Through the Perilous Fight: Six Weeks That Saved the Nation

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THROUGH THE PERILOUS FIGHT by Steve Vogel | Kirkus Reviews

He focuses on the Chesapeake campaign of Together, they were more than a match for anything the Americans could bring against them. President James Madison had very few troops at his disposal; and Secretary of State James Monroe interefered to ill effect in tactics.

Drawing on personal letters and diaries, newspaper accounts, and government archives at every level, Vogel has written a gripping account of the campaign, including the Sack of Washington and the Battle of Baltimore. It flows smoothly from beginning to end, and the amount of detail is incredible.

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Bracketing the narrative is what amounts to a short biography of Francis Scott Key. A lawyer in Maryland, the key battles were fought on his home turf.

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And we all know that as a negotiator for the release of prisoners of war, he was there to watch the attack on Fort McHenry outside Baltimore. The song became an instant hit, and the description of the flag gave the United States a meaningful symbol for the entire nation.

[PAST EVENT] Through the Perilous Fight: Book Talk & Reception

In the summer of , 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. 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. In a fast-paced, character-driven narrative, Steve Vogel tells the story of this titanic struggle from the perspective of both sides.


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Like an epic novel, Through the Perilous Fight abounds with heroes, villains, and astounding feats of derring-do. 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.

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.

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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. A splendid account of the uncertainty, the peril, and the valor of those days. Customer Reviews. Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars, based on 3 reviews 3 ratings.

The Perilous Fight

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  • Written by a customer while visiting librarything. Portraits are an outstanding feature of this book. Average rating: 2 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews.

    VGAHarris, January 19, Vogel, a colleague of mine when we both worked for Army Times Publishing Co. With all that said, one lesson was put aside, as it was during the Revolution and would be again in the Confederacy. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

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