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 Times

"With the bicentennial of the War of 1812 soon upon us, a plethora of books on the subject are in the market. Some treat individual actions or single theaters. Some deal with politics, and some deal with diplomacy, but "1812: The Navy's War" deals with it all. The full panoply is described in detail with charts, diagrams and references enough to please the most demanding scholar, yet it is pleasantly readable to amateur and professional alike. In the end, the read will know full well why some scholars call the War of 1812, "America's Second War of Independence."

Mr Daughan sums it up nicely in the book's Chapter 34: "America's newfound unity and her commitment to a strong military forced Europe to take her more seriously. She was an incipient power that Britain and other European imperialists could no long treat lightly."

Other authors in the recent past have covered vaious aspects of the War of 1812, but George C Daughan has put it all together in one well-written and most interesting volume. It's a book hard to put down and is most highly recommended as a good read. It's coverage of an important time in the history of the United States will make it a worthy reference for years to come."

....................Vice Adm. Robert F. Dunn for the Washington Times, Dec 20, 2011
Vice Adm Dunn is presidentof the Naval Historical Foundation

Open Letters Monthly/Stevereads

Stevereads 2011 Best Books of the Year. Number Three - "1812: The Navy's War"

"The author tackles his still-too-neglected subject with an unflagging enthusiasm, focusing on the fledgling U.S. Navy's efforts, outnumbered and out-gunned, to wage the new nation's war against the greatest naval power on the face of the Earth. Daughan is a master of evocative set-pieces (no history buff will want to miss his account of the Constitution v.s. the Java, which actually manages to out-do the fictional version in Partick O'Brian's The Fortunes of War),thrilling battle-narratives, and pithy exposition, but he's also adept at the broader scene-setting so many accounts of this war either lack or overdo. This volume supercedes all other accounts of the War of 1812, even, I'm melancholy to observe, Pierre Barton's great two-volume work from a few decades ago, and it's the single best work of history I read all year."

..........................................Stevereads at

Baton Rouge Advocate

Little-studied War of 1812 gets overdue treatment, by Andrew Burstein*

As we approach the bicentennial of that formative, little-studied war, naval historian George C. Daughan has written a deep and detailed page-turner of a book. With crystal clear maps and unadorned prose, he gives new life to the personalities, strategies, and desperate struggles of the ........... War of 1812. It is a story, told by a real expert, of the prowess and stamina of men such as the 28 year old commandant Oliver Hazzard Perry................ and Captain Isaac Hull of the USS Constitiution (Called "Old Ironsides") after enemy cannonballs harmlessly bounced of her).......................

*Andrew Burstein is Manship Professor of History at LSU and author of books on American political culture. ............................... Baton Rouge Advocate November 27, 2011

The Weekly Standard

Victory at Sea: The Navy comes of age in the War of 1812 by Joseph F. Callo*

"Frequently {The War of 1812} is seen as a sequence of freestanding, intensely dramatic events rather than as the tightly intertwined series of battles, military campaigns, diplomancy, and domestic politics that it was. But if a compulsion to concentrate excessively on the more spectacular bits and pieces of the conflict has been an endemic problem among academics and writers, this volume is an antidote. Daughan not only thoroughly illuminates the emotion-triggering events of the conflict; he also adds the background that connects the highlighhts. That background includes, for example, the American and British domestic politics and diplomacy, which were continuously both cause and effect in the process."

*Joseph F Callo is the author of John Paul Jones: America's First Sea Warrior
..................................................The Weekly Standard, December 5, 2011

Providence Journal

America's first war after independence. BYLINE: Tony Lewis*

"In 1812: The Navy's War, George C. Daughan does a terrific job of explaining {The War of 1812s} origins in the British policy of boarding United States merchant ships and impressing sailors, and in its general treatment of America as an upstart challenging its supremacy of the high seas..........

"With paiinstaking attention to detail and the ability to make complex naval confrontations understandable, even gripping, Daughan pursues the war north to the St. Lawrence River, east to the British coast where American privateers harassed British shipping , and south to New Orleans. In addition, Daughan never forgets that the British were mightily distracted by Napoleaon and the threat he posed to Europe.

"The cast of characters is robust, with Stephen Decatur, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and Rhode Island's Oliver Hazard Perry, all playing leading roles. Even dearer to any New Englander's heart, however, will be the USS Constitution and its sister vessels, which played key roles in creating a new, lasting peace with the British."

* Tony Lewis is a retired English professor living in Padanaram...The Providence Journal, Dec 4, 2011