For the next three years, America marks the bicentennial of what may be the country's most poorly conceived and executed war. While America’s most unheralded war, it also is one of America’s most important wars. For the first time, the citizens of the statesbegan to see themselves as a unified nation, as Americans. A defeat could well have spelled the end of the United States of America as we know it.
In Madness: The War of 1812, I sketch how, less than a generation after creating the United States of America, the country took on the world's most powerful nation and ended up fighting for its very survival. Experience the war through the men and women who fought it, on the front lines and home front. The book's introduction and sample chapters can be read on this site.
Advance praise for Madness: The War of 1812
“Think of the novel Madness as a national birthday present—Happy Bicentennial, War of 1812—telling us of an unsung time in our early history that was as dramatic, and as dangerous, as any. “But Madness does more than take us back to a time we should know better. It is a choice yarn of war and intrigue. It is the kind of yarn Tom Clancy, say, might tell us about 1812—if Clancy were as sweet a writer as Dennis Byrne. Or put it another way: Don’t buy the book for your bedside table. It is the kind of book that makes you want to read on. You likely will stay up too late reading it.” —Zay N. Smith, Contributing book reviewer, Chicago Sun-Times
“It is one thing to brush history’s dust from the past but quite another to bring the past back in vibrant detail. Dennis Byrne has done that and more in Madness: The War of 1812, offering a compelling cast of characters in an action-packed tale. Grounded solidly in deep historical research and understanding, this is a remarkable accomplishment that makes terrific reading.” —Rick Kogan, WGN Radio Talk Show Host and Chicago Tribune writer