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The Naval War of 1812 (Modern Library War) Paperback – May 4, 1999
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"An excellent book in every respect, and shows in so young an author the best promises for a good historian."
--The New York Times
From the Inside Flap
The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit.
Top Customer Reviews
TR (1) tells the story of the war, (2) often correcting a British chauvinist history and giving the details James Fenimore Cooper's story left out, those being the two main histories before TR wrote, (3) going to the original sources--ships' logs, captains' reports, etc., and (4) showing us how he concludes what he concludes. Excellent and enjoyable work--TR has quite a bit of fun correcting the British guy.
(I saw the line "Best history book I've ever read" in an article in the libertarian Reason magazine a couple decades ago, saying this of "Washing of the Spears: the Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation." Which is indeed a 5-star book, but I think TR's 1812 a slightly better one.)
7 December A.D. 2010
In my opinion this edition should never have come to print. It is no longer a useful reference to the serious student nor is it much good for the casual interested reader.
What most readers may not know is that this book was something of a standard history at the U S Navel Academy and in British universities. TR was a very much a superior historian, if still a man of his times.
This is a critical history and not for light entertainment. TR makes a serious analysis of nearly every important engagement between American units and the British. In every case he is scrupulous about praising and blaming where he believe praise and blame is appropriate. In every case he makes known his reasons. Unfortunately, he is furious at a previously published British analysis of the Naval WAR of 1812 and his often repeated damnation of the nationalistic bias of that edition bulks out this volume with too much recycled bile.
The presumption that race maters is endemic in this text. There is some admission that -for example- the French built good (better) ships and when well lead could earn victory. In the main there is an assumption that the Americans were the better race, the British , close cousins to Americans were second and all other claimants trail according to how closely their national blood line mirrored the American blood line.
For many readers this fact renders this book as unreadable. I suggest that: The Naval War of 1812 stands as document historic in its own right. And that the racism of TR makes it a case in point from which readers can document any number of persoanl viewpoints.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Informative if you need to know the number of men and caliber of each gun on each ship in every engagement. Otherwise a boor.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Unable to read because of TINY print. Tried to return, but you told me to keep/trash the book!Published 5 months ago by Restless
Teddy Roosevelt the military man speaking to military men about naval strategy. Very good stuff.Published 5 months ago by mcmullet
Bad, boring, etc. too much detail; written for a naval archatecPublished 5 months ago by Norman C. Brewer
The book is not as easy to read as the author's autobiography. It has an impressive profusion of details. Really, too many. So many in fact, that the book is boring..... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Lucas
Roosevelt's writing style is somewhat 19th Century legalese with his expected bombast; however, if you are truly interested in a thorough history of this subject; you should buy... Read morePublished 9 months ago by reb2253