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The War of 1812, Conflict and DeceptionThe War of 1812, Conflict and Deception

The British Attempt to Seize New Orleans and Nullify the Louisiana Purchase

Ronald J. Drez

Narrated by Todd Curless

Available from Audible

Book published by Louisiana State University Press

Perhaps no conflict in American history is more important yet more overlooked and misunderstood than the War of 1812. Begun by President James Madison after decades of humiliating British trade interference and impressment of American sailors, the war in many ways was the second battle for United States independence.

At the climax of the war—inspired by the defeat of Napoleon in early 1814 and the perceived illegality of the Louisiana Purchase—the Br=itish devised a plan to launch a three-pronged attack against the northern, eastern, and southern U.S. borders. Concealing preparations for this strike by engaging in negotiations in Ghent, Britain meanwhile secretly issued orders to seize New Orleans and wrest control of the Mississippi and the lands west of the river. They further instructed British commander General Edward Pakenham not to cease his attack if he heard rumors of a peace treaty. Great Britain even covertly installed government officials within military units with the intention of immediately taking over administrative control once the territory was conquered.

According to author Ronald J. Drez, the British strategy and the successful defense of New Orleans through the leadership of General Andrew Jackson affirm the serious implications of this climactic battle. Far from being simply an unnecessary epilogue to the War of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans firmly secured for the United States the territory acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

Through the use of primary sources, Drez provides a deeper understanding of Britain’s objectives, and The War of 1812, Conflict and Deception offers a compelling account of this pivotal moment in American history.

Ronald J. Drez was a Marine company commander in the Vietnam War. He received two Bronze Stars and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He is the principal historian and president of Stephen Ambrose Tours, Inc.


“Ron Drez has written the single most important book on the Battle of New Orleans. His prodigious research pays off big. For the first time we understand the magnitude of Andrew Jackson's grand moment. A terrific read!”

—Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior

“With the riveting narrative skill and psychological insight of the most passionate thriller writer, Drez takes us on an unforgettable excursion into the American past that shines the light of his prodigious research onto the intricately entangled political and military issues behind one of the most pivotal—and least understood—wars in American history. Along the way he reintroduces us to Andrew Jackson, the one general with sufficient tenacity, brilliance, and audacity to prevail against the overwhelming power of the British Empire—thereby preserving the independence of the United States.”

—Kenneth Atchity former Fulbright Professor of American Studies to the University of Bologna

“Ron Drez is an excellent writer of military history. But this one is goes beyond his previous work. He re-writes history here and proves what we have learned about the Battle of New Orleans is wrong—that it was in fact necessary and the outcome vital to our future.”

—W. Henson Moore III

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University Press Audiobooks