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I think an in depth look at a few individuals including a better of understanding of their personalities would have mad for a more interesting history. There are some points of interest like Francis Scott Key bobbing up and down in the bay and being inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner. Thank you Steve Hladik for sending me this book. Now if you have something smutty on your bookshelf… Aug 26, Mark rated it really liked it Shelves: Jun 03, Paul Haspel rated it it was amazing Shelves: But before those moments of triumph and poetry occurred, the young U.

Lord, a Baltimore-born journalist, is probably best-known for A Night to Remember , his account of the sinking of R. That book, which was adapted into an award-winning British film in , exemplifies the strengths that Lord also brought to accounts of historical events like the siege of the Alamo A Time to Stand , and the attack on Pearl Harbor Day of Infamy , A lot of bad things had to happen for the American defense of Washington, D.

An uninformed Secretary of War dismissed the possibility that the British might actually be interested in attacking Washington. A jittery commander ordered the abandonment and destruction of Fort Washington, a Maryland fortification that commanded the Potomac River approaches to the capital. Now he knew better. Both President Madison and First Lady Dolley Madison fled the city — the latter after saving the full-length Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington from the doomed presidential mansion — and left Washington to the victorious British.

As punitive missions go, it was a curiously civilized one; the British restricted themselves to burning only the public buildings of Washington, and were punctilious in observing the rules of what was then known as civilized warfare. Yet the American defeat at the Battle of Bladensburg, and the subsequent burning of Washington, constituted a serious humiliation for the young nation. And the British, quite possibly, had even worse plans in mind for Baltimore. It is a grim thing to wonder if the British, in a successful invasion of Baltimore, might have behaved without the relative restraint that they had shown at Washington.

Fortunately, though, the British attempt to take Baltimore did not turn out as their campaign against Washington had. A land attack at North Point failed, with British Major General Robert Ross among those killed in the battle; and the defenders of Fort McHenry, the key to any attempt to enter Baltimore from the sea, foiled the British attempts to reduce the fort via rockets and bombardment.

And Francis Scott Key, confined on that flag-of-truce boat in the context of his efforts on behalf of an imprisoned American doctor, was in the perfect place to witness, and make, history. Lord served during the Second World War with the Office of Strategic Services, the intelligence agency that was a forerunner of the modern C. Writing in — a time of Cold War conflict, when the American people were singularly divided over the Vietnam War — Lord may have wanted to remind his American readers of a comparably difficult and divisive period.

Aug 11, James Bigwood rated it really liked it. This is a must-read text for anyone wanting to familiarize themselves with the Chesapeake Campaign during the War of a. There are many great tidbits in here. William Thornton, Superintendent of Patents, who saved the U. Patent Office from the threat of the British torch, when he successfully argued that the inventor's models within it were private property, and not public—private property being prohibited from destruction.

Perhaps my favorite anecdote of all, however, is that of Fort McHenry's rooster.

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During the middle of the Bombardment, the fowl "appeared from nowhere, mounted a parapet, and began to crow. My only critical point is that Walter Lord does not properly introduce everyone who is mentioned in the book. Admittedly, Scott is not a household name by any means, but he did command an entire battalion of U. Regulars at the Battle of Bladensburg, and Lord gives him incredibly short shrift, omitting his first name from the body of text entirely.

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But that minor transgression is a small blemish in an otherwise well-polished work. Lord's writing is timeless, and this book remains a monumental accomplishment. Jun 01, Paul Peterson rated it really liked it. While Napolean terrorized Europe, Britain still dominated the United States, impressing sailors on the seas, holding Canada to the north and vying for control of the Great Lakes, the Mississippi River and other naval strongholds to give them control over commerce in North America.

I think it will be a long time before we are disturbed again by any of the powers of Europe. Great Book to give me some insite into this war that I never really knew much about. My Great Great Grandfather fought in this war. I know very little about him but I am trying to! ILearning about the writing of the great song was something i knew about but this brought it to life for me!

Sep 25, Bryan Alkire rated it liked it. Ok account of part of the war Good Book Easy to follow and full of information. It is easy to see a great deal of research was done, the book flows well and holds your interest. WaLter Lord is always good for an interesting tale. Learned a great deal about the campaign that ended with the burning of Washington and the assault on Baltimore.


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A very enjoyable read. Great book A wonderful history of the War of and the "inside stories" on how the battles came about. I recommend this book for everyone. Takes the reader into the hearts and minds of the participants. Jumps back and forth between the sides, magnifying the crossed purposes and misinformation each side labored under.

Lacks detailed references, so more for information and pleasure reading than for research. Obviously, Lord did a lot of research. This Open Roads edition: This book starts a bit slow, but picks up speed and proves to be an entertaining history of the British campaign against Washington and Baltimore during August Oddly, the book chooses then to cover the peace negotiations and the Battle of New Orleans.

These, particularly the battle, seem kind of tagged on at the end. By the end of the book, the reader is well acquainted with the key players on both side. Plus it features dozens of vi This book starts a bit slow, but picks up speed and proves to be an entertaining history of the British campaign against Washington and Baltimore during August Plus it features dozens of vignettes of lesser known men and women. The book is breezy and informative. If you enjoy battlefield histories, I highly recommend it. Feb 14, Craig Adamson rated it really liked it. Have "rated" this book 4 times in the last 20 seconds while trying to write this review, and this is the first time the 'stars' seem to be "saved" for my review.

I may have to find another way to collect and preserve my book reviews as this is a major. The book details the battles in the War of and the eventual 2nd "emancipation" from the British. I had wrongly assumed this would be about the writing of the National Anthem. In fact, this book b yet another Shelfari review "lost" to the ages.

In fact, this book barely touches on its creation, but more on the events that led up to its creation. Harpoon informs Condor of the last communication from the Soviet President, the mistake regarding China, the matching damage already done by the initial retaliation with American ICBMs, and advises that the United States agree to the ceasefire.

Colonel Fargo, a hawkish advisor on Nightwatch, who believes that the Soviets are playing a trick, advises Condor that the only path to victory is quick destruction of the Soviet Union. Polar Bear 1 is attacked by a trio of MiGs over Alaska. One is shot down by the B's rear machine guns. The crew then drop one of their nuclear bombs on one side of a mountain range, using the other side of the mountain to shield their plane from the blast, destroying the other two MiGs. Condor agrees with Col.

Fargo's plan to move forward with a submarine missile and bomber attack. Harpoon disagrees, and he attempts to hide his nuclear authentication codes, but they are forcibly taken by Col. Fargo and Condor contact Alice, giving the authentication codes and ordering him to execute the remainder of the attack plan.

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Alice advises against this course of action, but obeys his orders and begins to organize the bombers for the attack. The attack orders are received by Polar Bear 1. Moreau argues that their target will kill off all Soviet leadership, leaving nobody to "turn [the war] off". Cassidy hands her a suicide pill , but then he breaks down and begs her not to go. The crewmen agree to turn back, but Tyler, despondent over the loss of his family, displays increasingly erratic behavior with the news causing him to descend into full insanity.

Tyler attacks Cassidy over the news and has to be restrained as a result.

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He later attempts to shoot the pilots for cowardice, then uses an ejection seat, blowing everyone but the two pilots out of the aircraft. The original President has survived the crash of Marine One, but he is seriously injured with both legs broken and he is also blind. A family gets him to a FEMA emergency shelter. The Soviets promise to stand off for one hour to see if the U. Air Force will recall its bombers. Alice begs Condor to view this as a sign that the Soviets are willing to call a ceasefire and asks for permission to recall all American bombers. Condor instead orders Alice to send U.

Navy carrier-based fighters to shoot down Polar Bear 1 as traitors.

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When Alice hesitates, Fargo informs Condor that they can figure a way to send the launch commands from Nightwatch, at which point Condor dismisses Alice and cuts off communication with "Looking Glass". The real President contacts Looking Glass. He lost his authentication codes in the helicopter crash, but he calls Alice by his real name as proof of who he is.


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  • Can all-out war be averted? Cold War tensions climb to a fever pitch when a U. A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes.

    By Dawn's Early Light

    The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a limited nuclear exchange in this film with a scenario similar to Fail-Safe and Dr. Originally a made for cable movie, it concentrates on the relationship between a veteran pilot and his female co-pilot and the president's attempt to wrest control away from a war-mongering successor. There have been many global nuclear war stories, and this is not the best, but I've always loved this film.

    It's a combination of cast and perspective. Whereas most films have a single strong storyline, and maybe a couple of smaller sub plots, this film bypasses that usual structure, preferring instead to use 3 or 4 main plotlines, all moving forward, all converging on the same point. Good non-traditional approach managed by a great non-traditional director, Jack Shoulder The Hidden. And for a film that did not go to theatres, this one has a strong cast: Powers Booth teams with Rebecca DeMornay to fly the nuclear bomber. And Martin Landau as the Prez trying to keep it all together.

    Nice story, good pace, strong finish.

    The Dawn's Early Light

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    Full Cast and Crew. The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a William Prochnau novel , Bruce Gilbert teleplay. Our Favorite Trailers of the Week. Related News 'Friday the 13th' Special: What happened to the Final Girls?