This is a surprisingly interesting study of an ostensibly dull subject, the complicated lipl small and political background of the War of 1812 and of the negotiations behind the Treaty of Ght that ended it. Although the apparent start of the war was the impressment of American seamen and the seizure of American ships by the British, the deeper causes involved Britain's struggle with Napoleon. In June, 1813, President Madison sent a three man commission (U.S. Treasurer, Galla; Senator Bayard of Delaware; and John Quincy Adams) to negotiate in St. where Czar Alexander of Russia offered his services as mediator. The nego on forever as the British made impossible demands. The Americans, weather bound to St. Petersburg, squabbled, wrote and tore up documents, and endured rather than enjoyed the social life of the capital. Only after the British defeat in the Battle of Lake Champlain did they present terms which the Americans and the was signed at Ghent. Although the treaty settled little, it bring a "" peace"" which in turn became ""firm partnership"" between Great Britain and the U.S. Written with wit and authority, this highly readable study of a little known of early American history will appeal primarily to students and histo, and it will be essential for all historical collections of the period.