By the author of the acclaimed Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, a gripping narrative that tells the story of the second and final war of independence that secured the nation's independence from Europe and established its claim to the entire continent.
The War of 1812 has been ignored or misunderstood. Union 1812 thrillingly illustrates why it must take its place as one of the defining moments in American history.
Langguth follows his popular Patriots with a fast-paced account of the War of 1812. Ostensibly a fight over the impressment of American sailors by the British, this little-understood three-year conflict was really about who controlled the middle of North America. As the subtitle suggests, Langguth argues that only with America's second victory over England did the new nation fully confirm its sovereignty over the vast western territories. Langguth thankfully takes his time setting up the war, spending 150 pages walking readers through the first decade of the 1800s, when Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase and attempted an ill-fated embargo against Britain. Though not a traditional military history, this book has a few rip-roaring battle scenes, such as Andrew Jackson's famous routing of the British at New Orleans. Langguth presents the War of 1812 as a pivot, the end of the era of early America. The war's end unleashed the next stage of aggressive expansionism. Langguth's prose is vivid, and he brings to life a panoply of personalities, from Dolley Madison to Tecumseh. He hasn't broken new ground, but he has provided a panoramic view of a decisive event in American military and political history. B&w illus., 5 maps. 100,000 first printing.
I don't write reviews often but Patriots and Union 1812 were absolutely fantastic. It read as if you were being told a great story from one of your friends. I learned a good deal of history about out country, yet I was never bored with the content. Plan on picking up the Vietnam book next.