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 Wall Street Journal

"The book is much more than the title suggests. Mr Daughan shows how the war at sea fitted into the American war effort and how the Navy - and the country - came out of the war better for the experience. The virtues of the war for America, Mr. Daughan suggests, were actually more civic than strategic. Madison assiduously conducted the war within the confines of the Constitution, guided by the strict republican principles that he championed. He immeasurably strengthened American democracy by avoiding any increase in presidential power and resisting the temptation to crush his opponents through the use of sedition laws. The president's policy of depending on militia forces raised locally would lead, in the postwar period, to a relaxation of property qualifications for voters, this expanding the electorate.

"Although the U.S. Navy could not match the British, it emerged from the war having won widespread respect for what it did achieve. Mr Daughan argues that America's naval victories led to a changed British attitude toward the United States after 1815. In the wake of the war, he writes, 'the new unity and strength of the republic freed her for a century from European entanglements and allowed her people to prosper in spite of the vicissitudes that would continue to challenge her.'

"Mr. Daughan suggests that the War of 1812 was indeed a second war of independence, completeing what had been started in 1775, strengthening the nation's democratic principles, and establishing a new and positive relationship in which Britain recognized America's place in the world. Perhaps we can conclude that it really was a war in which all sides gained something significant."

Mr. Hattendorf is the Ernest J. King Professor of maritime history at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I. ................................The Wall Street Journal "Books", January 28-29, 2012.

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