his class either.

Hi Angie..we have a rule to add the book cover and the author's link:

The War of 1812 A Forgotten Conflict by Donald R. Hickey by Donald R. Hickey

message 15: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) One book published covering this interesting period of history by a well respected American military historian is:

Amateurs, to Arms! A Military History of the War of 1812 (Major Battles and Campaigns) by John R. Elting by John R. Elting

I am sorry to say that I have the hardback edition sitting un-read in my library.

message 16: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Hickey is one of the more approachable histories I have found. I liked it.

Here is a good book on the British invasion of D.C.:

The Burning of Washington The British Invasion of 1814 by Anthony S. Pitch by Anthony S. Pitch

message 17: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Bryan, I found Anthony Pitch's book an excellent, informative and very easy to read account. I really enjoyed reading it.

The Burning of Washington The British Invasion of 1814 by Anthony S. Pitch by Anthony S. Pitch

message 18: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I did too. It was a fun read.

message 19: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Bryan,

Do you have one favourite book covering this period of American history?

message 20: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Hi Aussie Rick:

I'd say Hickey's book mentioned above; it is highly readable and he makes a good assessment on its cause. He argues not one thing like impressment caused the war, but impressment and Western pressure to fight back the Native Americans among others.

I give high esteem to multi-causes to wars because we are complex people with more than one motive.

A couple of others:

The Causes of the War of 1812 National Honor or National Interest? by Bradford Perkins by Bradford Perkins

The causes of the War of 1812 by Reginald Horsman by Reginald Horsman

The Naval War Of 1812 by Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt

TR thought impressment was the issue, but he has proven incorrect in my opinion.

message 21: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Bryan wrote: "Hi Aussie Rick:

I'd say Hickey's book mentioned above; it is highly readable and he makes a good assessment on its cause. He argues not one thing like impressment caused the war, but impressment ..."

Bryan, that's very true about wars being due to numerous issues and causes, not a one off thing. Again I find this period of American history very interesting and there are so many good books out there on the subject waiting to be read! The Battle of New Orleans has always interested me. A battle fought after the peace was signed, what a terrible waste of good men on both sides.

message 22: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Totally, a victim of slow communications. It did make Jackson's career. He probably wouldn't be president. Before that, he was a troublesome general who pushed orders to the limit in Florida and Alabama. Although Madison did not stop him either.

message 23: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) It would be interesting to ponder what may have been if the two armies received notification of the peace treaty earlier!

I have a copy of the book below sitting un-read in my library that looks very interesting and covers this conflict and the main protagonists.

The Generals Andrew Jackson, Sir Edward Pakenham, and the Road to the Battle of New Orleans by Benton Rain Patterson by Benton Rain Patterson
Publishers blurb:
In December of 1814, American forces led by Major General Andrew Jackson moved into the city of New Orleans. For the next six weeks, Jackson’s ragtag troops of militiamen, free blacks, Indians, and pirates furiously defended the city against Britain’s elite army, led by Lieutenant General Sir Edward Pakenham. In the bloody confrontation of the two armies, the American underdog army decisively defeated Sir Edward Pakenham’s British troops.
The Generals tells the dramatic story of the battle between Andrew Jackson and Sir Edward Pakenham for the "booty and beauty" of New Orleans in the winter of 1814–1815. The Battle of New Orleans was the last battle in the War of 1812, which cost Pakenham his life and propelled Andrew Jackson into the national prominence that would eventually lead to his presidency. The Generals provides a detailed and intimate look at both the personal and professional lives of Jackson and Pakenham, demonstrating how their paths twisted and turned until they inevitably met each other on the battlefield outside of New Orleans.

message 24: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is classic book that should be listed here covering aspects of the war of 1812. Although first published in 1972 it's still a great read and should provide a decent and enjoyable read to anyone interested in this period of history:

The Dawn's Early Light (Maryland Paperback Bookshelf) by Walter Lord by Walter Lord
Publishers blurb:
Walter Lord -- author of such best-sellers as A Night to Remember and A Day of Infamy -- brings to life the remarkable events of what we now call The War of 1812 -- including the burning of Washington and the attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry that inspired the Francis Scott Key to write what would become our national anthem. Lord gives readers a dramatic account of how a new sense of national identity emerged from the smoky haze of what Francis Scott Key so lyrically called "the dawn's early light."

"Still the best account available of the two key battles of the War of 1812... Popular historian Walter Lord, a Baltimore native, also wrote the bestsellers A Night to Remember and A Day of Infamy. In The Dawn's Early Light he brings the 1814 battles around Washington and Baltimore to life, making them seem terrifying and critical, as they must have seemed to Marylanders at the time." - Baltimore City Paper

Elizabeth (Alaska) My family history research provided this contemporary, first hand experience in the War of 1812. Written by a Revoltutionary War veteran father, to his son.

From The Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical Association, Volume III, Number 4, October 1922, article titled Caledonia in the Nation’s Wars by Harriet B. Dow, pp. 205-220.

A letter in my possession written by Rev. Solomon Brown on one of his frequent missionary journeys brings to us the condition of these poor frightened pioneers. Writing from Malone, New York, under date, September 19, 1812, he says:

"I arrived at this place about half past twelve this afternoon at the house of Brother Chipman's expecting to have a meeting but the Exemps have a training at the French Mills this day and the men were mostly from home and the women are interested and taken up in conversation about the war and Indian affairs and whether it is best to move off or not; they have no time to waste for meetings for religious occasions. Sister Chipman sent around to her neighbors (as Brother Chipman was away from home) to attend at their home but there was only one woman who came on the call, one woman who came on a visit and one man accidental who had not heard of the meeting. We took up the time in conference. I waited till Sunday 12 o'clock for Brother Hascall who then came up; we set out immediately after dinner from Judge Newcomb's. We rode to Kinner Newcomb's in Chazey. Brother Hascall preached in the evening. Thursday, set out to ride thro' the woods Chattingay but this was one of the most melancholy and affecting scenes I have passed since the late war. We met people constantly in the after part of the day moving chiefly from the Missena, most on horse back with their families and what they could load on; others who had but one horse on which were the women and children; the man on foot with a child in his arms, fleeing for life leaving all with settled dejection on their countenances as we passed by them. when we came to Mr. Pumroy's which was about sundown, there was a large number of persons consisting of about 60 families small and great. Some women and children crying, and men enquiring 'What news?' with sad dejected countenances. Mr. Pumroy very politely invited us to tarry all night with them and would be glad to have preaching but there would be constantly coming in, as they expected fifty more people that night that were on their way in the woods and we found their conjecture true for we passed on till 8 o'clock at night, we met some; some with carts loaded with goods, some with two yoke of oxen, some three, some one, some wagons, some sleds, men, women and children wading thro' the mud at night. Some men had children in their arms, and even some women, and some groaning under their burden. We asked if they were tired; 'Yes', some would say, 'Most tired to death. How far is it to the next tavern?' This question became so frequent that Major Skinner would tell as soon as they came up: 'I know your question; how far is it to Pumroy's?' so he kept on answering them til we met them three miles distant at 8 o'clock at night in a howling wilderness and as muddy a road as you ever passed and probably more so, passed by them all and directly after; back from the road ina thick cedar swamp we heard the most doleful crying as of a person in the most excrutiating agonies of death. We stopped our horses to be sure we were not mistaken; we heard it a number of times; we were about three miles from any house. We rode on till we came to Roberts'; his house was full of people moving. I cannot fully explain all this to you till I get more time and paper. We rode on however, to Chattengay Corners, a distance of about 15 miles after sundown."

Although written to his wife this letter is addressed to Elder Solomon Brown, Brookfield, Essex Co., N.Y. As I often hear people from the happy Adirondack Camps speak of Malone, Cattengay and Chazy, I think of the heartbreaking scenes of that lonely ride a century and more ago.

message 26: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Elizabeth, thank you for sharing the letter above from your family history, written by a Revoltutionary War veteran father, to his son. It's a very touching letter!

Elizabeth (Alaska) So often, the history of war focuses on the armies, their battles and skirmishes. It's easy to forget that the populace was directly affected, so that this letter brings that to the fore.

message 28: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "So often, the history of war focuses on the armies, their battles and skirmishes. It's easy to forget that the populace was directly affected, so that this letter brings that to the fore."

...especially in a time where it is harder to find letters like these. Thanks.

message 29: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "So often, the history of war focuses on the armies, their battles and skirmishes. It's easy to forget that the populace was directly affected, so that this letter brings that to the fore."

Very true Elizabeth, I try to read books that have a number of first-hand accounts within the narrative so you don't lose sight of those who suffered whilst history was being made.

message 30: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Apr 11, 2011 07:20PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a new naval book covering the war of 1812 that I am tossing up whether to buy or not; " Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815" by Stephen Budiansky.

Perilous Fight America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815 by Stephen Budiansky by Stephen Budiansky
"The deservedly overshadowed War of 1812 was redeemed by heroics at sea, according to this rousing military history. Journalist and military historian Budiansky (The Bloody Shirt) follows the tiny United States Navy, led by a handful of superfrigates, including the U.S.S. Constitution, in its oceanic struggle against the vastly larger, stronger, and haughtier British fleet, whose bullying practice of seizing American merchant ships and sailors provoked the war. Budiansky makes it a classic David and Goliath story, as the plucky Yanks, with better ships, sailing, and gunnery, win a string of resounding victories that wipe the smirks from their adversaries' faces. The author's colorful narrative is full of gory sea battles, chivalrous flourishes, mutinous tars, and charismatic performances by Stephen Decatur, David Porter, and other American naval legends; it becomes grayer and grimmer as the British blockade tightens and the Americans turn from pitched battles to prosaic commerce raiding. Budiansky's well-researched and skillfully written account extracts a gripping true-life naval saga from an otherwise inglorious conflict." - Publishers Weekly

"Bedeviled on land, U.S. forces were more effective at sea in the War of 1812. Continuing a venerable tradition of historians (Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Adams, Alfred Mahan) drawn to this topic, Budiansky narrates events and ventures explanations for successes of the U.S. Navy against Britain’s Royal Navy. The prerequisite was the pre-existence of an American navy, whose establishment Ian Toll recounted in Six Frigates (2006). Those frigates scored initial victories in warship-on-warship combat (the Constitution’s sinking of the Guerriere) that exhilarated Americans and made U.S. captains (e.g., Stephen Decatur) famous. But naval war in the chivalric style did not strike the historically unsung William Jones as a sensible strategy. Secretary of the navy during the war, Jones is the most important character in Budiansky’s account. Jones thought that attacking Britain’s merchant marine would hamper her superior fleet far more than would destruction of her warships, and so it turned out, as Budiansky’s analysis of the forces tied to convoy and blockade duties verifies. Conversant in nautical technicalities of the age of sail, Budiansky will absorb the avid naval history audience." - Booklist

message 31: by Tom (new)

Tom Sounds pretty good:

Flames and Water The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon by Jeremy Black by Jeremy Black

The War of 1812 is etched into American memory with the burning of the Capitol and the White House by British forces, The Star-Spangled Banner, and the decisive naval battle of New Orleans. Now a respected British military historian offers an international perspective on the conflict to better gauge its significance.
In The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon, Jeremy Black provides a dramatic account of the war framed within a wider political and economic context than most American historians have previously considered. In his examination of events both diplomatic and military, Black especially focuses on the actions of the British, for whom the conflict was, he argues, a mere distraction from the Napoleonic War in Europe.

Black describes parallels and contrasts to other military operations throughout the world. He stresses the domestic and international links between politics and military conflict; in particular, he describes how American political unease about a powerful executive and strong army undermined U.S. military efforts. He also offers new insights into the war in the West, amphibious operations, the effects of the British blockade, and how the conflict fit into British global strategy.

For those who think the War of 1812 is a closed book, this volume brims with observations and insights that better situate this "American" war on the international stage.
- from amazon

Full review:

A judicious blending of first-rate scholarship and incisive historical narration is likely to make The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon a standard treatise on its subject, especially valued for elucidating high-level British perspectives on a long-overlooked facet of the conflicts of the Napoleonic era.

- Michigan War Studies Review : by John C. Fredriksen, Smithfield, RI

message 32: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I've decided to order a copy of "Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815" by Stephen Budiansky as it has received some pretty decent reviews.

Perilous Fight America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815 by Stephen Budiansky by Stephen Budiansky

message 33: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I've just ordered copies of this two volume history of the War of 1812. I have enjoyed this author's Civil War books so I am hopefully that his account of 1812 will be just as good.

Poltroons and Patriots A Popular Account of the War of 1812 (Vol 1 and 2)  by Glenn Tucker by Glenn Tucker

message 34: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a new book covering naval aspects of the war of 1812:

Utmost Gallantry The U.S. and Royal Navies at Sea in the War of 1812 by Kevin D. McCranie by Kevin D. McCranie
Focusing on the oceanic war rather than the war in the Great Lakes, this study charts the War of 1812 from the perspectives of the two opposing navies at sea one of the largest fleets in the world and a small, upstart navy just three decades old. While American naval leadership searched for a means of contesting Britain's naval dominance, the English sought to destroy the U.S. Navy and protect its oceanic highways. Instead of describing battles between opposing warships, McCranie evaluates entire cruises by American and British men-of-war, noting both successes and failures and how they translated into broader strategies. In the process, his study becomes a history of how the two navies fought the oceanic war, linking high-level governmental decisions about strategy to the operational use of fleets in the Atlantic and Caribbean and from the South Pacific to the Indian Ocean.

Unlike other books on the subject, this work offers a balanced appraisal of the war on the high seas, taking into account the strategic considerations of both sides and how the leadership from each side assessed, planned, and implemented operational concepts. Drawing on a wealth of British and American archival sources, McCranie guides the through the strategic decision making processes on both sides of the Atlantic. He demonstrates vividly their impact of those decisions on the course of the war at sea, where the contest was close and deadly. Indeed, the author s action-packed accounts of battles hold special appeal.

message 35: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a new book on a famous British General who fought in Canada during the War of 1812:

The Astonishing General The Life and Legacy of Sir Isaac Brock by Wesley B. Turner by Wesley B. Turner
This book is about Major General Sir Isaac Brock (1769 - 13 October 1812). It tells of his life, his career and legacy, particularly in the Canadas, and of the context within which he lived. One of the most enduring legacies of the War of 1812 on both the United States and Canadian sides was the creation of heroes and heroines. The earliest of those heroic individuals was Isaac Brock who in some ways was the most unlikely of heroes. For one thing, he was admired by his American foes almost as much as by his own people. Even more striking is how a British general whose military role in that two-and-a-half-year war lasted less than five months became the best known hero and one revered far and wide. Wesley B. Turner finds this outcome astonishing and approaches the subject from that point of view.

message 36: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) If anyone is interested in this British officer here is another recent book covering his military career:

A Matter of Honour The Life, Campaigns and Generalship of Isaac Brock by Jonathon Riley by Jonathon Riley
Isaac Brock was the British general responsible for defending the long frontier of Upper Canada with meagre forces in the opening days of the War of 1812 between Britain and the U.S.A. He has been revered as the "Savior of Upper Canada." Brock was a resourceful field commander who believed in offensive measures to keep his opponent off-balance and is probably best known in the United States for managing to cow U.S. General William Hull into surrendering Detroit, to that general's eternal shame. Jonathon Riley describes Brock's early days in the Channel Islands and his military career in Europe and the West Indies. He covers in detail how Brock prepared for war with the United States, the events of the capture of Detroit as well as the Battle of Queenston Heights, which cost Brock his life but from which he emerged as a major historical figure. The book includes an assessment of Brock's abilities as a general by an author who is himself a general with experience in various theaters of war.

message 37: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 14 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "If anyone is interested in this British officer here is another recent book covering his military career:

[bookcover:A Matter of Honour: The Life, Campaigns and Generalship of Isaac Brock|117247..."

Thanks for the suggestions on Brock. I'm very interested in his career.


message 38: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Aug 19, 2011 10:14PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Cheryl, I ended up ordering a copy of first book :)

message 39: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Another new book covering the naval history of the War of 1812:

1812 The Navy's War by George C. Daughan by George C. Daughan
At the outbreak of the War of 1812, America’s prospects looked dismal. It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean—but America’s war fleet, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, the American navy managed to take the fight to the British and turn the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific.

In 1812: The Navy’s War, prizewinning historian George C. Daughan tells the thrilling story of how a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews overcame spectacular odds to lead the country to victory against the world’s greatest imperial power. A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy’s War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future.

message 40: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Nov 19, 2011 12:40PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I've just started reading the book above, "1812: The Navy's War". Seems pretty good so far.

1812 The Navy's War by George C. Daughan by George C. Daughan

message 41: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a new title offering a perspective from the 'other' side of the War of 1812:

How Britain Won the War of 1812 The Royal Navy's Blockades of the United States, 1812-1815 by Brian Arthur by Brian Arthur
The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States was fought on many fronts: single ship actions in the Atlantic; a US invasion of Canada, which the Canadians heroically resisted; the burning of the new US capital, Washington, by the British, the President's house subsequently painted white to hide the fire damage; and an unsuccessful attack by the British on New Orleans. The war is usually seen as a draw. However, as this book demonstrates, it was in fact a British victory. The United States achieved none of its war aims, and the peace, concluded in December 1814, met Britain's long-term maritime needs. This book reassesses the war, showing how the British achieved success through an effective commercial maritime blockade which had devastating consequences on the vulnerable, undeveloped US economy. Neutral vessels were included - one of the causes of the war had been the United States' objection to British interference with US ships in Britain's war with Napoleonic France - and Britain's refusal to concede this point enabled the strategy of commercial maritime blockades to be reused by Britain to good effect in subsequent wars, including those of 1914-18 and 1939-45.

message 42: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Thank you Aussie Rick for all of your fine adds.

message 43: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Dec 01, 2011 08:17PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) A few more new titles due out next year covering the War of 1812:

Knights of the Sea The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812 by David Hanna by David Hanna
On a September day in 1813, as the Age of Fighting Sail was coming to an end, two maritime warriors faced each other in the waters off Pemaquid Point, Maine...

Samuel Blyth was the youthful commander of His Britannic Majesty's brig Boxer, and William Burrows, younger still, commanded the USS Enterprise. Both men valued honor over life and death, and on this day their commitment would be put to the ultimate test.

The battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise would be the only major sea engagement of the War of 1812 witnessed by people on land, and, though it lasted less than an hour, was a brutal contest whose outcome was uncertain. When the cannon smoke cleared, good men had been lost, and the U.S. Navy's position in the war had changed.

In Knights of the Sea, David Hanna brings to vivid life a lost era-a time when sailing vessels exchanged broadsides and naval officers considered it the highest honor to harness the wind to meet their foes. This history pays tribute to the young commanders on either side, a vanishing breed who would come to be standard bearers of courage and fortitude, and would be immortalized in words by the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

"A wonderful read, brings the War of 1812 to life." - Ken Burns

"David Hanna's Knights of the Sea is the finest kind of narrative history - thoroughly researched, informative and a plain good read. Hanna takes a dramatic but little known incident, the battle between the small men-of-war Boxer and Enterprise, and uses that event to explore the lives of two men, the captains of the ships, and two navies, the British navy at the peak of its power and domination, and the nascent navy of the United States, just feeling its oats. Knights of the Sea will not disappoint any who love a good rousing history, or any who are drawn to the fascinating world of combat under sail." - James L. Nelson, (Author of George Washington's Great Gamble: And the Sea Battle that Won the American Revolution)

"Through the prism of a single battle between two sailing warships, David Hanna focuses on the stories of the opposing commanders and unearths their opinions, principles and motivations - the very essence of their lives. Woven into this narrative is a skilful exploration of the politics and events behind the War of 1812, alongside a vivid portrait of wartime experiences on land and sea. A fine 1812 anniversary book." - Roy Adkins, (Author of Nelson's Trafalgar, The War for All the Oceans and Jack Tar)

"David Hanna establishes his credibility both as a writer and with the quality and depth of his historical research in Knights of the Sea. His capturing of a little-known maritime battle during the War of 1812 is surprisingly relevant in modern-day exploration of military strategy." - Captain Philip Kasky USN (Ret), former commander, USS Suribachi

"Knights of the Sea is the stirring tale of two warships, one American and one British, that clashed in a legendary battle during the War of 1812. It is also the highly engaging story of the two gallant captains of those ships, both of whom were as intrepid as C.S. Forester's fictional creation, Horatio Hornblower. The book provides a wonderful blend of fascinating historical detail about the maritime war and the men who fought it. Meticulously researched and thoroughly enjoyable." - Robert J. Mrazek, (Author of A Dawn Like Thunder and To Kingdom Come)

"Much more than a book about a battle, Knights of the Sea is a fine meditation on the culture, politics, and several key charismatic individuals who shaped the Early Republic." - Christopher Pastore, (Author of Temple to the Wind: The Story of America's Greatest Naval Architect and His Masterpiece, Reliance)

Mr. and Mrs. Madison's War America's First Couple and the Second War of Independence by Hugh Howard by Hugh Howard
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 objections of his political adversaries. As we approach its bicentennial, the War of 1812 remains the least understood of America's wars. To some it was a conflict that resolved nothing, but to others, it was our second war of independence, settling once and for all that America would never again submit to Britain. At its center was James Madison-our most meditative of presidents, yet the first one to declare war. And at his side was the extraordinary Dolley, who defined the role of first lady for all to follow, and who would prove perhaps her husband's most indispensable ally.

In this powerful new work, drawing on countless primary sources, acclaimed historian Hugh Howard presents a gripping account of the conflict as James and Dolley Madison experienced it. Mr. and Mrs. Madison's War rediscovers a conflict fought on land and sea-from the shores of the Potomac to the Great Lakes-that proved to be a critical turning point in American history.

“Hugh Howard has turned the least known and understood war in American history into a Technicolor, wide-screen epic of thrilling naval battles, brutal backwoods skirmishes, villainous intrigues, and stirring heroism. Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s War moves smoothly between the White House, New Orleans, and the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake, and the waters off New England. Thanks to Howard’s prodigious research, fine eye for the telling detail, and vivid prose, the War of 1812 seems as contemporary and compelling as yesterday’s battlefield dispatches from the Middle East.” — Thurston Clarke, (New York Times bestselling author of The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days that Inspired America)

"Hugh Howard provides us with vividly written accounts of some of the more dramatic highlights of the War of 1812. Readers with particular interests in the Chesapeake Bay campaigns of 1814 will find much to enjoy here." — Professor J.C.A. Stagg, editor of The Papers of James Madison

"Hugh Howard tackles the history of a war that is incomprehensible in the modern sense of warfare and renders it understandable, giving a fascinating and engaging account of the people and events involved in America’s first war. Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s War will add enormously to public understanding of the War of 1812." — Michael Quinn, President, James Madison’s Montpelier

message 44: by Nicole (new)

Nicole I have added this book to my TBR pile.

Fire Along the Frontier: Great Battles of the War of 1812

Fire Along the Frontier Great Battles of the War of 1812 by Alastair SweenybyAlastair Sweeny(no photo)

This is the first book that looks closely at the major battles of the War of 1812 from a business and political perspective. Sweeny goes behind the scenes to explore wartime trading activity, particularly American dealings with Napoleon, cross-border commerce, as well as the activities of John Jacob Astor, America’s richest man and war financier, and his fur-trading partners in Montreal.

The author focuses on the wealth of military screw-ups. What did the generals do before each battle to lose, and what could they have done to win? And did the incompetence and mixed loyalties of Military Governor Sir George Prevost, grandson of a financier of the American Revolution and nephew by marriage of Vice President Aaron Burr, nearly lose Canada for the British?

The book also provides glimpses of some of the fascinating behind-the-scenes players, such as the president's wife, Dolley Madison, who could have won the war single-handedly had she been able to get all the generals together in the same drawing room.

message 45: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited May 22, 2012 08:02PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I received my copy of this new book from the well known British naval historian, Andrew Lambert:

The Challenge Britain Against America in the Naval War of 1812 by Andrew D. LambertThe Challenge: Britain Against America in the Naval War of 1812 (no cover) by Andrew D. Lambert
In the summer of 1812 Britain stood alone, fighting for her very survival against a vast European Empire. Only the Royal Navy stood between Napoleon's legions and ultimate victory. In that dark hour America saw its chance to challenge British dominance: her troops invaded Canada and American frigates attacked British merchant shipping, the lifeblood of British defence. War polarised America. The south and west wanted land, the north wanted peace and trade. But America had to choose between the oceans and the continent. Within weeks the land invasion had stalled, but American warships and privateers did rather better, and astonished the world by besting the Royal Navy in a series of battles. Then in three titanic single ship actions the challenge was decisively met. British frigates closed with the Chesapeake, the Essex and the President, flagship of American naval ambition. Both sides found new heroes but none could equal Captain Philip Broke, champion of history's greatest frigate battle, when HMS Shannon captured the USS Chesapeake in thirteen blood-soaked minutes. Broke's victory secured British control of the Atlantic, and within a year Washington, D.C. had been taken and burnt by British troops. Andrew Lambert, Laughton Professor of Naval History in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, brings all his mastery of the subject and narrative brilliance to throw new light on a war which until now has been much mythologised, little understood.

message 46: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Here is a new book:

The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent

(no image)The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent by J. C. A. Stagg


This book is a narrative history of the many dimensions of the War of 1812 - social, diplomatic, military, and political - which places the war's origins and conduct in transatlantic perspective. The events of 1812-1815 were shaped by the larger crisis of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. In synthesizing and reinterpreting scholarship on the war, Professor J. C. A. Stagg focuses on the war as a continental event, highlighting its centrality to Canadian nationalism and state development. The book introduces the war to students and general readers, concluding that it resulted in many ways from an emerging nation-state trying to contend with the effects of rival European nationalisms, both in Europe itself and in the Atlantic world.

message 47: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Here is a new book out this month

The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812

(no image)The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812byTroy Bickham(no photo)

In early 1815, Secretary of State James Monroe reviewed the treaty with Britain that would end the War of 1812. The United States Navy was blockaded in port; much of the army had not been paid for nearly a year; the capital had been burned. The treaty offered an unexpected escape from disaster. Yet it incensed Monroe, for the name of Great Britain and its negotiators consistently appeared before those of the United States. "The United States have acquired a certain rank amongst nations, which is due to their population and political importance," he brazenly scolded the British diplomat who conveyed the treaty, "and they do not stand in the same situation as at former periods."

Monroe had a point, writes Troy Bickham. In The Weight of Vengeance, Bickham provides a provocative new account of America's forgotten war, underscoring its significance for both sides by placing it in global context. The Napoleonic Wars profoundly disrupted the global order, from India to Haiti to New Orleans. Spain's power slipped, allowing the United States to target the Floridas; the Haitian slave revolt contributed to the Louisiana Purchase; fears that Britain would ally with Tecumseh and disrupt the American northwest led to a pre-emptive strike on his people in 1811. This shifting balance of power provided the United States with the opportunity to challenge Britain's dominance of the Atlantic world. And it was an important conflict for Britain as well. Powerful elements in the British Empire so feared the rise of its former colonies that the British government sought to use the War of 1812 to curtail America's increasing maritime power and its aggressive territorial expansion. And by late 1814, Britain had more men under arms in North America than it had in the Peninsular War against Napoleon, with the war with America costing about as much as its huge subsidies to European allies.

Troy Bickham has given us an authoritative, lucidly written global account that transforms our understanding of this pivotal war.

message 48: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 37385 comments Mod
Thank you Nicole, great adds.

message 49: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig The war is celebrating its bicentennial this year.

Here is the official website:

message 50: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Happy 200th anniversary everyone. The Battle of Queenston Heights occurred in October:

Battle of Queenston Heights

[image error]

was the first major battle in the War of 1812 and resulted in a British victory. It took place on 13 October 1812, near Queenston, in the present-day province of Ontario. It was fought between United States regulars and New York militia forces led by Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer, and British forces, Canadian militia and Mohawks led by Major General Isaac Brock, and Major General Roger Sheaffe, who took command when Brock was killed.

The battle was fought as the result of an American attempt to establish a foothold on the Canadian side of the Niagara River before campaigning ended with the onset of winter. This decisive battle was the result of a poorly managed American campaign, and may be most historically significant for the loss of the British commander.

Despite their numerical advantage and the wide dispersal of British forces against an invasion attempt, the Americans, who were stationed in Lewiston, New York, were unable to get the bulk of their invasion force across the Niagara River due to the work of British artillery and reluctance on the part of the undertrained and inexperienced American militia. As a result, British reinforcements were able to arrive and force those Americans on the Canadian side to surrender.


« previous 1 3 4
back to top

unread topics | mark unread

Books mentioned in this topic

The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory (other topics)
The War of 1812: The War That Both Sides Won (other topics)
Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence (other topics)
John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography (other topics)
James Monroe (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Theodore Roosevelt (other topics)
A.J. Langguth (other topics)
Samuel Eliot Morison (other topics)
Robert V. Remini (other topics)
Wesley B. Turner (other topics)