This is intended as a short book for the National Parks service to sell as part of their memorial to the Battle of Lake Erie. The author was originally intending a much longer, definitive, work on the battle, which I think helped make this book much more solid.

This is a short book (just over a hundred pages without the appendixes), largely aimed at the general public, and it does a good job with the subject. It starts with a fair background to the War of 1812, its general course, and how the strategic frontier extended all the way out along the length of Lake Erie and into Michigan. Most of the book is from the American viewpoint, though there is of course time spent on British activities.

Along the way, there’s talk about the general design and construction of the ships involved, including recreations of the Niagara. There’s a denouement about a fight Perry and Elliot’s post battle fight over credit and actions during the climatic battle.

It’s a very short book, but serves its subject very well. The writing is clear, and goes through some very introductory material well. I’d like to see a much more comprehensive book on the campaigns around the Great Lakes in the War of 1812, but this is a great primer on the main part of that.