Lord’s stunning account of the War of 1812, when a young nation won its independence once and for allAt the dawn of the nineteenth century, the great powers of Western Europe treated the United States like a disobedient child. Great Britain blocked American trade, seized its vessels, and impressed its sailors to serve in the Royal Navy. America’s complaints were ignored, and the humiliation continued until James Madison, the country’s fourth president, declared a second war on Great Britain. British forces descended on the United States, shattering its armies and burning its capital, but America rallied, and survived the conflict with its sovereignty intact. This is the story of the turning points of that strange war, which inspired the writing of “The Star Spangled Banner” and led to the Era of Good Feeling that all but erased partisan politics in America for almost a decade. It was in 1812 that America found its identity, and first assumed its place on the world stage.