10 books like The Peace of Christmas Eve

By Fred L. Engelman,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Peace of Christmas Eve. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Don't Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812

By Donald R. Hickey,

Book cover of Don't Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812

Don Hickey’s book separates fact from fiction – surely a laudable goal for any historian. But all too often, folklore and fairytale become established as truth and there can be no shaking it. Hickey has written five books and more than 50 articles on the War of 1812 and there are few more authoritative writers than him. I chose this one because it looks at so many aspects of the war: military and naval history, politics, diplomacy, economics, and trade. He includes the British, the Americans, the Canadians, the native and black people: men and women, soldiers and sailors, civilians, pirates, and spies. There is something in it for everyone and I for one could not put it down.

Don't Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812

By Donald R. Hickey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Don't Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No longer willing to accept naval blockades, the impressment of American seamen, and seizures of American ships and cargos, the United States declared war on Great Britain. The aim was to frighten Britain into concessions and, if that failed, to bring the war to a swift conclusion with a quick strike at Canada. But the British refused to cave in to American demands, the Canadian campaign ended in disaster, and the U.S. government had to flee Washington, D.C., when it was invaded and burned by a British army.

By all objective measures, the War of 1812 was a debacle for…


In the Midst of Alarms

By Dianne Graves,

Book cover of In the Midst of Alarms: The Untold Story of Women and the War of 1812

Readers are Dianne and her husband Don have been personal friends for many years. Like many people, I was deeply saddened by her untimely death last year. Dianne had a wonderfully fluent written style, so easy to read, and could capture a moment like few others. Her book gives insights into wartime life and the role of women in the early 19th Century in Quebec, Montreal, and Toronto (the York), as well as in Washington DC and Philadelphia. While the men did the fighting, the women backed them up – on the frontier, quite literally. A fascinating book written with passion and insight.

In the Midst of Alarms

By Dianne Graves,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In the Midst of Alarms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The War of 1812 between the United States and Britain has been covered in detail by many historians, but its impact on the lives of women has been largely overlooked. After years of research, Dianne Graves has produced a marvelous study of how the war affected women at all levels of society, from high society in Washington and Quebec to the women who followed their husbands to the front lines. She brings to life the untold stories of wives, daughters, heroines and harridans, as revealed in memoirs, diaries and letters of the time. The book is well illustrated with portraits,…


The Iroquois in the War of 1812

By Carl Benn,

Book cover of The Iroquois in the War of 1812

This book written by a leading scholar of indigenous history fills a serious gap in scholarly studies of that conflict. Whether or not to remain neutral or, if they participated, which side to support in the war were life and death decisions for the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee. Benn’s account with a very informative appendix and bibliography adds to our understanding of how those nations responded.

The Iroquois in the War of 1812

By Carl Benn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Until now, the story of Iroquois participation in the War of 1812 has not received detailed examination, and there have consequently been major gaps in our understanding of the Iroquois, their relations with Euroamerican society, and the course of the war itself. The Iroquois in the War of 1812 proves that, in fact, the Six Nations' involvement was 'too significant to ignore.' Benn explores this involvement by focusing on Iroquois diplomatic, military, and cultural history during the conflict. He looks at the Iroquois' attempts to stay out of the war, their entry into hostilities, their modes of warfare, the roles…


Lords of the Lake

By Robert Malcomson,

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

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.

Lords of the Lake

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.


The Incredible War of 1812

By J. MacKay Hitsman,

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

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. 

The Incredible War of 1812

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.


Perilous Fight

By Stephen Budiansky,

Book cover of Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815

While the outcome of the naval war was a foregone conclusion, the United States Navy and a swarm of privateers punched well above their weight, humiliating the world’s preeminent navy early in the conflict and boosting American national morale. There are a number of excellent books on the naval history of the conflict, but, carefully researched and accessibly written, Perilous Fight is my favorite telling of this critical aspect of the War of 1812.

Perilous Fight

By Stephen Budiansky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Perilous Fight, Stephen Budiansky tells the rousing story of the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812, when an upstart American fleet fought off the legendary Royal Navy and established America as a world power for the first time.
 
Through vivid re-creations of riveting and dramatic encounters at sea, Budiansky shows how this underdog coterie of seamen and their visionary secretary of the navy combined bravery and strategic brilliance to defeat the British, who had dominated the seas for more than two centuries.  A gripping and essential hsitory, this is the military and political story of how the U.S.…


The War of 1812

By Donald R. Hickey,

Book cover of The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict

This is the best comprehensive history of the period. The scope is daunting. The book, along with long phone conversations with the author, was my bible when writing Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, and Heroes, Madison’s commanders in the War of 1812.  Don not only gives you the facts but is also adept at stinging them together into an absorbing narrative that will keep you looking for the next turning.  The period of the war is filled with the most audacious characters found in any nations’ early history.  From the heroes of the battlefield to the wretched politicians that haunt all our history, you will never find a more gripping read.

The War of 1812

By Donald R. Hickey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This comprehensive and authoritative history of the War of 1812, thoroughly revised for the 200th anniversary of the historic conflict, is a myth-shattering study that will inform and entertain students, historians, and general readers alike. Donald R. Hickey explores the military, diplomatic, and domestic history of our second war with Great Britain, bringing the study up to date with recent scholarship on all aspects of the war, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. The newly expanded The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial Edition includes additional information on the British forces, American Indians, and military operations such as…


The Crisis of Imprisonment

By Rebecca M. McLennan,

Book cover of The Crisis of Imprisonment: Protest, Politics, and the Making of the American Penal State, 1776-1941

In The Crisis of Imprisonment, McLennan examines the role of labor in the early prisons through to the Second World War. Labor was central to the motivation for adopting prisons, but also to their regular routines and functioning. After the Civil War, however, labor unions and others opposed to prisoner labor became more effective at restricting the sale of prisoner-made products, which helped to undermine the order of prisons.

The second half of the book explores the question of how do you maintain order in prisons if its central lynchpin is no longer available. It also has rich discussions on resistance and protests both inside and outside of prisons (not everyone wanted prisons, even early on, or liked how they were organized, even the people running them) and on the origin of prisoners’ “civil death” or rights-less status. Bonus: I love the introduction to this book. The prison riot…

The Crisis of Imprisonment

By Rebecca M. McLennan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

America's prison-based system of punishment has not always enjoyed the widespread political and moral legitimacy it has today. In this groundbreaking reinterpretation of penal history, Rebecca McLennan covers the periods of deep instability, popular protest, and political crisis that characterized early American prisons. She details the debates surrounding prison reform, including the limits of state power, the influence of market forces, the role of unfree labor, and the 'just deserts' of wrongdoers. McLennan also explores the system that existed between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, where private companies relied on prisoners for labor. Finally, she discusses the…


The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1

By Benson J. Lossing,

Book cover of The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1

Lossing was an accomplished sketch artist and antiquarian who traveled 10,000 miles in the 1850s and 1860s, visiting battle sites and interviewing survivors of the war. The result of his labors was this compendium that includes songs, poems, battle maps, and illustrations. Lossing treatment of almost every subject yields fascinating gems.

The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1

By Benson J. Lossing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This Is A New Release Of The Original 1869 Edition.


The Slaves' Gamble

By Gene Allen Smith,

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

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.

The Slaves' Gamble

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…


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Interested in the War of 1812, Christmas, and the United Kingdom?

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