Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: The Weight of Vengeance

Hardcover: 344 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (June 11, 2012)

This year, America has been celebrating the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  Maybe observing is more like it.  I don't know.  In any event, The Weight of Vengeance by Troy Bickham is a nice way of celebrating the war.

History buffs will appreciate the effort that Bickham, an expert on the war, put into it.  It's a well-written book that looks at the behind the scenes of another rejection of Great Britain and the first of many major wars that define American imperialism.

Bickham's account of this "forgotten war" is provocative and places the 1812 war in a global context.  With the Napoleonic Wars going on across the Atlantic Ocean, the United States was able to challenge Great Britain.  This was in spite of the fact that many Americans were opposed to the war and that they were outmanned, outnumbered, and underfunded.  In waging war against Britain, the United States confirmed it's independence and it's right to be recognized by the great powers.

This book truly transforms how people will think of the War of 1812, otherwise known as the second war of independence.  It's no longer just the war that is known for Dolly Madison taking down a Washington portrait or making the careers of Andrew Jackson (elected President in 1828 and 1832), Richard Mentor Johnson (elected Vice President in 1836), and William Henry Harrison (elected President in 1840).

If you are a history buff, make sure to get a hold of this one for a greater understanding.

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