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Glorious Victory

Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans

Whether or not the United States "won" the war of 1812, two engagements that occurred toward the end of the conflict had an enormous influence on the development of American identity: the successful defenses of the cities of Baltimore and New Orleans. Both engagements bolstered national confidence and spoke to the élan of citizen soldiers and their militia officers. The Battle of New Orleans—perhaps because it punctuated the war, lent itself to frontier mythology, and involved the larger-than-life figure of Andrew Jackson—became especially important in popular memory. In Glorious Victory, leading War of 1812 scholar Donald R. Hickey recounts the New Orleans campaign and Jackson’s key role in the battle.

Drawing on a lifetime of research, Hickey tells the story of America’s "forgotten conflict." He explains why the fragile young republic chose to challenge Great Britain, then a global power with a formidable navy. He also recounts the early campaigns of the war—William Hull’s ignominious surrender at Detroit in 1812; Oliver H. Perry’s remarkable victory on Lake Erie; and the demoralizing British raids in the Chesapeake that culminated in the burning of Washington.

Tracing Jackson’s emergence as a leader in Tennessee and his extraordinary success as a military commander in the field, Hickey finds in Jackson a bundle of contradictions: an enemy of privilege who belonged to Tennessee’s ruling elite, a slaveholder who welcomed free blacks into his army, an Indian-hater who adopted a native orphan, and a general who lectured his superiors and sometimes ignored their orders while simultaneously demanding unquestioning obedience from his men. Aimed at students and the general public, Glorious Victory will reward readers with a clear understanding of Andrew Jackson’s role in the War of 1812 and his iconic place in the postwar era.

About the Author

Donald R. Hickey, whom the New Yorker described as "the dean of 1812 scholarship," teaches history at Wayne State College in Nebraska. He has written seven books on the conflict, including The Rockets’ Red Glare: An Illustrated History of the War of 1812 and The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict.

Endorsements

Engaging, enjoyable, and well-written, Glorious Victory will help students and the broader public understand the War of 1812 and Andrew Jackson's mythic appeal to antebellum Americans. Penned by one of the leading experts on the War of 1812, the book offers a succinct summary of the war's causes and conduct while simultaneously presenting readers with a balanced depiction of Jackson's successes and moral shortcomings. This volume will serve instructors and students well and should foster spirited discussions on Jackson's leadership.

- John W. Quist, Shippensburg University

Reviews

Eminent 1812 scholar Hickey... explains why contemporary Americans saw the battle as a 'glorious victory'... and why Jackson and the battle continued as prominent symbols as the rest of the war gradually faded in public memory... This is a quick, enjoyable read, but Hickey's extensive use of primary sources makes it suitable for scholars too.

- Choice

Donald R. Hickey, dubbed by one authority ‘the dean of 1812 scholarship,’ tells it all in this slim but lively, lucid, and entertaining account... As the hit song of 1959 goes, ‘In 1814 we took a little trip, Along with Colonel [ sic] Jackson down the mighty Mississipp’.’ Anyone who wants to make that expedition should seek out Don Hickey as a tour guide.

- Journal of America's Military Past
Johns Hopkins University Press
Witness to History
From 13 To 17

9781421417035 : glorious-victory-hickey
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