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Encyclopedia of the War of 1812, edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, Calif., 1998, $95.

Sandwiched between the American Revolution and Civil War, the War of 1812 has been overlooked for decades. Now, however, Encyclopedia of the War of 1812 provides both the scholar and the general reader with details of battles, personalities and related events from the beginning to the end of this fascinating struggle.

Edited by the husband-and-wife team of David S. Heidler, a faculty member at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, and Jeanne T. Heidler, associate professor and director of American history at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, the book contains over 500 entries from more than 70 contributors. The encyclopedia covers the military, social, political and economic aspects of the war on both sides of the Atlantic, placing it in the context of the Napoleonic Wars. It also contains the text of such important documents as the Embargo Act, the Rambouillet Decree, Macon’s Bill No. 2 and President James Madison’s War Message of 1812. There is a chronology of all political, diplomatic and military maneuvers; a listing of government officers during James Madison’s presidency; and a glossary. This superb, comprehensive overview of the War of 1812 is unlikely to be equaled in scope or depth for decades to come.

Blaine Taylor