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Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence


Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In A. J. Langguth's classic Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, he brought to life leaders from the generation of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in all of their complexity, with their great strengths and human frailties. In Union 1812, those men appear again, tempered now by age and new responsibilities.

James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, must decide whether to go to war again only thirty years after the American Revolution.

Washington, Adams, and Jefferson had all made major concessions to avoid entangling their young and divided nation in new battles with Europe. But the War Hawks, aggressive congressmen from the South and West, are demanding that Madison take action to uphold America's honor against Great Britain.

In this gripping narrative of the second and final war of independence, Madison leads an unprepared nation into a struggle that will establish the United States as a major world power and stake its claim to the entire continent.

As the war begins, the U.S. Navy consists of seventeen oceangoing ships; the British fleet numbers seven hundred. Nor is the country united in its will to win. Governors in New England are refusing to call out their militia, while mobs attack antiwar newspaper editors in Baltimore in a violent repetition of the Boston Massacre.

Dramatic scenes range across the world, from vicious fighting on the frontier — one British officer compares the hand-to-hand combat with the savagery of bulldogs — to Dolley Madison's elegant receptions at the executive mansion and the wrangling among America's peace delegates in Belgium at Ghent.

Before the outcome is decided, the war will have engulfed land and sea, with a disastrous U.S. defeat at Detroit and epic naval campaigns on the Great Lakes. After the Americans sack Toronto, the British retaliate by burning the White House and the Capitol and laying siege with their rockets to Fort McHenry.

Finally, two and a half years of bloodshed and botched strategies culminate in the spectacular battle of New Orleans.

The heroes of Patriots are joined here by dozens of the most colorful and enduring characters from America's past: not only the diminutive and brilliant Madison and the statuesque Dolley, but also Sam Houston and Davy Crockett, Oliver Perry and Stephen Decatur, the great Shawnee chieftain Tecumseh, and four legendary men who will follow Madison into the White House — James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Quincy Adams, and the triumphant hero Andrew Jackson.

For too long, the War of 1812 has been ignored or misunderstood. Union 1812 thrillingly illustrates why it must take its place as one of the defining moments in American history.


"On Aug. 8, 1805, Zebulon Pike was dispatched from St. Louis to find the headwaters of the Mississippi River. For eight months and 22 days, this young explorer — his small party's supplies crammed on keelboats and canoes — planted American flags along the river in present-day Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The detailed journals Pike kept on the trek are bracing, recounting his attempts to cope with... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Book News Annotation:

Langguth (journalism, U. of Southern California), author of Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, provides a narrative of the War of 1812, tracing what led up to it, beginning with the resignation of George Washington from the Continental Army in 1783, to the peace treaty in 1815 and aftereffects up to 1861. He discusses roles played by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Tecumseh, and others, and relates the details of what happened during the war. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


The author of the acclaimed "Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution" presents this dramatic account of the War of 1812, the war that established a young nation as a permanent power and proved its claim to Manifest Destiny. Maps.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Union

Chapter 1: Homecoming (1783-1787)

Chapter 2: Philadelphia (1787-1788)

Chapter 3: Washington (1789-1797)

Chapter 4: Adams (1797-1801)

Chapter 5: Jefferson (1801-1804)

Chapter 6: Andrew Jackson (1805-1807)

Chapter 7: Zebulon Pike (1805-1807)

Chapter 8: Embargo (1807-1808)

Chapter 9: Madison (1809-1812)

Chapter 10: Tecumseh (1812)

Chapter 11: William Hull (1812)

Chapter 12: Isaac Brock: Detroit (1812)

Chapter 13: Isaac Hull (1812)

Chapter 14: Isaac Brock: Queenston (1812)

Chapter 15: John Armstrong, Jr. (1813)

Chapter 16: York (1813)

Chapter 17: Oliver Perry (1813)

Chapter 18: William Henry Harrison (1813)

Chapter 19: Creek Wars (1813-1814)

Chapter 20: Dolley Madison (1814)

Chapter 21: Ghent (1814)

Chapter 22: New Orleans (1814-1815)

Chapter 23: Peace (1815)

Chapter 24: Afterward (1815-1861)





Product Details

The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence
Langguth, A J
Langguth, A. J.
Simon & Schuster
United states
Military - United States
United States - General
United States - Antebellum Era
United States - 19th Century
Military - Other
Publication Date:
November 2006
Grade Level:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » War of 1812

Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence Used Hardcover
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Product details 496 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743226189 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The author of the acclaimed "Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution" presents this dramatic account of the War of 1812, the war that established a young nation as a permanent power and proved its claim to Manifest Destiny. Maps.

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