Synopses & Reviews
Discover the epic naval story of the war that threatened to undo our nation in 1812. Riveting firsthand accounts enliven this official sea-level view of the conflict that proved American naval prowess a force to be reckoned with. Explore historic documents, letters, ephemera, and artifacts, including fascinating finds from the Navy's most recent underwater excavation of the war's lost ships. Featuring a colorful, diverse cast of characters--from sailors, spies, and ship's surgeons to commodores, Navy wives, and privateersmen--and incorporating hundreds of photographs, period illustrations, and contemporary and original maps, The War of 1812 and the Rise of the U.S. Navy is a sweeping panorama of a defining moment in U.S. history and a must-read for maritime aficionados and general history buffs alike.
"The 'Second War of Independence' against Great Britain is remembered mainly for the burning of the White House and the Capitol, and as the inspiration for 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' Yet the conflict marked the coming-of-age of the American Navy and debut of the U.S. as a maritime power. To mark the war's bicentennial, Jenkins (The Civil War: A Visual History) and Taylor (Soul of a People) raise the 3-year conflict's profile with this encyclopedic survey of how a fledgling navy fared against 'the mightiest fleet on the globe.' The war was sparked by Americans' outrage at British trade blockades and their practice of impressment (forcing seaman to work on British naval ships). When the shooting finally started, the U.S. Navy had planned to play a defensive role, but victories from the Great Lakes to New Orleans soon changed this strategy. The history is chiefly told through the experiences of the war's great commanders, such as John Rodgers, Stephen Decatur, and James Lawrence. The result is an engaging series of narratives filled with fascinating historical flotsam (and facsimiles), such as a gruesome exploration of surgery at sea, and a brief look at the women who disguised themselves as men so they could fight. Though sanctioned by the U.S. Navy, Jenkins and Taylor seldom engage in cheerleading, offering instead a captivating story that will entice military and American history buffs. 345 illustrations." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
MARK COLLINS JENKINS is the author of 4 previous books of history, including Worlds to Explore: Tales of Exploration and Adventure from National Geographic; The Book of Marvels; High Adventure: The Story of the National Geographic Society; and Odysseys and Photographs. The former archivist of the National Geographic Society, he lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.