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  • ISBN 13: 9780465085996

"The fledgling U.S. Navy had advantages that would surprise, infuriate and ultimately impress the British, as renowned naval military historian George C. Daughan wonderfully illustrates in his new work, 1812: The Navy's War.... Daughan's love of the sea and naval history is infectious.... Those who are familiar with C.S. Forester's Hornblower tales or Patrick O' Brian's stories of Captain Jack Aubrey will enjoy this narrative of the American side of the Napoleonic wars and thrill to the progress of an underdog along the route to world power."—American Spirit

"[1812] should become a standard text for the serious history student.... This book will do well to remind us, in times of danger and uncertainty, of how welcome a bulwark is a powerful navy."—Roanoke Times

"Mr. Daughan shows how the war at sea fitted into the American war effort and how the Navy--and the country--came out of the war better for the experience.... Mr. Daughan suggests that the War of 1812 was indeed a second war of independence, completing what had been started in 1775, strengthening the nation's democratic principles, and establishing a new and positive relationship in which Britain recognized America's place in the world."—Wall Street Journal

"[A] compelling sequel to his award-winning If By Sea.... Daughan offers a rousing retelling of the war, strongly recommended for general readers, high school students, and lower classmen."—Library Journal

"[A] richly detailed, well-documented, and compelling account.... Daughan's is a history that expands our understanding, debunking several popular myths.... In the end, this history of an oft-forgotten war holds value for all.... Readers who have been eagerly awaiting the bicentennial will find in Daughan's 1812 an account that confirms why the conflict merits remembrance--and celebration."—Boston Globe

"1812: The Navy's War is an important, well-researched and timely book--next year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812--which scholars and lay persons alike will enjoy for its descriptions of the battles and Daughan's analysis of the domestic and international dimensions of the war."—Washington Independent Review of Books

"[Daughan] has written a concise, invaluable history of the War of 1812, placing it in context and making it accessible for modern readers. The War of 1812 was America's first great naval war and Daughan's crisp writing and extraordinary research helps breathe life into this defining moment of our national history."—Tucson Citizen

"A naval expert's readable take on the U.S. Navy's surprising performance in the war that finally reconciled the British to America's independence.... A smart salute to a defining moment in the history of the U.S. Navy."—Kirkus Reviews

"[A] finely researched volume.... Readers are unlikely to find a more engaging or stirring recounting of the conflict and its place in the rebirth of the U.S. Navy."—Military History

"With a sailor's heart, Daughan follows the action of blue water battles on the Great Lakes, deep water fusillades, besieged ports, the razing of our nation's capitol, and the victory at New Orleans that forever earned international respect for American resolve. Expertly researched and illustrated, Daughan recounts the courage and skill of the men who gave birth to the United States Navy."—San Francisco Book Review

"George C. Daughan again has penned a contributory history that is at once enjoyable to read and informative in its disclosures.... With considerable skill, the author has interwoven the political strife with the naval actions to form a coherent and well-written story of that important transitional time in American history."—Charleston Post and Courier

"A masterful, spellbinding account of maritime battles that pitted a fledgling republic's 20-ship Navy against an experienced British fleet of more than 1,000 men-of-war.... [Daughan] expertly walks his readers through the build-up for war and its ensuing battles, keeping the action flowing with vivid descriptions of events that capture the imagination.... 1812: The Navy's War is a mesmerizing tale."
—San Antonio Express-News

"Daughan does a good job recounting the battles on land, but he comes into his own in describing the battles that took place on water. His accounts of the single-ship duels in which the Americans prevailed--the Constitution versus the Guerriere, the Wasp versus the Frolic, the United States versus the Macedonian, and so on--are especially exciting."—Gordon S. Wood, New York Review of Books

"The War of 1812 was a difficult test for the United States, still wobbly on the world stage nearly two decades after formal independence. That Americans received a passing grade was due in no small part to the exceptional performance of the U.S. Navy, which humiliated the legendary British Navy time and time again. With verve and deep research, George Daughan has brought those gripping naval battles back to life. For military historians and general historians alike, 1812: The Navy's War restores an important missing chapter to our national narrative."—Edward L. Widmer, author of Ark of the Liberties: America and the World

"The War of 1812 was America's first great naval war, and George Daughan tells the story, from the coast of Brazil to the Great Lakes, from election campaigns to grand strategy to ship-to-ship combat. Sweeping, exciting and detailed."—Richard Brookhiser, author of James Madison

"1812: The Navy's War is a sparkling effort. It tells more than the naval history of the war, for there is much in it about the politics and diplomacy of the war years. The stories of ship-to-ship battles and of the officers and men who sailed and fought form the wonderful heart of the book. These accounts are told in a handsome prose that conveys the strategy, high feeling, and courage of both British and Americans. In every way this is a marvelous book."—Robert Middlekauff, author of The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789

"Every American should read George C. Daughan's riveting 1812: The Navy's War. Daughan masterfully breaks down complicated naval battles to tell how the U.S. thwarted the British armada on the Great Lakes and the high seas. Highly recommended!"—Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, Rice University

"A solidly researched, well-crafted account of U.S. sea power in the War of 1812.... Daughan's achievement is contextualizing the effect of [the U.S. Navy's] victories.... What kept the peace, Daughan argues provocatively, was America's post-war commitment to 'a strong navy, an adequate professional army, and the financial reforms necessary to support them'--in other words, an effective deterrent."—Publishers Weekly

"In this vitally important and extraordinarily well researched work, award-winning historian George Daughan demonstrates the often overlooked impact of the 20 ship U.S. Navy's performance against the 1,000 ship British Navy in the War of 1812. Daughan makes a compelling case that the Navy's performance in the war forced Europe to take the U.S. more seriously, initiated a fundamental change in the British-American relationship, and enabled us to maintain a robust Navy even in peacetime."—Lawrence Korb, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former Assistant Secretary of Defense

"At last, a history of the War of 1812 that Americans can read without wincing. By focusing on our small but incredibly courageous Navy, George Daughan has told a story of victories against awful odds that makes for a memorable book."—Thomas Fleming, author of Liberty!: The American Revolution

1812

The Navy's War

By (author) George C. Daughan

When war broke out between Britain and the United States in 1812, America's prospects looked dismal. British naval aggression made it clear that the ocean would be the war's primary battlefield—but America's navy, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British fleet of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews managed to turn the tide of the war, besting the haughty skippers of the mighty Royal Navy and cementing America's newly won independence. In 1812: The Navy's War, award-winning naval historian George C. Daughan draws on a wealth of archival research to tell the amazing story of this tiny, battletested team of Americans and their improbable yet pivotal victories. Daughan thrillingly details the pitched naval battles that shaped the war, and shows how these clashes proved the navy's vital role in preserving the nation's interests and independence. 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.
George C. Daughan holds a Ph.D. in American History and Government from Harvard University. He spent three years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. He taught at the Air Force Academy and was also director of the MA program of international affairs there. Subsequently, he held a professorship at Connecticut College, and also taught at the University of Colorado, the University of New Hampshire, and Wesleyan University. He now resides in Portland, Maine.

Also By (author) George C. Daughan

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