For Honour’s Sake

In August 1814, eight men gathered in the ancient Flemish city of Ghent. Their desperate mission was to end a tragic war between Great Britain and the United States that was now more than two years old. It was a war that had gone badly for both sides; a war that could only resolve itself on the battlefield with either the defeat of the new Republic or the destruction of British North America. As the five Americans and three Britons struggled over four months to find common ground for a treaty, the war raged on—Washington burned, an army was defeated at Plattsburgh, both sides finally realizing that neither could ever achieve decisive victory on the battlefield. The only hope for peace was to be found in the drawing room of a monastery in Ghent where the destiny of a continent on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean rested in the hands of a disparate group that counted in its number a future American president, the Congressman who many credited for having forced the United States into the war, a disgraced British admiral, and the young British diplomat who held the key to either make or break the peace.

Published by Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2006: 443 pages.

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Reviews:

Ken McGoogan, The Globe and Mail

…an authoritative and convincing work….A notable contribution to his growing body of work….In detailing the various battles…Zuehlke subjects his readers to a waterfall of information. And yet, as leaders perish and bodies pile up, Zuehlke emerges out of the mist to capture the ebb and flow, the constantly changing momentum of the war.” For Honour’s Sake “provides a broader, more provocative context than usual.

Quill & Quire

For Honour’s Sake is a rollicking and thoroughly enjoyable survey of the War of 1812. From casus belli to peace treaty, Mark Zuehlke brings his prodigious writing talent to the history of a war that was inconclusive for its US and UK belligerents, but enormously important for the future nation-state of Canada.