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  1. Through the Perilous Fight: From the Burning of Washington to the Star-Spangled Banner: The Six Weeks That Saved the Nation
    Through the Perilous Fight: From the Burning of Washington to the Star-Spangled Banner: The Six Weeks That Saved the Nation
    Through the Perilous Fight: From the Burning of Washington to the Star-Spangled Banner: The Six Weeks That Saved the Nation
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  2. Through the Perilous Fight: From the Burning of Washington to the Star-Spangled Banner: The Six Weeks That Saved the Nation

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (81 reviews)
    Price R453.00

Additional Information

In a rousing account of one of the critical turning points in American history, Through the Perilous Fight tells the gripping story of the burning of Washington and the improbable last stand at Baltimore that helped save the nation and inspired its National Anthem.
In the summer of 1814, the United States of America teetered on the brink of disaster. The war it had declared against Great Britain two years earlier appeared headed toward inglorious American defeat. The young nation’s most implacable nemesis, the ruthless British Admiral George Cockburn, launched an invasion of Washington in a daring attempt to decapitate the government and crush the American spirit. The British succeeded spectacularly, burning down most of the city’s landmarks—including the White House and the Capitol—and driving President James Madison from the area. As looters ransacked federal buildings and panic gripped the citizens of Washington, beleaguered American forces were forced to regroup for a last-ditch defense of Baltimore. The outcome of that “perilous fight” would help change the outcome of the war—and with it, the fate of the fledgling American republic.
In a fast-paced, character-driven narrative, Steve Vogel tells the story of this titanic struggle from the perspective of both sides. Like an epic novel, Through the Perilous Fight abounds with heroes, villains, and astounding feats of derring-do. The vindictive Cockburn emerges from these pages as a pioneer in the art of total warfare, ordering his men to “knock down, burn, and destroy” everything in their path. While President Madison dithers on how to protect the capital, Secretary of State James Monroe personally organizes the American defenses, with disastrous results. Meanwhile, a prominent Washington lawyer named Francis Scott Key embarks on a mission of mercy to negotiate the release of an American prisoner. His journey will place him with the British fleet during the climactic Battle for Baltimore, and culminate in the creation of one of the most enduring compositions in the annals of patriotic song: “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Like Pearl Harbor or 9/11, the burning of Washington was a devastating national tragedy that ultimately united America and renewed its sense of purpose. Through the Perilous Fight combines bravura storytelling with brilliantly rendered character sketches to recreate the thrilling six-week period when Americans rallied from the ashes to overcome their oldest adversary—and win themselves a new birth of freedom.

Praise for Through the Perilous Fight

“Very fine storytelling, impeccably researched . . . brings to life the fraught events of 1814 with compelling and convincing vigor.”—Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of An Army at Dawn
“Probably the best piece of military history that I have read or reviewed in the past five years. . . . This well-researched and superbly written history has all the trappings of a good novel. . . . No one who hears the national anthem at a ballgame will ever think of it the same way after reading this book.”—Gary Anderson, The Washington Times
“[Steve] Vogel does a superb job. . . . [A] fast-paced narrative with lively vignettes.”—Joyce Appleby, The Washington Post
“Before 9/11 was 1814, the year the enemy burned the nation’s capital. . . . A splendid account of the uncertainty, the peril, and the valor of those days.”—Richard Brookhiser, author of James Madison
“A swift, vibrant account of the accidents, intricacies and insanities of war.”Kirkus Reviews

From the Hardcover edition.

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Steve Vogel
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Random House Trade Paperbacks
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Having lived in Baltimore for seven years I passed the bouncing marker where Francis Scott Key was reported to have written the Star Spangled Banner. I also saw where the historic battle took place at Fort Morgan. So, when I saw Steven Vogel's newest book "Through the Perilous Fight: Six Weeks that Saved a Nation" I had to read it.

This spring is the anniversary of when the British attempted to capture the Chesapeake Bay. Vogel gives his readers a rousing account of one of the most critical turning points in American history. The story he tells is gripping, exciting, and seems at times to be unbelievable. However, it is true.

One of the things I most appreciated about the book is that it is character driven rather than event driven, which so many books of battle are. All the characters are rich and full. James Madison is the mild mannered president. British Admiral George Cockburn is the most hated man in America and makes Patton look demure. Secretary of State... Read more
This is an excellent, supremely readable popular history. At a time when fewer and fewer Americans learn the objective facts of our country's past, this work is valuable (as well as wonderfully entertaining and enjoyable) on multiple levels. This "forgotten war" of 1812 was replete with devastating British terror attacks; American bluster--and military unpreparedness; and great heroism alongside craven behavior and profound ineptitude. That said, the author does not hector the reader on these points and others, but allows them to emerge from a skillfully crafted narrative. An accomplished journalist and author, Vogel is one of a dwindling band of writers who actually can write. Very highly recommended--and a splendid Father's Day gift, it seems to me. Fine history that's as entertaining as any novel.
"Through the Perilous Fight," by Washington Post reporter Steve Vogel, tells the story of the War of 1812 in the Washington-Baltimore area--a story of events that had at least as significant an effect on our country as 9/11. Yet, the most important thing most Americans know about the War of 1812 is that Dolley Madison saved the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. Vogel's subtitle, "Six Weeks that Saved the Nation," is spot on.

This book has three important things going for it:
* First, an astounding story:foreign troops invading Washington;the White House and Capitol in flames;the President on the run;the populace fleeing for their lives; private citizens arrested by the enemy; battles ending in devastating defeats or inspiring victories.
* Second, solid scholarship-- Steve Vogel's research is impeccable, and there's not a paragraph that isn't backed up by primary sources, carefully cited in end notes that are conveniently identified by page number, as... Read more
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