- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1 edition (July 11, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0252031792
- ISBN-13: 978-0252031793
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,135,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Don't Give Up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812 Hardcover – July 11, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
War making and mythmaking go hand in hand in Hickey's analysis of the misconceptions, embellishments and falsehoods that continue to shape Americans' views of the War of 1812. In describing the complicated origins, conduct and outcome of the conflict, Wayne State College history professor Hickey shows how myth has helped construct a history that we can understand and accept. Three 19th-century writers in particular—British naval historian William James, American popularizer Benson Lossing and man of letters Henry Adams—promoted already familiar stories of the war. While Hickey investigates, analyzes and critiques a spectrum of legends about the war's roots, its campaigns and armed forces, and its military and political leadership, he's no mere debunker. Stories like Col. Henry Johnson's killing of Tecumseh in hand-to-hand combat survive his scrutiny. And Capt. James Lawrence did say, "Don't give up the ship"—though those were not his last words. But Jean Lafitte's role in the Battle of New Orleans is diminished to the advantage of his brother Pierre. And blacks played a long-neglected role on both sides. These are only a few of the revelations awaiting readers of this richly textured model of historical revisionism, which confirms Hickey's status as a leading scholar of the early national period. 10 photos. (Aug.)
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"Donald R. Hickey's unique study Don't Give Up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812 addresses the myths, half truths, and realities of the forgotten last Anglo-American conflict. . . . The book provides a starting point for those seeking further information regarding the conflict and it should take its rightful place on the bookshelves of all War of 1812 buffs and scholars."--Journal of the Early Republic
Top Customer Reviews
One of the reasons that I bought and read this volume is that the forward is by Don Graves, who is the authority of the war on the Niagara frontier during the War of 1812, and in my opinion, the master of the small battle narrative. If he endorses a volume, that is good enough for me.
This book is easy to read, dispels many popular errors that have come down to us today in myth and legend, and is one of the best books in print on the War of 1812. It is organized well, is easy to find material and is an excellent reference work. I have placed it in my library next to Don Graves excellent volumes and alongside the work of John Elting and Henry Adams.
In short, this volume is crammed with exciting material that a reader may or may not have come across before, and should be on the table next to anyone who is studying this most forgotten of America's wars. It is not only highly recommended, but it is essential for any study of the war.
Dr Hickey has done a masterful job of weaving together a many seperate facts into a coherent whole.
Rather, Professor Hickey takes many elements of the war (battles, generals, naval officers, tactics, politics and so on) and examines them all, teases out the truth (or at least the best evidence which points at truth) and allows himself to do what a lot of historians don't: indulge in the "what if" questions. What if news of the Orders in Council had reached the US earlier. What if this battle or that had gone anther way. I *like* this sort of speculation (much more than the guessing game of "[X famous figure] probably did this and probably thought that"). I also like that Hickey has his own biases and calls it like he sees it (go team Jefferson-was-a-big-fat-hypocrite!), and while I didn't agree with every conclusion he reached, I like a historian who takes a stand. Hickey knows his stuff inside and out, and even if you don't like his conclusions, you will find they are well-reasoned.
If you are very familiar with the War of 1812, you may encounter passages where your attention flags because you have the basics down cold already. Read it anyway, because you will learn nuances of the war you didn't know existed. Also, Hickey devotes a good deal of time to the impact of the war on Canadians and Native American populations.
If you are not very familiar with the War of 1812, what is wrong with you? Um, I mean, this is maybe not the perfect starting point for learning the war (I am partial to Jon Latimer's 1812), but it is a good second or third book, to put it all into perspective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good history of the War of 1812 which doesn't have nearly as much written about it as books on our other wars. Read morePublished 21 months ago by W. B. McAfee
The author attacks some of the popular, but questionable stories of the War of 1812. If you don't know much about the War of 1812, this book is a goof place to start.Published 21 months ago by JiminOhio
This book examines myths and misconceptions about the War of 1812 and does a very excellent job of that. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Gene C. Armistead
Item by item review of the myths of the war. Specifics on what makes them myths and which are true and which are false and why.Published on May 28, 2013 by Denn