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The Dawn's Early Light [Hardcover]

Walter Lord
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jun 1972

Walter Lord—author of such best-sellers as A Night to Remember and A Day of Infamy—brings to life the remarkable events of what we now call The War of 1812—including the burning of Washington and the attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry that inspired the Francis Scott Key to write what would become our national anthem. Lord gives readers a dramatic account of how a new sense of national identity emerged from the smoky haze of what Francis Scott Key so lyrically called "the dawn's early light."

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; First Edition edition (Jun 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393054527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393054521
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 15 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,087,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Still the best account available of the two key battles of the War of 1812... Popular historian Walter Lord, a Baltimore native, also wrote the bestsellers A Night to Remember and A Day of Infamy. In The Dawn's Early Light he brings the 1814 battles around Washington and Baltimore to life, making them seem terrifying and critical, as they must have seemed to Marylanders at the time.

(Baltimore City Paper)

Appealing to students of early American history and especially those with an interest in the mid-Atlantic states, this reprint of the 1972 original work on the War of 1812 provides a compelling narrative of the political and military strategy surrounding the battles in the Chesapeake bay in 1814.

(Reference and Research Book News 2012-01-00) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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The guests at the Pleasure House, a popular inn near Cape Henry, Virginia, could hardly believe their eyes. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is the first I have read concerning the War of 1812. In this book the author covers the period from August 1814 with the British marching onto Washington. Walter Lord offers a spendid account of the fighting at Bladensburg, the burning of Washington and the subsequent campaign against the British. The use of first hand account offers a splendid insight into the people, soldiers, sailors and politicians caught up during this period of history. A well researched and finely told account of this dramatic time in America's past. An excellent story!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Concise & interesting account of this campaign. 5 Nov 1998
By Aussie Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is the first I have read concerning the War of 1812. In this book the author covers the period from August 1814 with the British marching onto Washington. Walter Lord offers a spendid account of the fighting at Bladensburg, the burning of Washington and the subsequent campaign against the British. The use of first hand account offers a splendid insight into the people, soldiers, sailors and politicians caught up during this period of history. A well researched and finely told account of this dramatic time in America's past. An excellent story!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars finest book on the subject 31 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have read "Dawn's Early Light" several times and have found it to be the single most readable and understandable writing on a subject that is suprisingly not well known to most American readers. Lord uses numerous primary sources- diaries, letters, and memoirs of the participants, as well as thorough research and a tightly written narrative to tell the story of the British invasion of 1814. Especially effective are his characterizations of the British and American leadership. Walter Lord has managed to convey effectively the professionalism and cockiness of the British forces and the hopelessly chaotic and desperate American defense. It reads very much like a novel.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed & Exciting Account 1 Dec 2004
By Jason J. Pedone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first book I have read on the War of 1812 and I found it to be an excellent refresher. The book presents the battles and troop movements with striking detail. The author manages to avoid boring the reader with cumbersome details. His mixture of personal accounts & interesting details results in an enjoyable read. For a history book, it is rather exciting. I highly reccommend this book to any history buff.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional! 21 Dec 2003
By Michael E. Fitzgerald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Most of us are taught to believe that the War of 1812 was an American fiasco. Walter Lord's The Dawn's Early Light is an exceptionally well written work which depicts just how America sent the Brits packing for a second time and along the way earned not only international respect but also forged a sense of true national identity.
This is quite a fine work. Starting with the British burning of Washington, DC, Lord follows through to the defeat of the same army at Baltimore and the subsequent annihilation of the Duke of Wellington's finest troops, those that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, at the Battle of New Orleans. While the battle sequences are extremely well done, the behind the scene negotiations are covered equally well.
This book delivers what most historians often forget. By defeating Great Britain twice, a very young nation, one whose ideas of self government were so uncertain that some of its own citizens though it would not work, developed a sense of self, one that was to set the tone for the rest of the world to follow.
This is a remarkably well written and structured work, sure to please all but the British!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a classic! 1 Nov 2008
By Mahlon Christensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Until very recently this was THE book to read on The War of 1812, given the publication of several new works on the subject, this may no longer be the case, but for my money, there's no better storyteller than Walter Lord. That said, this is not one of his best works, but it's still a worthwhile read, especially for dedicated fans. His prose is most effective when he's describing the actual battles, his minute-by minute account of the burning of Washington is the highlight of the book. The non-combat portions just seem to drag in comparison.
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