For Christmas giving: Get two copies of my historical novel for the price of one

christmas-tree-snow-Wondering what to get that hard-to-gift person? Get two copies of my historical novel, Madness: The War of 1812,"  for the price of one. Keep one for your reading pleasure and give the other to the avid reader relative or friend.

Here's how to take advantage of this special deal that lasts only until Dec. 25: Go the book website at http://www.madness1812.com, where you can order using PayPal. If you'd rather not use PayPal, send an email to me, dennis@dennisbyrne.net and we'll work something out.

The book tells the story of America's worst war. This, from  the introduction, describes just how bad:

Never in the history of American warfare has this nation witnessed such an exhibition of cowardice, indecisiveness, incompetence, and laziness in the army’s senior officer ranks. Battle after battle was lost, untrained troops were sacrificed in fights they could never win, territories won were quickly squandered, and the chain of command was ignored to near-treasonous levels.”

The United States invaded Canada and declared war on the mightiest empire in the world--Great Britain--whose army and navy were about to defeat Napoleon. Britain had hundreds of warships, making the oceans a virtual British lake. The United  States had about a half-dozen warships. Britain had almost one million men under arms; America had 5,000.

Against such odds, one could say that America had lost its mind. A loss would have ended the United States we know, only two decades after its founding. In that it was worse and more consequential than the Iraq and Vietnam wars. What made America do such an unthinkable thing? And how did America manage to survive.

Madness is a fast-paced story of what it was like for ordinary Americans to fight in this most awful land war. It has received high praise from Rick Kogan and Zay Smith. Goodreads readers have rated it among the best 25 books about the War of 1812. And it was recently named the best fiction of 2013 by the Great Midwest Book Festival.

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    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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