The Naval War of 1812

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Published when Theodore Roosevelt was only twenty-three years old, The Naval War of 1812 was immediately hailed as a literary and scholarly triumph, and it is still considered the definitive book on the subject. It caused considerable controversy for its bold refutation of earlier accounts of the war, but its brilliant analysis and balanced tone left critics floundering, changed the course of U.S. military history by renewing interest in our obsolete forces, and set the young author and political hopeful on a path to greatness. Roosevelt's inimitable style and robust narrative make The Naval War of 1812 enthralling, illuminating, and utterly essential to every armchair historian. The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field
of military history, and their literary merit.
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About the author

Theodore Roosevelt--the naturalist, writer, historian, soldier, and politician who became twenty-sixth president of the United States--was born in
New York City on October 27, 1858, into a distinguished family. He was the second of four children of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., a wealthy
philanthropist of Dutch descent, and the former Martha ('Mittie') Bulloch, an aristocratic Southern belle. An endlessly inquisitive young man, he
was especially interested in natural history, which became the focus of his first published works, Summer Birds of the Adirondacks (1877) and
Notes on Some of the Birds of Oyster Bay (1879). Upon graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 1880 Roosevelt briefly studied law. The
next year he was elected to the New York State Assembly on the Republican ticket and soon made a name for himself as a historian with The
Naval War of 1812 (1882).

Following the death of his wife, Alice, in childbirth in 1884, Roosevelt sought change and headed west to ranch lands he had acquired in the
Dakota Territory. The young outdoorsman chronicled his years in the Bad Lands in Hunting Trips of a Ranchman (1885), the first volume in the
nature trilogy that eventually included Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail (1888) and The Wilderness Hunter (1893). After failing to win the New
York City mayoral election in 1886 as a self-styled 'Cowboy Candidate,' Roosevelt married childhood sweetheart Edith Kermit Carow and retired
for a time to Sagamore Hill, his estate at Oyster Bay, Long Island. He wrote Gouveneur Morris
statesman intended as a companion to the political memoir Life of Thomas Hart Benton (1887) and conceived the masterful four-volume history
The Winning of the West (1889-1896).

Roosevelt returned to public life in 1889. Appointed Civil Service Commissioner he spent the next six years in Washington energetically pushing
for reform of the government system, all the while propelling himself into the national spotlight. In 1895 he accepted a position as member, and
later president, of the Board of Police Commissioners of New York City. Known as 'a man you can't cajole, can't frighten, can't buy,' Roosevelt
continued to enjoy growing prestige nationwide, and within two years he was named assistant secretary of the navy under President William
McKinley. Resigning this office in May 1898 at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt helped organize and train the 'Rough
Riders,' a regiment of the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry whose legendary exploits he recorded in The Rough Riders (1899). A popular hero upon
returning from Cuba, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York in November 1898, and two years later he became vice president of the
United States in the second administration of William McKinley.

The assassination of President McKinley in September 1901 placed Roosevelt in the White House, and he was elected president in 1904. For the
remainder of the decade he embodied the boundless confidence of the nation as it entered the American Century. He promised a square deal for the
workingman, brought about trust-busting reforms aimed at regulating big business, and instituted modern-day environmental measures. The first
American leader to play an important role in world affairs, Roosevelt guided construction of the Panama Canal, advocated a 'big stick' policy to
enforce the Monroe Doctrine, and sought to keep the Open Door course in China. In 1906 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for resolving the
Russo-Japanese War.

After leaving office in 1909 he took an almost yearlong hunting trip to Africa and described his adventures in African Game Trails (1910). In
1912 he made a bid for reelection on the progressive Bull Moose ticket but lost to Woodrow Wilson, who became a bitter enemy. Afterward he
completed Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1913) and Through the Brazilian Wilderness (1914), an account of his explorations in South
America. With the outbreak of World War I, Roosevelt became an outspoken advocate of United States military preparedness in books such as
America and the World War (1915). His last work, The Great Adventure, appeared in 1918. Still entertaining the idea of running again for
office, Theodore Roosevelt died in his sleep at Sagamore Hill on January 6, 1919.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Modern Library
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Published on
Nov 1, 2000
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780679641858
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Presidents & Heads of State
History / Military / Naval
History / Military / United States
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The extraordinary World War II story of shipwreck and survival that paved John F. Kennedy's path to power – hailed as a “breathtaking account” by James Patterson, “masterfully written” by historian Douglas Brinkley, and “the finest book” ever written on the subject by Lt. Commander William Liebenow, the man who rescued JFK and the PT 109 crew in August 1943.

In the early morning darkness of August 2, 1943, during a chaotic nighttime skirmish amid the Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri barreled through thick fog and struck the U.S. Navy's motor torpedo boat PT 109, splitting the craft nearly in half and killing two American sailors instantly. The sea erupted in flames as the 109's skipper, John F. Kennedy, and the ten surviving crewmen under his command desperately clung to the sinking wreckage; 1,200 feet of ink-black, shark-infested water loomed beneath. "All hands lost," came the reports back to the Americans' base: no rescue was coming for the men of PT 109. Their desperate ordeal was just beginning—so too was one of the most remarkable tales of World War II, one whose astonishing afterlife would culminate two decades later in the White House.

Drawing on original interviews with the last living links to the events, previously untapped Japanese wartime archives, and a wealth of archival documents from the Kennedy Library, including a lost first-hand account by JFK himself, bestselling author William Doyle has crafted a thrilling and definitive account of the sinking of PT 109 and its shipwrecked crew's heroics. Equally fascinating is the story's second act, in which Doyle explores in new detail how this extraordinary episode shaped Kennedy's character and fate, proving instrumental to achieving his presidential ambitions: "Without PT 109, there never would have been a President John F. Kennedy," declared JFK aide David Powers.

Featuring castaways on a deserted island, a spy network of Solomon Island natives, an Australian coast watcher hidden on the side of a volcano, an S.O.S. note carved into a coconut, and a daring rescue attempt led by Kennedy's fellow American PT boats, PT 109 is an unforgettable American epic of war and destiny.

During the Civil War, Sylvanus Cadwallader, a war correspondent employed first by the Chicago Times and later for the New York Herald, was attached to General Grant’s headquarters from 1862 to 1865. Three Years with Grant is his account of that period.

As a portrait of Grant, the personality and the military leader, as a civilian’s picture of how the war was fought at the command level, and, above all, as a hitherto unknown primary source of Civil War history, as a hitherto unknown primary source of Civil War history, this is an important book. It is also an extremely entertaining one that makes an exciting reading. Entertaining because Cadwallader was a shrewd and stubborn man who was remarkably frank about his contemporaries and who was continually in trouble with all authority except Grant himself; exciting because he was a superb reporter in a unique position. Cadwallader had privileges and information accessible to no other journalist. Through his eyes—and, indirectly, Grant’s—the reader experiences the Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns; the actions of the Army of the Potomac; Grant and Lincoln at City Point; Grant and Sherman hatching strategy; Grant and Lee at Appomattox.

The manuscript of Three Years with Grant, never published, was acquired some years ago by the Illinois State Historical Library; probably not more than a half- dozen living persons have read it. Now it has been ably edited, with an introduction and extensive notes, by Benjamin P. Thomas, whose Abraham Lincoln is generally regarded as the best one-volume life of the President yet written.
Perhaps no conflict in American history is more important yet more overlooked and misunderstood than the War of 1812. Begun by President James Madison after decades of humiliating British trade interference and impressment of American sailors, the war in many ways was the second battle for United States independence.

At the climax of the war -- inspired by the defeat of Napoleon in early 1814 and the perceived illegality of the Louisiana Purchase -- the British devised a plan to launch a three-pronged attack against the northern, eastern, and southern U.S. borders. Concealing preparations for this strike by engaging in negotiations in Ghent, Britain meanwhile secretly issued orders to seize New Orleans and wrest control of the Mississippi and the lands west of the river. They further instructed British commander General Edward Pakenham not to cease his attack if he heard rumors of a peace treaty. Great Britain even covertly installed government officials within military units with the intention of immediately taking over administrative control once the territory was conquered.

According to author Ronald J. Drez, the British strategy and the successful defense of New Orleans through the leadership of General Andrew Jackson affirm the serious implications of this climatic -battle. Far from being simply an unnecessary epilogue to the War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans firmly secured for the United States the territory acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

Through the use of primary sources, Drez provides a deeper understanding of Britain's objectives, and The War of 1812, Conflict and Deception offers a compelling account of this pivotal moment in American history.

Stephen Decatur was one of the most awe-inspiring officers of the entire Age of Fighting Sail. A real-life American naval hero in the early nineteenth century, he led an astonishing life, and his remarkable acts of courage in combat made him one of the most celebrated figures of his era.

Decatur's dazzling exploits in the Barbary Wars propelled him to national prominence at the age of twenty-five. His dramatic capture of HMS Macedonian in the War of 1812, and his subsequent naval and diplomatic triumphs in the Mediterranean, secured his permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen. Handsome, dashing, and fearless, his crews worshipped him, presidents lionized him, and an adoring public heaped fresh honors on him with each new achievement.

James Tertius de Kay is one of our foremost naval historians. In A Rage for Glory, the first new biography of Decatur in almost seventy years, he recounts Decatur's life in vivid colors. Drawing on material unavailable to previous biographers, he traces the origins of Decatur's fierce patriotism ("My country...right or wrong!"), chronicles Decatur's passionate love affair with Susan Wheeler, and provides new details of Decatur's tragic death in a senseless duel of honor, secretly instigated by the backroom machinations of jealous fellow officers determined to ruin him. His death left official Washington in such shock that his funeral became a state occasion, attended by friends who included former President James Madison, current President James Monroe, Chief Justice John Marshall, and ten thousand more.

Decatur's short but crowded life was an astonishing epic of hubris, romance, and high achievement. Only a handful of Americans since his time have ever come close to matching his extraordinary glamour and brilliance.
A candid and insightful look at an era and a life through the eyes of one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century, First Lady and humanitarian Eleanor Roosevelt.

The daughter of one of New York’s most influential families, niece of Theodore Roosevelt, and wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt witnessed some of the most remarkable decades in modern history, as America transitioned from the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and the Depression to World War II and the Cold War.

A champion of the downtrodden, Eleanor drew on her experience and used her role as First Lady to help those in need. Intimately involved in her husband’s political life, from the governorship of New York to the White House, Eleanor would eventually become a powerful force of her own, heading women’s organizations and youth movements, and battling for consumer rights, civil rights, and improved housing. In the years after FDR’s death, this inspiring, controversial, and outspoken leader would become a U.N. Delegate, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, a newspaper columnist, Democratic party activist, world-traveler, and diplomat devoted to the ideas of liberty and human rights.

This single volume biography brings her into focus through her own words, illuminating the vanished world she grew up, her life with her political husband, and the post-war years when she worked to broaden cooperation and understanding at home and abroad.

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt includes 16 pages of black-and-white photos.

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

Although Theodore Rex fully recounts TR’s years in the White House (1901–1909), The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt begins with a brilliant Prologue describing the President at the apex of his international prestige. That was on New Year’s Day, 1907, when TR, who had just won the Nobel Peace Prize, threw open the doors of the White House to the American people and shook 8,150 hands, more than any man before him. Morris re-creates the reception with such authentic detail that the reader gets almost as vivid an impression of TR as those who attended. One visitor remarked afterward, “You go to the White House, you shake hands with Roosevelt and hear him talk—and then you go home to wring the personality out of your clothes.”

The rest of this book tells the story of TR’s irresistible rise to power. (He himself compared his trajectory to that of a rocket.) It is, in effect, the biography of seven men—a naturalist, a writer, a lover, a hunter, a ranchman, a soldier, and a politician—who merged at age forty-two to become the youngest President in our history. Rarely has any public figure exercised such a charismatic hold on the popular imagination. Edith Wharton likened TR’s vitality to radium. H. G. Wells said that he was  “a very symbol of the creative will in man.” Walter Lippmann characterized him simply as our only “lovable” chief executive.

During the years 1858–1901, Theodore Roosevelt, the son of a wealthy Yankee father and a plantation-bred southern belle, transformed himself from a frail, asthmatic boy into a full-blooded man. Fresh out of Harvard, he simultaneously published a distinguished work of naval history and became the fist-swinging leader of a Republican insurgency in the New York State Assembly. He had a youthful romance as lyrical—and tragic—as any in Victorian fiction. He chased thieves across the Badlands of North Dakota with a copy of Anna Karenina in one hand and a Winchester rifle in the other. Married to his childhood sweetheart in 1886, he became the country squire of Sagamore Hill on Long Island, a flamboyant civil service reformer in Washington, D.C., and a night-stalking police commissioner in New York City. As assistant secretary of the navy under President McKinley, he almost single-handedly brought about the Spanish-American War. After leading “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders” in the famous charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba, he returned home a military hero, and was rewarded with the governorship of New York. In what he called his “spare hours” he fathered six children and wrote fourteen books. By 1901, the man Senator Mark Hanna called “that damned cowboy” was vice president of the United States. Seven months later, an assassin’s bullet gave TR the national leadership he had always craved.

His is a story so prodigal in its variety, so surprising in its turns of fate, that previous biographers have treated it as a series of haphazard episodes. This book, the only full study of TR’s pre-presidential years, shows that he was an inevitable chief executive, and recognized as such in his early teens. His apparently random adventures were precipitated and linked by various aspects of his character, not least an overwhelming will. “It was as if he were subconsciously aware that he was a man of many selves,” the author writes, “and set about developing each one in turn, knowing that one day he would be President of all the people.”
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