This discussion and book signing will take place at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St., Marblehead.
In 1812: The Navy’s War, award-winning naval historian George C. Daughan tells the astounding story of the War of 1812, when a tiny, battletested team of American commanders, seamen, and privateers took on the haughty skippers of the mighty Royal Navy, defeated them time and again, and played a key role in winning the conflict that cemented America’s newly won independence.
When war broke out in 1812, America’s prospects looked dismal. With the young republic’s merchantmen facing increasing harassment from the British navy on the high seas, it was clear that the ocean would be the war’s primary battlefield — but America’s navy, only twenty ships strong, faced a practiced British fleet of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, a handful of heroic captains — men like Oliver Hazard Perry, Stephen Decatur, John Rodgers, and Isaac Hull — and their stalwart crews managed to take the fight to the British, turning the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific.
Drawing on a wealth of archival research, Daughan thrillingly details the pitched naval battles that shaped the war, and shows how American naval efforts dovetailed with — and often salvaged — the U.S. Army’s troubled campaigns ashore. By the war’s end in 1815, no American could question the navy’s vital role in preserving the nation’s independence and safeguarding its interests, both at home and across the globe.
A stunning contribution to military and national history, 1812: The Navy’s War is the first complete account in more than a century of how the U.S. Navy rescued the fledgling nation and secured America’s future.
George C. Daughan holds a Ph.D. in American History and Government from Harvard University and is a recipient of the 2008 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for his previous book, If By Sea. Daughan spent three years in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, and was an instructor at the Air Force Academy and director of the MA program in international affairs there. Subsequently, he taught at the University of Colorado, the University of New Hampshire, Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College. He resides in Portland, Maine.