The War of 1812 is one of the “forgotten wars” of the United States. It is, however, the conflict that helped to create the nation we have and provided the inspiration to our national anthem. In Through the Perilous Fight, Steve Vogel skillfully weaves together a narrative highlighting an eight week period of Washington D.C.’s history. Despite poor decisions, bad tactics, and the demoralizing burning of the city, the United States managed to survive and end the war that came very close to destroying the fledgling country. The only thing that I would have added is a back story to the War of 1812. The reader is thrust into the action and expected to understand the whys of the war. Yet Vogel does a fine job of bringing the personalities of politicians, soldiers, and common folk to the forefront of this conflict. It reminds me of David McCullough’s 1776. A good companion piece to more exhaustive accounts of the War of 1812.
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