1812: The Navy's War

  • by George C. Daughan
  • Narrated by Marc Vietor
  • 18 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, America's prospects looked dismal. It was clear that the primary battlefield would be the open ocean, but America's war fleet, only 20 ships strong, faced a practiced British navy of more than a thousand men-of-war. Still, through a combination of nautical deftness and sheer bravado, the American navy managed to take the fight to the British and turn the tide of the war: on the Great Lakes, in the Atlantic, and even in the eastern Pacific.
In 1812: The Navy's War, prize-winning historian George C. Daughan tells the thrilling story of how a handful of heroic captains and their stalwart crews overcame spectacular odds to lead the country to victory against the world's greatest imperial power. 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.

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What the Critics Say

"The War of 1812 was America's first great naval war, and George Daughan tells the story, from the coast of Brazil to the Great Lakes, from election campaigns to grand strategy to ship-to-ship combat. Sweeping, exciting and detailed." (Richard Brookhiser)
"A solidly researched, well-crafted account of U.S. sea power in the War of 1812… Daughan’s achievement is contextualizing the effect of [the U.S. Navy’s] victories…. What kept the peace, Daughan argues provocatively, was America’s post-war commitment to 'a strong navy, an adequate professional army, and the financial reforms necessary to support them' - in other words, an effective deterrent." (Publishers Weekly)
"Vietor’s timing and pacing are perfectly aligned with the narrative style of the text." (Audiofile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fantastic, if complicated, account of the war

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely, but it is a complicated book with many names and dates with some intense nautical terms, so I would be careful who I recommended it to. It, I think, would be enjoyable to the regular history lover, but would be loved by someone who loves naval history like I do.


What does Marc Vietor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His tone and ability to do accurate (well, to me at least) accents for each person in the book was enjoyable and added to the listening experience.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found myself very excited when it described the harrowing naval battles and the heroism, and loss they contained.


Any additional comments?

I'm actually thinking about listening to this one again. That's how much I enjoyed it.

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- K. Winters

Good but not Great

Without a doubt this is a very comprehensive overview of the War of 1812. Despite the subtitle, much of this piece is about the land war around the great lakes. The performance left me feeling like I was being lectured to. The story, while detailed, seemed to jump around needlessly; no doubt due to the decision to keep each chapter focused on one specific topic. If you are a fan of the Master and Commander series, you will enjoy this a lot. The author assumes a deep understanding of sailing fighting ships and their tactics. The personality sub-plots, of which there are several, are not particularly illuminating. Madison is an imbecile. Decatur a caricature. Tecumseh, a paper doll. It was worth the time reading and will also appeal to political and economic interests. In the end, there was no regret it was over, and the message remained somewhat obscure.
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- stpal001

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios