Opening with the stirring battle between the British frigate Macedonian and the United States, Bosco goes back to explain the causes of the war and to give a chronological account of the high points, recounting battles along the Canadian border, the great sea battles, fighting in the (then) Northwest, British retaliation in the East, etc. Along with the great victories were ignominious defeats; one is struck with wonder that we won. Treatment is even-handed: savagery was common among the British, Indians, and Americans. An epilogue explains settlements achieved with the Barbary Coast countries and briefly delineates the powerful effects of the war on US development. A particularly pleasing book, with stark white pages, large print, wide margins, and good maps and b&w photos; more important, it's written clearly and without condescension, proving that history can be exciting. Notes; important dates; glossary; further reading; bibliography; and a poor-quality index.