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Best book on the War of 1812?

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  • Best book on the War of 1812?

    My main interest being Maryland's part in the war. I am currently reading The Dawn's Early Light by Walter Lord.... but looking for more detail and maps that would show the route taken by the British along the Chesapeake Bay.

    My worst jump story:
    My 13th jump was on the 13th day of the month, aircraft number 013.
    As recorded on my DA Form 1307 Individual Jump Log.
    No lie.

    "Everything looks all right. Have a good jump, eh."
    -2 Commando Jumpmaster

  • #2
    1812: The War That Forged a Nation by Walter R. Borneman is a good overview, but has only a few maps. I watched a rerun of "America's First Invasion: The War of 1812" on one of the History Channels (I think History International) last week, and it had some decent maps of the Maryland battles along with reenactments,
    Lance W.

    Peace through superior firepower.


    • #3
      I would recommend: "The Battle of Baltimore 1814" by Joseph A. Whitehorne.

      He branches off into some other areas to fill out a bigger picture, but the book is primarly focused on all of the activities in the Chesapeake region. The title is a bit misleading.

      You can see a brief book review at the site below. I was able to check it out from my local library via inter-library loan.


      • #4
        Dont Give up the Ship the myths of the War of 1812 by Donald Hickey.

        Lords of the Lake by Robert Malcomson

        And pretty much anything by Donald E Graves who is theforemost historian on the war.


        • #5
          One book I read is simply called "1812" or "The War of 1812".

          Very unbiased and takes a look at both sides' struggles, victories, and defeats.


          • #6
            Benson Lossing's online "Fieldbook of the War of 1812" is excellent, although a bit dated, as it was written in 1869.

            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"


            • #7
              For a less tacical but detailed view of the period I refer you to Pierre Bertons "Flame Across the Border" & "The Incasion of Canada"
              These are good histories and take a fair bit of reading.

              "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"


              • #8
                The best history of the war in total is probably Henry Adams' The War of 1812, which is an extract from his larger study of the administrations of Jefferson and Adams.

                John Elting's Amateurs, To Arms! is an excellent more recent account (1991).

                Lossing you probably have to be careful with from time to time as he tends to make a few popular errors. It is still valuable, however.

                Robert Quimby has done an excellent study of the US Army in the War of 1812.

                We are not now that strength which in old days
                Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                To strive to seek to find and not to yield.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
                  For a less tacical but detailed view of the period I refer you to Pierre Bertons "Flame Across the Border" & "The Incasion of Canada"
                  These are good histories and take a fair bit of reading.
                  I've had both of those books for years and they are indeed very good histories. Unfortunately, they were written to cover only the war in Canada and not the War of 1812 in North America overall.
                  "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"


                  • #10
                    Some good books on War of 1812

                    Three books on the War of 1812 that I have read over the last year and a half and that I can highly recommend are:

                    A Ruinous and Unhappy War: New England and the War of 1812
                    by James H. Ellis

                    Capital in Flames: The American Attack on York, 1813
                    by Robert Malcomson

                    The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies
                    by Alan Taylor

                    James Ellis has written a readable, detailed and balanced account on New England's reaction to the war. As Ellis makes clear not everyone was opposed to the war but for a region of the country that lived from shipping and fishing the war had disastrous consequences.

                    Robert Malcomson has written yet another well-researched, fair, and highly readable book on this war. This is the only major work on this battle and its consequences. Robert Malcomson's death was a true loss for those interested in this war.

                    Alan Taylor's book concentrates on the area from Detroit to Montreal. It's one of the most interesting books I've ever read on the War of 1812. He does not write about over areas such as the Chesapeake Bay, ship battles on the ocean, or the fighting in the South. The book is preeminently about people and that is fascinating. Alan Taylor specializes in this time period and is extremely knowledgeable about it. It is a great book.
                    To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman. - George Santayana


                    • #11

                      The Challenge (Britain against America in the Naval War of 1812) by Professor of Naval History Andrew Lambert published in 2012.

                      The book examines the conduct and consequences of the conflict from the British perspective and challenges the mythology of the 1812 being a US Victory.


                      Andy H
                      "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

                      "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower


                      • #12
                        I like pierre burton war of 1812.of course he is a canadian and he give us the war from this side of the border . the us did not win this war neither did canada , in fact it was a draw. the real losers were the indians .


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