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.

Kennebec Journal

"In 1812, the fledgling democracy of the new United States was just 29 years old. Militarily weak and fractured by regional political bickering, the United States was totally unprepared to confront a resurgent British empire, but President James Madison declared war on Great Britain anyway.

"1812:The Navy's War is Portland naval historian George Daughan's excellent naval history of America's most misunderstood war; it was the United States' 'second war of independence.' Daughan is the award-winning author of IF BY SEA (Basic Books, 2008), a comprehensive history of America's navy from the American Revolution to 1812.

"Here {in 1812} Daughan uses his considerable research and writing skills to present a vivid and exciting history of how a few stout warships, bold captains and brave crews were the nation's primary offense and defense facing the world's largest navy, and a powerful and arrogant Great Britain that wanted to destroy its only maritime rival and reestablish British dominance in North America.

"Daughan deftly describes the complex political, diplomatic and economic causes of the war, as well as Britain's unified strategic goals and the United States' surprisingly confused and naive lack of cogent plans, strategic thought and needed resources.

"Best, however, are Daughan's dramatic explanations of how the tiny American navy's victories at sea offset the army's dismal performance on land in a war that raged from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico across the Atlantic and into the Pacific Ocean.

" He tells of famous single-ship battles, both defeats and victories, how commerce-raiding privateers affected the war's outcome, how American naval triumps on Lake Erie and Lake Champlain thwarted a British invasion from Canada, and how American naval audacity and sacrifice on the Mississippi River was critical to Andrew Jackson's crushing defeat of the British army in the bloody battle at New Orleans."

(Bill) Bushnell on Books, column in the Kennebec Journal, February 2, 2012.

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