Knights of the Sea

by A Latter-day Bluestocking

In the midst of my beach reading I opted for something more serious, a history book.  Knights of the Sea:  The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812 stands out amongst history books in that it was a page-turner.  David Hanna has the gift for making history come alive, there is not a dull moment throughout the narrative.  The War of 1812 is not a greatly understood war, aside from certain high points like the British burning Washington, the USS Constitution’s defeat of the HMS Guerriere, and the Battle of New Orleans I did not know too much about “Mr. Madison’s War.”  This book clearly states the reasons for the war (impressment of American sailors and expansion of American territory) while focusing on two captains of the American and Royal Navies and how their destinies came together in one sea battle fought off the coast of Maine and the brotherhood and genuine respect of sea-going men.   It was a war that the fledgling United States had no business declaring and that Britain, amidst their war with France, underestimated.

Highly enjoyable book from which I gained much knowledge.  It reads like fiction and presents history as powerful and vibrant.

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