When Britain Burned the White House: The 1814 Invasion of Washington

Peter Snow

Published by Thomas Dunne Books, 2014
ISBN 10: 1250048281 / ISBN 13: 9781250048288
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Synopsis: In August 1814, British troops defeated the US Army outside Washington and, as President James Madison fled, set fire to the White House. In this meticulously researched, even-handed history of the conflict, veteran broadcaster Peter Snow provides a gripping account of the fast-changing fortunes of this little-known war, and describes the colourful characters on both sides: the fiery British Admiral George Cockburn, the cautious but popular Major General Robert Ross, and the American heroes Joshua Barney and Sam Smith.

Review:

"Peter Snow's account of this extraordinary event in British-American relations reads like a military thriller, each chapter raising the tension with a mass of detail and a kaleidoscope of characters who transform this book from what could have been a dry, chronological account into a riveting romp. . . . Snow adds an extra ingredient--a boyish enthusiasm for his subject . . . a meticulous and fascinating account." --"The Times" (UK)

"Snow builds his account on the voices of those who fought and witnessed the campaign, from nervous U.S. militiamen to Ross, Cockburn, and Dolley Madison, the president's resourceful wife. Written with verve and insight, this is a fitting reminder of a remarkable interlude in a war that deserves to be better known." --"BBC History Magazine"

"The result is superb. "When Britain Burned the White House" is an exemplary work of history--lucid, witty, and humane, with terrific pace, and so evenhanded that it will surely be received as well in America as here." --"The Spectator" (UK)

"Never before has this story been told more fully or more engagingly, with greater empathy for both sides, or with greater balance...Snow dug deeply into records and reminiscences and, especially for the British side, brought the combatants, simple and august, alive. The pace is brisk, the characterizations sure, the judgments done with a light touch. The book distinguishes itself by rounding off the story of Washington with the subsequent Baltimore attack--both part of the larger British Chesapeake campaign. For the story of that campaign, this is now the narrative to read."--"Publishers Weekly

""With ample quotes from English letters and diaries, Snow ably brings out the humanity of his subjects."--"Kirkus Reviews

""A well-done chronicle of an episode of the war that helped to shape the 'special relationship' between the U.S. and Britain."--"Booklist

""Peter Snow's account of this extraordinary event in British-American relations reads like a military thriller, each chapter raising the tension with a mass of detail and a kaleidoscope of characters who transform this book from what could have been a dry, chronological account into a riveting romp. . . . Snow adds an extra ingredient--a boyish enthusiasm for his subject . . . a meticulous and fascinating account." --"The Times" (UK)

"Snow builds his account on the voices of those who fought and witnessed the campaign, from nervous U.S. militiamen to Ross, Cockburn, and Dolley Madison, the president's resourceful wife. Written with verve and insight, this is a fitting reminder of a remarkable interlude in a war that deserves to be better known." --"BBC History Magazine

""The result is superb. "When Britain Burned the White House" is an exemplary work of history--lucid, witty, and humane, with terrific pace, and so evenhanded that it will surely be received as well in America as here." --"The Spectator" (UK)



"[An] excellent account...Snow, an experienced British journalist, has told the story of those engagements with brio and a fine gift for making sense of the complexities of battle... a fine example of serious and literate popular history... It ranks with Anthony S. Pitch's fine "The Burning of Washington" (2000) as among the best accounts of a war that hardly deserves to be forgotten."--"Washington Post
""Snow's narrative is authoritative and absorbing, his profiles sure and compelling, his judgments considered and fair, and his documentation most impressive. Wonderful for 19th-century political, military, and diplomatic history; specialists in Anglo-American relations; general readers; and all libraries." --"Library Journal, "Starred Review
"Never before has this story been told more fully or more engagingly, with greater empathy for both sides, or with greater balance...Snow dug deeply into records and reminiscences and, especially for the British side, brought the combatants, simple and august, alive. The pace is brisk, the characterizations sure, the judgments done with a light touch. The book distinguishes itself by rounding off the story of Washington with the subsequent Baltimore attack--both part of the larger British Chesapeake campaign. For the story of that campaign, this is now the narrative to read."--"Publishers Weekly
""With ample quotes from English letters and diaries, Snow ably brings out the humanity of his subjects."--"Kirkus Reviews
""A well-done chronicle of an episode of the war that helped to shape the 'special relationship' between the U.S. and Britain."--"Booklist
""Snow says 'the clarity, humanity and wit of British and American men and women who were there bring the story alive as if it had happened today.' He can take credit for bringing those attributes to the page."--"Marine Corps Times
""Peter Snow's account of this extraordinary event in British-American relations reads like a military thriller, each chapter raising the tension with a mass of detail and a kaleidoscope of characters who transform this book from what could have been a dry, chronological account into a riveting romp. . . . Snow adds an extra ingredient--a boyish enthusiasm for his subject . . . a meticulous and fascinating account." --"The Times" (UK)
"Snow builds his account on the voices of those who fought and witnessed the campaign, from nervous U.S. militiamen to Ross, Cockburn, and Dolley Madison, the president's resourceful wife. Written with verve and insight, this is a fitting reminder of a remarkable interlude in a war that deserves to be better known." --"BBC History Magazine
""The result is superb. "When Britain Burned the White House" is an exemplary work of history--lucid, witty, and humane, with terrific pace, and so evenhanded that it will surely be received as well in America as here." --"The Spectator" (UK)



[An] excellent account Snow, an experienced British journalist, has told the story of those engagements with brio and a fine gift for making sense of the complexities of battle a fine example of serious and literate popular history It ranks with Anthony S. Pitch's fine "The Burning of Washington" (2000) as among the best accounts of a war that hardly deserves to be forgotten. "Washington Post"

Snow's narrative is authoritative and absorbing, his profiles sure and compelling, his judgments considered and fair, and his documentation most impressive. Wonderful for 19th-century political, military, and diplomatic history; specialists in Anglo-American relations; general readers; and all libraries. "Library Journal, Starred Review"

Never before has this story been told more fully or more engagingly, with greater empathy for both sides, or with greater balance Snow dug deeply into records and reminiscences and, especially for the British side, brought the combatants, simple and august, alive. The pace is brisk, the characterizations sure, the judgments done with a light touch. The book distinguishes itself by rounding off the story of Washington with the subsequent Baltimore attack--both part of the larger British Chesapeake campaign. For the story of that campaign, this is now the narrative to read. "Publishers Weekly"

With ample quotes from English letters and diaries, Snow ably brings out the humanity of his subjects. "Kirkus Reviews"

A well-done chronicle of an episode of the war that helped to shape the special relationship' between the U.S. and Britain. "Booklist"

Snow says the clarity, humanity and wit of British and American men and women who were there bring the story alive as if it had happened today.' He can take credit for bringing those attributes to the page. "Marine Corps Times"

Peter Snow's account of this extraordinary event in British-American relations reads like a military thriller, each chapter raising the tension with a mass of detail and a kaleidoscope of characters who transform this book from what could have been a dry, chronological account into a riveting romp. . . . Snow adds an extra ingredient--a boyish enthusiasm for his subject . . . a meticulous and fascinating account. "The Times (UK)"

Snow builds his account on the voices of those who fought and witnessed the campaign, from nervous U.S. militiamen to Ross, Cockburn, and Dolley Madison, the president's resourceful wife. Written with verve and insight, this is a fitting reminder of a remarkable interlude in a war that deserves to be better known. "BBC History Magazine"

The result is superb. "When Britain Burned the White House" is an exemplary work of history--lucid, witty, and humane, with terrific pace, and so evenhanded that it will surely be received as well in America as here. "The Spectator (UK)""

"[An] excellent account...Snow, an experienced British journalist, has told the story of those engagements with brio and a fine gift for making sense of the complexities of battle... a fine example of serious and literate popular history... It ranks with Anthony S. Pitch's fine "The Burning of Washington" (2000) as among the best accounts of a war that hardly deserves to be forgotten." --Washington Post

"Snow's narrative is authoritative and absorbing, his profiles sure and compelling, his judgments considered and fair, and his documentation most impressive. Wonderful for 19th-century political, military, and diplomatic history; specialists in Anglo-American relations; general readers; and all libraries." --Library Journal, Starred Review

"Never before has this story been told more fully or more engagingly, with greater empathy for both sides, or with greater balance...Snow dug deeply into records and reminiscences and, especially for the British side, brought the combatants, simple and august, alive. The pace is brisk, the characterizations sure, the judgments done with a light touch. The book distinguishes itself by rounding off the story of Washington with the subsequent Baltimore attack--both part of the larger British Chesapeake campaign. For the story of that campaign, this is now the narrative to read." --Publishers Weekly

"With ample quotes from English letters and diaries, Snow ably brings out the humanity of his subjects." --Kirkus Reviews

"A well-done chronicle of an episode of the war that helped to shape the 'special relationship' between the U.S. and Britain." --Booklist

"Snow says 'the clarity, humanity and wit of British and American men and women who were there bring the story alive as if it had happened today.' He can take credit for bringing those attributes to the page." --Marine Corps Times

"Peter Snow's account of this extraordinary event in British-American relations reads like a military thriller, each chapter raising the tension with a mass of detail and a kaleidoscope of characters who transform this book from what could have been a dry, chronological account into a riveting romp. . . . Snow adds an extra ingredient--a boyish enthusiasm for his subject . . . a meticulous and fascinating account." --The Times (UK)

"Snow builds his account on the voices of those who fought and witnessed the campaign, from nervous U.S. militiamen to Ross, Cockburn, and Dolley Madison, the president's resourceful wife. Written with verve and insight, this is a fitting reminder of a remarkable interlude in a war that deserves to be better known." --BBC History Magazine

"The result is superb. When Britain Burned the White House is an exemplary work of history--lucid, witty, and humane, with terrific pace, and so evenhanded that it will surely be received as well in America as here." --The Spectator (UK)

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Title: When Britain Burned the White House: The ...
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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