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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Stephen Budiansky
Currently enjoying its bicentennial, the War of 1812 occupies a musty, forgotten junk drawer in America's collective cultural consciousness, stuffed somewhere between the liberation of Grenada and the time Will Smith punched that extraterrestrial fighter pilot in the face.
The bicentennial of the War of 1812 will soon be upon us. Celebrations, observances and re-creations of all sorts will take place from Boston to New Orleans and from the Chesapeake Bay to Washington and Baltimore and on to Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes. "Perilous Fight" is an outstanding introduction to these celebrations of a war in which, as one scholar has noted, "Everyone thinks they won."
The War of 1812 was a no-win war. American invasions of Canada collapsed, British invasions of the United States foundered, and brilliant victories by single American frigates could not offset the punishing effects of the British blockade.
"It wasn't the entire city in flames," Mr. Budiansky said. "The British thought in the classic mold of superpowers dealing with much smaller adversaries that all they needed to do was stage a show of force. So they mostly burned public buildings — the White House, the Capitol, the State and Treasury departments. Some of the most serious damage was to the Navy Yard."