The Invasion of Canada: 1812-1813

Front Cover
Anchor Canada, 2001 - History - 368 pages
12 Reviews
To America's leaders in 1812, an invasion of Canada seemed to be "a mere matter of marching," as Thomas Jefferson confidently predicted. How could a nation of 8 million fail to subdue a struggling colony of 300,000? Yet, when the campaign of 1812 ended, the only Americans left on Canadian soil were prisoners of war. Three American armies had been forced to surrender, and the British were in control of all of Michigan Territory and much of Indiana and Ohio.

In this remarkable account of the war's first year and the events that led up to it, Pierre Berton transforms history into an engrossing narrative that reads like a fast-paced novel. Drawing on personal memoirs and diaries as well as official dispatches, the author has been able to get inside the characters of the men who fought the war — the common soldiers as well as the generals, the bureaucrats and the profiteers, the traitors and the loyalists.

Berton believes that if there had been no war, most of Ontario would probably be American today; and if the war had been lost by the British, all of Canada would now be part of the United States. But the War of 1812, or more properly the myth of the war, served to give the new settlers a sense of community and set them on a different course from that of their neighbours.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

The second time an invasion of the saint Lawrence valley was attempted by the Americans. This is a lively account by an iconic figure who has had the best sales of a Canadian writer on the topic. It is well written and can be read for profit by Americans, Brits, and Europeans as well. Read full review

Review: The Invasion of Canada: 1812-1813

User Review  - Marco Ouden - Goodreads

Berton is a compelling historian in that his research includes diaries of both major and minor players in the events he writes about and this let's him get a real feel for the events and how they affected the players. Read full review

About the author (2001)

Pierre Berton was one of Canada’s most popular and prolific authors. From narrative histories and popular culture, to picture and coffee table books to anthologies, to stories for children to readable, historical works for youth, many of his fifty books are now Canadian classics.

Born in 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston. He spent his early newspaper career in Vancouver, where at 21 he was the youngest city editor on any Canadian daily. He wrote columns for and was editor of Maclean’s magazine, appeared on CBC’s public affairs program “Close-Up” and was a permanent fixture on “Front Page Challenge” for 39 years. He was a columnist and editor for the Toronto Star and was a writer and host of a series of CBC programs.

Pierre Berton received over 30 literary awards including the Governor-General’s Award for Creative Non-Fiction (three times), the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, and the Gabrielle Leger National Heritage Award. He received two Nellies for his work in broadcasting, two National Newspaper awards, and the National History Society’s first award for “distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.” For his immense contribution to Canadian literature and history, he was awarded more than a dozen honourary degrees, is a member of the Newsman’s Hall of Fame, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Pierre Berton passed away in Toronto on November 30, 2004.


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