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Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, and Heroes: Madison's Commanders in the War of 1812

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Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, and Heroes

Madison's Commanders in the War of 1812

By Colonel David Fitz-Enz

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Format: Hardback, 280 pages
Published In: United States, 16 July 2012
While President James Madison was a brilliant scholar, author of much of the country s early documents, organizer of the executive branch of government, and astute politician, he was no commander-in-chief. He relied totally upon appointed commodores and generals to conduct a war for the conquest of Canada on one hand and survival on the other. Often confused by advisors of little military talent, in the end he put his trust and that of the people in the grasp of hacks, sycophants, adventurers, and a few good men. This is the story of the good, the bad, and the outrageous that held the future of the young nation in their hands and prevailed in spite of a twenty-one-ship navy and an amateur army, pitched at the greatest military machine of its time.

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments Chronology of the War of 1812 Chapter 1: A Tale of Impressment, Isaac Hull, and William Hull Chapter 2: Andrew Jackson Chapter 3: Oliver Hazard Perry Chapter 4: William Henry Harrison, Chief Tecumseh, and Zachary Taylor Chapter 5: Henry Dearborn, Jacob Brown, and Winfield Scott Chapter 6: Alexander Macomb, and Thomas Macdonough Chapter 7: British Invasion, September 11, 1814; John Wool; and Benjamin Mooers Chapter 8: Battle of Plattsburgh & Lake Champlain Chapter 9: Charles Stewart and the Barbary Pirates Chapter 10: Stephen Decatur, James Barron, and John Rodgers Chapter 11: William Bainbridge, David Porter, and James Lawrence Chapter 12: William Winder and James Wilkinson Bibliography Index About the Author

About the Author

Colonel David Fitz-Enz, USA ret., served as a regular army officer for thirty years. He served two tours in Vietnam, one as a combat photographer and another as a paratrooper and aviator. He is the author of Old Ironsides: Eagle of the Sea; Redcoats Revenge; and Why a Soldier?. He lives near Lake Placid, New York.

Reviews

Fitz-Enz has provided an informative look at the war with a provocative and interesting perspective. Booklist Very readable and informative even for those familiar with the war, Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, & Heroes would also be a useful introduction to the subject for the novice. Strategy Page Col. Fitz-Enz, who has written extensively on the War of 1812, uses mini-biographies of twenty-five American (and some British) commanders, both land and sea, to tell the story of the conflict. He groups these accounts by the part of the war in which these men, some of them truly hacks, sycophants, and adventurers, some heroes, and some a little of each, so several officers are often treated in overlapping fashion. Surprisingly, this rather innovative approach works well, as he uses the lives of these officers to illustrate various aspects of life, international relations, domestic politics, and contemporary military and naval practice from the American Revolution to the "Era of Good Feeling" that followed the war. Very readable even for those familiar with the war, this work would also be a useful introduction to the subject for the novice. The NYMAS Review ...Colonel David Fitz-Enz writes with an urgency of detail that emphasizes storied past of our region. Adirondack Daily Enterprise Colonel David Fitz-Enz's narrative lives up to its title and more, looking at the War of 1812 through a prism of biographic sketches of some of this nation's better known, but mostly lessor and unknown characters of the era. A fine synthesis of previous scholarship and documentary records, Fitz-Enz allows his subjects to speak, and speak they do with an eloquence and passion that helped to define our national character. A gifted writer, Fitz-Enz's colorful descriptions of intense land and sea battles practically leave you smelling the gunpowder; his personal sketches make you feel like you knew these hacks, sycophants, adventurers, and heroes firsthand. This book is strongly recommended as required reading for U.S. history courses covering the War of 1812! -- David F. Winkler, Ph.D., Naval Historical Foundation Hacks, Sycophants, Adventurers, and Heroes offers a fascinating insight into the remarkable characters of the War of 1812 who, arguably, changed the course of history. Often cruel, but always colorful, the men in this book bring an extraordinary period of history alive for both the academic as well as the casual reader-no easy task for a writer but something that David Fitz-Enz has accomplished with commensurate ease. -- Col. Timothy Weeks, Order of the British Empire, British field commander, fellow of the U.S. Army War College, and military attache from the Court of Saint James War is a human endeavor that brings out the best and the worst in man. This is an important theme in Colonel David Fitz-Enz's insightful warts-and-all study of the key American army, navy, and political leaders who served President Madison in the War of 1812. Those commanders with less than sterling attributes, whether classified as hacks, sycophants, or adventurers, explain some of the course of that conflict. But as this compelling book makes clear, it is the heroes, particularly those who rose above their own initial deficiencies, who were responsible for the ultimate outcome of the war. -- Col. David Jablonsky, USA ret., Ph.D., distinguished fellow, U.S. Army War College It has been of personal interest for me to put 'meat' on some of those leading the American military and naval operations in the War of 1812. Alexander Macomb is of particular interest, as he directly opposed my ancestor at Plattsburgh, and both families were later connected by marriage in New York in 1872. A lot of research has obviously gone into this book, and I wish Colonel Fitz-Enz every success with it. -- Sir Christopher Prevost, Baronet, Rochester, Kent (UK)

EAN: 9781589797000
ISBN: 1589797000
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing
Age Range: 15+ years
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