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Book Signings

Forgotten lessons from the forgotten War of 1812

Hear Dennis Byrne, author of Madness: The War of 1812, discuss one of America’s most ill-conceived, yet one of its most important wars. We ignore this most formative period of history at our own risk.Learn more and order this readable and fast-paced new historical novel at http://www.madness1812.com

When: Thursday, 7 p.m., Dec. 13, 2012

Where: Northbrook Public Library1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, 60062

War of 1812 comes to historic northern Virginia      


The Clifton Café in the charming and lovingly restored town of Clifton will host the signing of a new historical novel, Madness: The War of 1812 by Dennis Byrne.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Sept. 23.

The novel, which depicts such local events as the burning of Washington and an Alexandria slave market, is the story of a young Irish immigrant junior army officer who struggles to cope with one costly and disheartening American defeat after another, until it becomes a question not just of his survival, but also America’s.

He is not alone in his life-or-death struggle. Sally Martin, who saw her family slaughtered early in the war in the Fort Dearborn Massacre in what is now Chicago, turns to Will for support and, eventually, love. Master Sergeant Judah Frake, a weathered Kentucky volunteer, takes a shine to the tenderfoot Quinn, guiding him through some of the war’s most difficult trials. And Henry, an escaped slave whose family was sold in an Alexandria slave market, takes a surprisingly important role in the preservation of the nation.

The War of 1812, in which the United States unwisely declared war on the world’s mightiest empire—Great Britain—and invaded Canada may have been America’s most ill-conceived, most bungled, least remember, least understood, yet most important war in the nation’s early history. A loss would have discredited the newly emerging idea of democracy and self-government.

Byrne is a seasoned journalist and writer based in Chicago, where a lifetime of observing the political antics there prepared him well for the unbelievable folly he discovered in the study of the War of 1812. He will be on hand in the Fairfax County café to discuss and sign the book. There will be a free cup of coffee for the first 50 customers who buy a book.

The Clifton Café is located at 7144 Main Street, next to the general store and in the heart of historic Clifton. While there, visitors are invited to stroll a town that looked as it did more than 100 years ago.