When I first saw this book offered in LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program it caught my interest. For several years I have been researching the early 1800s in central Kentucky and southwestern Ohio and Henry Clay keeps popping up. I thought this would be a great way to learn more about Clay and the Second War of Independence. Ninety year old author Quinton Scott King has produced as detailed a book on the topic of Clay and the War of 1812 as I can imagine ever reading. When the 400+ page book started with Clay’s childhood I thought it would be more of a biography of Clay than a work looking at his actions during a particular period. I was wrong. The book ends with the end of the war and the incredible details of Clays early life that King includes are a window to Clay’s motivations and beliefs.
King’s book is well written and well researched. Anyone interested in Clay or the war that he helped end would enjoy reading it. My only complaint is with the decision to use a two column layout when printing the book. Two columns per page is, for me, harder to read. My eyes won’t stay focused on the one column. Fifty plus years of reading has conditioned my eyes to sweep across the page. That is an issue for the publisher, not a problem with the author or his work. By all means if Henry Clay or the War of 1812 interest you, read this book.