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.

San Antonio Express News

"America's soverneignty, only a couple of decades old, was at stake when President James Madison reluctantly declared war on England due to mandatory trade restrictions, impressments of America's merchant sailors into the Roayl Navy, and as payback for hostillities shown toward America's Navy on the high seas.

"Award-winning naval historian George C. Daughan ushers readers into this vortex of global unrest in a fascinating look into America's first major military conflict after its battle for independence in his new work, "1812:The Navy's War."

"The book is a masterfull, spellbinding account of maritime battles that pitted a fledgling republic's 20-ship Navy against an experienced British fleet of more than 1,000 men-of-war (warships). Victories were cruelly measured in lives lost to disease and combat, as well as ships captured or chaotically destroyed.

"Daughan, who holds a Ph.d in American history and government from Harvard University, expertly walks his readers through the build-up for war and its ensuing battles, keeping the action flowing with vivid descriptions of events that capture the imagination.

"While the book focuses on naval battles, Daughan inserts several captivating accounts of land skirmishes, including England's march to Washington that caught America's military seemingly unprepared, and the firefight that inspired the composition of our national anthem.

"Daughan's description of the British invading and torching the capital, with Dolley Madison leaving the presidential mansion in a wagon with plates and portable articles, including George Washington's portrait, deftly illustrates how close America was to losing evrything tanglible its Founding Fathers held dear.

"Military enthusiasts will savor Daughan's narrative on the critical clashes on the Great Lakes, the Navy's key role in winning the crucial battle of New Orleans, and his account on the battle of Baltimore, where Navy legends delayed the British fleet's assault with attacks on the Potomac after the battle of Washington.

""1812:the Navy's War" is a mesmerizing tale of an infant nation, greatly outnumbered militarily but dedicated to the ideals of freedom, that was able to put aside political differences and competing goaals in order to take on the Brisish Empire and establish itself as a Republic capable of defending its interests on land and sea."

.......... by Vincent Bosquez for the San Antonio Express. Vincent Bosquez is a retired U.S. Marine Corps captain and coordinator of Veterans Affairs at Palo Alto College. He can be reached at

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