When Gilbert J. Hunt sat down one day to write a history, he never contemplated writing an ordinary history. For the grandeur he saw in the events of the recent past, he appropriated the most dramatic and meaningful style he knew, the biblical style. Hunt elevates James Madison to the level of legendary heroes, the senate and the congress become the sages of old and the British forces become the foot soldiers of an evil king in a far flung land. Most touchingly perhaps is his characterisation of the the Euro-American settlers and the 'Children of Columbian liberty'.
A dry recounting of the statistics and dates of the Late War would perhaps leave the reader informed. It can however be taken as a given that no reader could possibly draw the same appreciation of the drama in this ideological struggle from such a work. The character of the president storming into the 'chambers of the Sanhedrim' would be absent, the fervent hope of the Euro-American settlers and their native American allies that they would triumph in the fight or the depth of anti-monarchist feeling with regard to the British King.
As a popular school textbook 'The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain' contributed to making the American struggle against the British into an epic battle of good and evil in the minds of the youngest of Columbian liberty's children. The author makes a summary of major events and conflicts in Algeria and the former Barbary States and whilst his assessment shows hallmarks of a colonialist perspective, his dedication to recording the story is tremendously precious. A useful volume on its historical merit alone but made irresistible by Hunt's style and flair.
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