100 books like The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon

By Jeremy Black,

Here are 100 books that The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon fans have personally recommended if you like The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon. 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 Perilous Fight: America's Intrepid War with Britain on the High Seas, 1812-1815

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 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.

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.…


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 A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison

Jane Hampton Cook Author Of The Burning of the White House: James and Dolley Madison and the War of 1812

From my list on the War of 1812.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of ten mostly historical nonfiction books, I tried to rely on the original writings of the people that I wrote about rather than third-hand accounts. What I love about reading people's own words is that letters allow you to see a person's humanity and their emotional reactions to their circumstances. I also love the cinematic qualities of the story of the burning of the White House. Both Dolley and James Madison went through an authentic, organic character change in the aftermath, much like characters in a movie. I also loved the revival of patriotism that took place in the aftermath, which is similar to the aftermath of  9/11.

Jane's book list on the War of 1812

Jane Hampton Cook Why did Jane love this book?

Paul Jennings' memoirs are a vital voice to understanding this historical epoch. On August 24, 1814, he was present when Dolley Madison ordered the painting of George Washington to be taken off the wall before evacuating the White House. Jennings was also the last person out of the White House before the British military arrived. Were it not for Jennings, we would not know that an innkeeper cursed Dolley Madison and kicked her out of her hotel because she was angry that her husband had been fighting prior to the burning of the White House. His reminiscences of life as a slave and a free person show his character, honor, and determination.

By Paul Jennings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Colored Man's Reminiscences of James Madison as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


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 Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812 V1

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?

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.

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.


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 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 The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict

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?

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.

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…


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