1812: War with America
Jon Latimer

1812: War with America

The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States of America is one of the most fascinating in history, yet in Britain it remains one of the least well known. Overshadowed as it was by the national fight for survival against France and Napoleon Bonaparte, it was soon forgotten. However, the ill-fated attempt by the United States to annex Canada not only guaranteed that nation's independent existence, but helped define the nature of relations between Britain and the United States ever since, leading eventually to 'the longest undefended border in the world'.

Ostensibly fought to protect America's trade, the war began with an attempted invasion of Canada. But the few defending British regular troops took the fight to the ill-prepared US Army and administered a series of heavy defeats. Ultimately America won the most famous land victory at the battle of New Orleans - subject of songs and movies - while in a series of brilliant frigate actions, the US Navy inflicted unprecedented defeat on the mighty Royal Navy. But the power of the latter squeezed America's trade to a standstill, and was crowned with the destruction of Washington by British troops in 1814. In restoring the status quo in 1815, peace represented victory for Britain.

1812: War with America will tell the complete history of the war in a single volume, placing it properly in its strategic context within the Napoleonic conflict as a whole, and examining the vital role of sea power to the British position in North America. The book will bring this exciting episode to life: it will describe events not merely through the eyes of the generals, admirals and politicians, but through those of soldiers, sailors and the ordinary people - British, Canadian and American - whose lives were affected by it, using many previously unpublished personal letters, diaries and memoirs. And it will be the first account from a British perspective in almost 200 years.

Book Details:

  • Author: Jon Latimer
  • Published Year: 2007
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Harvard University Press

Jon Latimer

Jon Latimer was born in Prestatyn, Flintshire in 1964. He attended Swansea University in 1982, ostensibly to study Geography, but love of the sea meant that he left with a degree in Oceanography instead. He then enjoyed a varied and interesting career working as an oceanographer and environmental scientist.Jon also served in the Territorial Army for sixteen years. Commissioned in The Royal Welch Fusiliers he served with the 1st and 3rd Battalions and with 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Wales, as well as on attachment with 1/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers and with the staff of 4th Armo...
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Book Reviews

  • "Of all the books I've consumed on the War of 1812, Jon Latimer's 1812: War with America has got to be the best. I'm not sufficiently expert to claim it as the definitive, but it is the most comprehensive narrative of the war you're likely to find….Such details bring 1812: War with America to life. So does Latimer's narrative, which takes us on board ships, behind battle lines and into besieged forts in the words of the people who were there, through their letters, diaries and documents."
    Toronto Star
  • "...a full account, mainly from the British standpoint and often using British sources hitherto disregarded by American historians. It is a very creditable effort and a substantial volume: 408 pages of text and a further 150 pages of source notes. The excellent and thoroughly up-to-date bibliography, adds another fifty pages."
    Paul Johnson, Literary Review