100 books like Perilous Fight

By Stephen Budiansky,

Here are 100 books that Perilous Fight fans have personally recommended if you like Perilous Fight. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies

Peter Francis Guardino Author Of The Dead March: A History of the Mexican-American War

From my list on North America’s 19th century international wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved history since I was a child, and very early on, I realized that history was not something that was made only by famous people. My own relatives had migrated, worked at different jobs, served in wars, etc., and ordinary people like them have been the most important drivers of events. I had a chance to study in Mexico in my early twenties and rapidly fell in love with its people and history. Yet, ever since I was a child, I have been interested in the history of wars. My work on the Mexican-American War combines all of these passions. 

Peter's book list on North America’s 19th century international wars

Peter Francis Guardino Why did Peter love this book?

I grew up in upstate New York near the Canadian border, and one of the crucial battles of this war was fought there. When I was growing up, we were told this war was a successful one for the United States, and Taylor shows how this was true in some ways but not very true at all in others. 

This is a sprawling tale with a huge cast of characters, and it includes the perspectives of ordinary people from various groups.

By Alan Taylor,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Civil War of 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution, leading to a second confrontation that redefined North America.  Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor’s vivid narrative tells the riveting story of the soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians who fought to determine the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? Or would the British contain, divide, and ruin the shaky republic?
 
In a world of double identities, slippery allegiances, and porous boundaries, the leaders of the republic and of the empire struggled to control their own diverse peoples.…


Book cover of The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon

Troy Bickham Author Of The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812

From my list on War of 1812 that were published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of History at Texas A&M University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I find the War of 1812 fascinating because throughout history one would struggle mightily to find a war so small with so many great consequences. Conflict between the U.S. and British Empire could have been averted (and it nearly was) in 1812 just as it had for years, and it ended with neither side recognizing a victor and an agreement to return to a pre-war state of affairs. The bicentennial of the War of 1812 brought fresh perspectives from a wide variety of historians, who as a group asserted the importance of the war to world history and global affairs to our understanding of the war.  Below are some of my favorites.

Troy's book list on War of 1812 that were published recently

Troy Bickham Why did Troy love this book?

While the Napoleonic Wars affected all aspects of life in Britain, the complete marginalization of the War of 1812 in British history is more a reflection of British historians’ interests than the experiences of people at the time. Jeremy Black, the most prolific British historian of his generation, does much to correct that oversight in his War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon. 

By Jeremy Black,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The War of 1812 is etched into American memory with the burning of the Capitol and the White House by British forces, The Star-Spangled Banner, and the decisive naval battle of New Orleans. Now a respected British military historian offers an international perspective on the conflict to better gauge its significance.

In The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon, Jeremy Black provides a dramatic account of the war framed within a wider political and economic context than most American historians have previously considered. In his examination of events both diplomatic and military, Black especially focuses on the actions…


Book cover of The Slaves' Gamble: Choosing Sides in the War of 1812

Troy Bickham Author Of The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812

From my list on War of 1812 that were published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of History at Texas A&M University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I find the War of 1812 fascinating because throughout history one would struggle mightily to find a war so small with so many great consequences. Conflict between the U.S. and British Empire could have been averted (and it nearly was) in 1812 just as it had for years, and it ended with neither side recognizing a victor and an agreement to return to a pre-war state of affairs. The bicentennial of the War of 1812 brought fresh perspectives from a wide variety of historians, who as a group asserted the importance of the war to world history and global affairs to our understanding of the war.  Below are some of my favorites.

Troy's book list on War of 1812 that were published recently

Troy Bickham Why did Troy love this book?

Gene Allen Smith’s Slaves’ Gamble is one of my favorite books on the War of 1812 primarily for two reasons. First, he shifts the focus to the largely overshadowed South. Second, he brings enslaved Africans into the wider discussion about the conflict and its consequences.  Aside from Native Americans, no group suffered more as in consequence of the War of 1812’s outcomes: U.S. hegemony over North America and with it the assured expansion of the slave-holding republic.

By Gene Allen Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Slaves' Gamble as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Images of American slavery conjure up cotton plantations and African American slaves locked in bondage until the Civil War. Yet early on in the nineteenth century the state of slavery was very different, and the political vicissitudes of the young nation offered diverse possibilities to slaves. In the century's first two decades, the nation waged war against Britain, Spain, and various Indian tribes. Slaves played a role in the military operations, and the different sides viewed them as a potential source of manpower. While surprising numbers did assist the Americans, the wars created opportunities for slaves to find freedom among…


Book cover of When Britain Burned the White House: The 1814 Invasion of Washington

Troy Bickham Author Of The Weight of Vengeance: The United States, the British Empire, and the War of 1812

From my list on War of 1812 that were published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of History at Texas A&M University and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. I find the War of 1812 fascinating because throughout history one would struggle mightily to find a war so small with so many great consequences. Conflict between the U.S. and British Empire could have been averted (and it nearly was) in 1812 just as it had for years, and it ended with neither side recognizing a victor and an agreement to return to a pre-war state of affairs. The bicentennial of the War of 1812 brought fresh perspectives from a wide variety of historians, who as a group asserted the importance of the war to world history and global affairs to our understanding of the war.  Below are some of my favorites.

Troy's book list on War of 1812 that were published recently

Troy Bickham Why did Troy love this book?

Peter Snow is amongst the greatest historical storytellers, able to produce driving narratives that bring characters both great and small to life and make sense of complex events. This book is the most comprehensive and riveting account of one of the most memorable, yet misunderstood, events of the War of 1812.

By Peter Snow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Britain Burned the White House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.

Shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political History Book of the Year Award 2014.

In August 1814 the United States' army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place.

9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was…


Book cover of Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812

Carl Benn Author Of A Mohawk Memoir from the War of 1812: John Norton - Teyoninhokarawen

From my list on the War of 1812 for five-volume essential library.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a history professor at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Before becoming a full-time academic, I worked in the museum field for 34 years where much of my work occurred at Historic Fort York. It dates from 1793, but the site today mainly contains War of 1812 buildings and fortifications constructed between 1813 and 1815. During my time there, I developed the artefact collection, curated exhibits, and served as the historical expert in the re-restoration of the grounds and eight heritage structures (which included a 20-year archaeological project associated with the restoration work). Beyond my museum career, four of my books focus on the Anglo-American conflict of 1812-1815.

Carl's book list on the War of 1812 for five-volume essential library

Carl Benn Why did Carl love this book?

We tend to reject older histories, but sometimes they maintain their currency and their importance – and thus remain in print and would find a respectable berth on a basic thematic bookshelf. One such work is Alfred T. Mahan’s two-volume Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812, first published in 1905. An officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War, Mahan later joined the faculty of the Naval War College where he combined his professional experiences with close studies of historical records to examine the theme of sea power’s importance in history from the 17th century to his own time. His 1812 text was one of his works that proved to be influential in naval circles in Britain, France, the United States, and Japan in his day and afterwards. For modern readers, Sea Power is a well-written, accessible, but sophisticated study that not…

By A. T. Mahan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sea Power in its Relations to the War of 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


Book cover of 1812: The Navy's War

David Fitz-Enz Author Of The Spy on Putney Bridge: A Mystery Novel of Espionage, Murder, and Betrayal in London

From my list on war and warriors.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired Army Colonel, paratrooper, and aviator who served four tours in Vietnam as a platoon leader of combat photographers in the 173rd Airborne Infantry Brigade and later as a communication officer in the 1/10 Cavalry Squadron, 4th Infantry Division. Subsequently, I commanded six ties and operated the Moscow Hotline for three Presidents. On retirement, I lectured at the National Archives, Library of Congress, U.S. Naval Museum, and National Army Museum London England. I was also the guest lecturer at the Napoleonic fair, London. I conducted four one-hour television programs on my six books for C-Span Television and appeared on Fox News Network. I was awarded the Distinguished Book Prize from the US Army Historical Foundation and was granted the Military Order of Saint Louis by the Knights Templar, the priory of Saint Patrick, Manhattan, NY for contributions to Military Literature.

David's book list on war and warriors

David Fitz-Enz Why did David love this book?

There are many great books written about the fledgling US Navy that came into its own during the campaign of 1812.  As an Army officer, I was compelled to read them all when researching if my book, Old Ironsides, Eagle of the Sea if I were to compete with that of the ‘old saults’. George was challenged not only to define the complexities of the fledgling American frigates, but to contrast it with the proven rulers of the waves.  The British navy had not had a significant challenge since the magnificent history laid down by captain Horacio Nelson. The unpresented victories over the Royal Navy’s frigates were “uncalled for” according to the London Times. If there is one book to read about the epic struggle at sea, this is the one to choose.

By George C. Daughan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When war broke out between Britain and the United States in 1812, America's prospects looked dismal. British naval aggression made it 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 and their stalwart crews managed to turn the tide of the war, besting the haughty skippers of the mighty Royal Navy and cementing America's newly won independence. In 1812: The Navy's War , award-winning naval historian George…


Book cover of The Far Side of the World

Katie Daysh Author Of Leeward

From my list on to get lost at sea with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author of queer historical fiction and I love to explore stories set on the sea. I adore the drama of it, the beauty, the awe, the timelessness, and the wild backdrop that allows characters to confront themselves and their journeys. Having lived by the sea all my life on an island rich with nautical and smuggling history, it has never been far away from me. I like to read a mixture of fiction and non-fiction; both have strongly influenced my own writing. The books on this list capture the diverse reasons I am drawn to sea tales!

Katie's book list on to get lost at sea with

Katie Daysh Why did Katie love this book?

Patrick O’Brian is the master of nautical fiction. I enjoyed every one of his Aubrey—Maturin series but this one shines out.

I believe that, in maritime fiction, the sea should be its own character, and this book brings to life every face of it. His intricate prose captures the daily life onboard Napoleonic-era ships in painstaking detail and throws the reader into a totally immersive world.

But mostly, I love how this book embodies the friendship between Jack and Stephen. Although they are such different characters, they have such a beautiful connection and when they are separated from their ship, they rely on each other to survive.

I love exploring the various relationships of men and women, in platonic, familial, and romantic senses. 

By Patrick O'Brian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Far Side of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The war of 1812 continues, and Jack Aubrey sets course for Cape Horn on a mission after his own heart: intercepting a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. Stephen Maturin has fish of his own to fry in the world of secret intelligence. Disaster in various guises awaits them in the Great South Sea and in the far reaches of the Pacific: typhoons, castaways, shipwrecks, murder, and criminal insanity.


Book cover of The Peace of Christmas Eve

Wesley B. Turner Author Of The Astonishing General: The Life and Legacy of Sir Isaac Brock

From my list on answers to your questions about the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my childhood, I loved to read and as I passed through school, I became increasingly fascinated by the lives and activities of people in the past. History became my passion during my high school years when I learned how to research and write historical accounts. During my thirty-eight-year teaching career, I focused my research and writings on pioneer life in Canada, immigration, and the war of 1812. I’m the author of six books, 17 biographies, and numerous articles and chapters in books. My experience as an editor began in high school with the school’s yearbook and has continued through my teaching years and into retirement. With history, there’s always more to learn.

Wesley's book list on answers to your questions about the War of 1812

Wesley B. Turner Why did Wesley love this book?

The ending of that war by one of the most remarkable peace treaties ever signed, deserves the detailed treatment it receives in The Peace of Christmas Eve. When the United States declared war in June 1812, its government and people were deeply divided on the wisdom or necessity of such a course of action. Once begun and pursued, a way had to be found the end the conflict. The reader will find the who, how, and why clearly set out in Engelman’s book.

Book cover of The Incredible War of 1812: A Military History

Donald R. Hickey Author Of The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict

From my list on the War of 1812 (along with some primary sources).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an award-winning author and professor of history at Wayne State College in Nebraska. Called “the dean of 1812 scholarship” by the New Yorker, I’ve written eleven books and more than a hundred articles, mostly on the War of 1812 and its causes. I’ve been passionate about the War of 1812 ever since first studying it as an undergraduate in college.  Although the outcome on the battlefields was inconclusive and the war is largely forgotten today, it left a profound and lasting legacy. Since first “discovering” this war, my aim has been to elevate its public profile by showing how it shaped the United States and Canada and Britain’s relationship to both nations for the rest of the nineteenth century and beyond.

Donald's book list on the War of 1812 (along with some primary sources)

Donald R. Hickey Why did Donald love this book?

If you want to know how the British and Canadians view the war, this is the book for you. The original edition was published in 1965 but lacked documentation. For the revised edition, a team of Canadian scholars headed by Donald E. Graves added a host of appendices with new material and tracked down sources to give the volume appropriate documentation. 

By J. MacKay Hitsman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Incredible War of 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hitsman's account of the War of 1812 is regarded by many experts as the best one-volume history of that conflict. It is an engrossing story of the causes of the war and of the campaigns and battles that raged on land and water, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. This new paperback edition, edited by Donald E. Graves, contains the entire text of the original edition and much new material.


Book cover of Lords of the Lake: The Naval War on Lake Ontario, 1812-1814

Wesley B. Turner Author Of The Astonishing General: The Life and Legacy of Sir Isaac Brock

From my list on answers to your questions about the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

From my childhood, I loved to read and as I passed through school, I became increasingly fascinated by the lives and activities of people in the past. History became my passion during my high school years when I learned how to research and write historical accounts. During my thirty-eight-year teaching career, I focused my research and writings on pioneer life in Canada, immigration, and the war of 1812. I’m the author of six books, 17 biographies, and numerous articles and chapters in books. My experience as an editor began in high school with the school’s yearbook and has continued through my teaching years and into retirement. With history, there’s always more to learn.

Wesley's book list on answers to your questions about the War of 1812

Wesley B. Turner Why did Wesley love this book?

This award-winning work is the best account of naval rivalry and warfare on the most important of the Great Lakes. Malcomson clearly explains the details of the various vessels employed and the wider context of the naval contest. He shows how the mobility that naval forces provided to each side significantly affected all aspects of land warfare.

By Robert Malcomson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lords of the Lake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Of all the struggles that took place along the border between the United States and Britain's provinces in Canada during the War of 1812, the one that lasted the longest was the battle for control of Lake Ontario. Because the armies depended on the lake for transportation, controlling it was a key element in the war on land. Both Britain and the US threw manpower and resources into efforts to build inland navies, culminating on the British side in a ship larger than Nelson's Victory. This is the first full-length study of this aspect of the War of 1812.


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Interested in the War of 1812, the United States Navy, and the British Royal Navy?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the War of 1812, the United States Navy, and the British Royal Navy.

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