Winner of The 2012 George Pendleton Prize

Winner of The 2012 Gold Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in U.S. History (IPPY)

Winner of the 2012 Military Order of Saint Louis Award

Chosen for the 2012 Navy Reading List of Essential Reading

Selected as one of the top 20 Notable Naval Books of 2011

A finalist for an Audie in History from the Audio Book Industry


"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.


"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.


"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 Progresss and former Assistant Secretary of Defense.


"The War of 1812 was a difficult test for the Untied 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 historian alike, 1812: The Navy's War restores an important missing chapter to our national narrrative."........Edward L. Widmer, author of Ark of the Liberties: America and the World.


"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.


"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.


Reviews and other information are added below as they are received. Scroll down to see them all. Some of these reviews are lengthy and have been condensed here. For full reviews visit the publication websites.

The Washington Independent Review of Books

" In his new book, George Daughan provides vivid and detailed recreations of the U.S. navy's signigicant battles during the War of 1812.In an era when the British Navy supposedly ruled the world, the U.S. navy successfullly challenged British supremacy. Daughan picks up where he left off in his Samuel Eloit Morison award-winning If By Sea: The Forging of the American Navy -From the Revoluiton to the War of 1812 (which Basic just released in paperback). 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.".................................

"At first blush, the War of 1812 looked like a waste of blood and treasure. However, Daughan convincingly argues that the navy's performance, a bipartisan belief that the U.S. needed a permanent defense capabillity, and British Foreign Secretary Castlereagh's realpolitik calculations led to a lasting peace between the United Sates and Great Britain. Castlereagh realized that the United States could no longer be pushed around, and the impessments and free trade disputes quietly disappeared.

"Colorful descriptions of the battles, the American sailors such as Captain Stephen Decatur and Commodores William Bainbridge and Oliver Perry who waged them, as well as the famous ships they commanded such as the "U.S. Constitution" , dominate this book. The glossary of naval terms that Daughan included at the end of the book - I finally know what a jib and a mizzenmast really are - helped a landlubber like me understand their tactics and really brought long-ago battles, in particular the "Constitution" versus the H.M.S. "Java", to life. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in (re)learning about the "Second War for American Independence."

.................Review by Chris Tudda, a historian at the Department of State. He is the author of "The Truth is our Weapon: The Rhetorical Dipolomacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Jonn Foster Dulles". His second book," A Cold War Turning Point: Nixon and China, 1969-1972", will be published in spring 2012. (Note: The views presented here are the reviewer's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of State or the United States Government.)

from the Tucson Citizen

"Even though the War of 1812 helped define the country we became, most Americans know little about the conflict. ................Daughan, author of several previous books including "If By Sea: The Forging of the American Navy - From the Revolution to the War of 1812," 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."....................Larry Cox, Shelf Life review, Tuscon Citizen, Nov 8, 2011

Steve Goddard's History Wire Review

"Scores of books on the American Revolution, the Civil War, the two World Wars, and the Vietnam War cross our desk each year. But a history of the War of 1812 is a rarity, yet as author George C Daughan writes, it 'changed the shape of the world.' Given that its bicentenial is next year, expect to hear a great deal more about this war that, unlike most of the others, concentrated on naval forces much more than infantry. In fact, Daughan argues, the War of 1812 was not only waged -- but won--on the high seas and caused Britain to develop newfound respect for the United States. Few if any would give odds to America at the beginning of the war, with its puny 20 ships against Britain's fleet of more than 1,000 men-of-war. The author credits America's victory to a mixture of 'keen strategizing, nautical deftness, and sheer bravado...' George C Daughan obtained his doctorate in American History and Government from Harvard and is a winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award.".........On the internet, Nov 3, 2011