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Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron: The War of 1812 and the Forging of the American Navyby Ronald Utt
Synopses & Reviews
The Forgotten War—Forgotten No Longer
All of us have heard of the War of 1812, but how many of us actually know anything about it—about Andrew Jacksons rousing defense of New Orleans, the burning of the White House, and most especially the swashbuckling war at sea in which the young United States Navy manhandled the greatest naval power on the planet?
If you've ever wanted to learn about the United States Navys first great war at sea, youre in for a treat with Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron. From his years of research and passion for the age of fighting sail,” author Ronald Utt provides a panoramic view of the naval War of 1812—rich in high-seas heroism, captivating in anecdote and detail—rescuing some of the Navys greatest historical triumphs from undeserved oblivion.
Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron is a stirring account of how an American fleet of only seventeen ships bested the five-hundred-ship-strong Royal Navy in a string of early victories that astonished both sides, highlighting how American courage, gunnery, and skill could prove itself against the most daunting odds. Ronald Utt paints vivid portraits of the heroes—including Stephen Decatur, James Dont Give Up the Ship!” Lawrence, Oliver Hazard Perry, and Francis Scott Key—to give readers an unforgettable experience of the War of 1812. If you are interested in American history, the history of the United States Navy, or just plain real-life adventure stories, you owe it to yourself to read Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron.
PRAISE FOR Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron
At a time when America seems to flinch at threats from the worlds petty tyrants, our forefathers defiance two centuries ago of the mightiest empire on earth should stiffen our spines. Ron Utts inspiring narrative reminds us that this nation has never failed to produce heroes when theyre needed most.”
—Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation
Few episodes in American history are as rich in heroism and drama as the War of
1812, yet it has been crowded out of the popular imagination by the Revolution and the Civil War. Ron Utts riveting account of the infant republics epic struggle on land and sea against the greatest power of the age will make you wonder how this could have become Americas forgotten war.”
—Stephen Moore, author and economist
In Ships of Oak, Guns of Iron, Ron Utt draws on previously overlooked material on the War of 1812 to vividly bring Americas second war of Independence back to life on this its 200th anniversary. The book is special for its account of the forgotten but heroic free blacks who played a crucial role in defending America from the British invaders.”
—Fred Siegel, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, scholar in residence at St. Francis College
The War of 1812 is typically noted for a handful of events: the burning of the White House, the rise of the Star Spangled Banner, and the battle of New Orleans. But in fact the greatest consequence of that distant conflict was the birth of the U.S. Navy. During the War of 1812, Americas tiny fleet took on the mightiest naval power on earth, besting the British in a string of victories that stunned both nations.
In his new book, Ships of Oak and Guns of Iron: The War of 1812 and the Birth of the American Navy, author Dr. Ronald Utt not only sheds new light on the naval battles of the War of 1812 and how they gave birth to our nations great navy, but tells the story of the War of 1812 through the portraits of famous American war heroes. From the cunning Stephen Decatur to the fierce David Porter, Ships of Oak and Guns of Iron relates how thousands of American men and boys gave better than they got against the British Navy. The great age of fighting sail is as rich in heroic drama as any epoch.
Dr. Utts Ships of Oak and Guns of Iron retrieves the American chapter of that epoch from unjustified obscurity, and offers readers an intriguing chronicle of the War of 1812 as well as a unique perspective on the birth of the U.S. Navy.
About the Author
Dr. Ronald D. Utt is a writer and retired fellow of the Heritage Foundation who has worked on a variety of issues. He frequently appears on C-SPAN, FOX News, and is often quoted in the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and dozens of other leading newspapers. Dr. Utt also served in the Reagan administration and was managing director for Novecon Ltd., a company focusing on trade and business development with Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Utt lives in Washington, D.C.
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