Welcome Donald R. Hickey Books Lectures Awards & Honors Contact Return To Top

Welcome

Welcome to the official website of Don Hickey, the historian whose passion for unraveling the past has enriched our understanding of American history. Discover Don’s extensive body of work, gain insights into pivotal moments in American history, and connect with an accomplished author and scholar.

Donald R. Hickey

Don Hickey

Don Hickey is a historian and award-winning author who spent fifty years teaching in higher education. The author of twelve books and more than a hundred articles, he has been called “the dean of 1812 scholarship” by the New Yorker. He is best known for The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict (Bicentennial edition, 2012) and Don’t Give Up the Ship! Myths of the War of 1812 (2006). Don consulted and lectured extensively in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles during the bicentennial of the war. For promoting public interest in history, Don received the Samuel Eliot Morison Award from the USS Constitution Museum in 2013, and while consulting with the U.S. Post Office during the bicentennial, he was quoted by name in 2015 on the sheet of stamps commemorating the Battle of New Orleans.

Don’s latest book, Tecumseh’s War: The Epic Conflict for the Heart of America, was published by Westholme in the fall of 2023. He is now working on a book on the Quasi-War, America’s undeclared naval war with France in the late 1790s.

Books


Tecumseh’s War: The Epic Conflict for the Heart of America

Tecumseh’s War: The Epic Conflict for the Heart of America

Amazon

In a major new work, Donald R. Hickey moves Tecumseh’s War to center stage. Instead of treating this conflict as an adjunct of the War of 1812, he gives it the prominence that it deserves in both American and Native American history. A sweeping and engrossing account, this book demonstrates that this was the last time that Native American had a chance of shaping the future of the continent.


The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial Edition

The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict, Bicentennial Edition

Amazon

This comprehensive and authoritative history of the War of 1812, thoroughly revised for the 200th anniversary of the historic conflict, is a mythshattering study that will inform and entertain students, historians, and general readers alike. Donald R. Hickey explores the military, diplomatic, and domestic history of our second war with Great Britain, bringing the study up to date with recent scholarship on all aspects of the war, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.


Don’t Give Up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812

Don’t Give Up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812

Amazon

In this entertaining and meticulously researched book by America’s leading authority on the War of 1812, Donald R. Hickey dispels the many misconceptions that distort our view of America’s second war with Great Britain. Embracing military, naval, political, economic, and diplomatic history, Hickey looks carefully at how the war was fought between 1812 and 1815, and how it was remembered thereafter. Who actually won the war, and what was its lasting legacy? Hickey peels away fantasies and embellishments to explore why certain myths gained currency and how they contributed to the way that the United States and Canada view themselves and each other.


Glorious Victory: Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans

Glorious Victory: Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans

Amazon

Whether or not the United States “won” the war of 1812, the Battle of New Orleans played a central role in shaping how Americans remembered the conflict. Because this battle involved the larger-than-life frontier hero Andrew Jackson and ended in such a lop-sided British defeat, it contributed as much as anything else to the myth of American victory. Drawing on a lifetime of research, leading War of 1812 scholar Donald R. Hickey examines Jackson’s complex and contradictory character and his remarkable success as a military leader, culminating in what proved to be the defining battle of the War of 1812.


Amazon <— Click here to see all of his work available on Amazon.

Lectures

Don offers a broad range of lectures geared for scholars and the general public alike. Below are some of his most interesting and popular.


War of 1812

  • “What We Know That Ain’t So: Myths of the War of 1812.” Examines the most widely held myths and misconceptions of the war.
  • “Forgotten Conflict: Why the War of 1812 Matters Today.” Looks at why this war is so little remembered today and why it deserves a better fate.
  • “Ten Things You Should Know about the Naval War of 1812.” Assesses the role of naval power in the war.
  • “The Baltimore Riots of 1812.” Examines the threat posed by prowar riots to freedom of speech during the war.
  • “Beauty and Booty: Myths of the Battle of New Orleans.” Examines the principal myths and misconceptions associated with this battle.
  • “Tecumseh’s War: The Last Great Indian War.” Detaches this war from the War of 1812 and shows why it deserves to be treated as a significant war in its own right.
  • “Tecumseh: North America’s Preeminent Native American Leader.” Examines the life and influence of the extraordinary leader who headed the Native American confederacy in the last great Indian war.
  • “The Quasi-War: America’s First Limited War, 1798-1801.” Looks at America’s naval war with France in the late 1790s.
  • “An Unconventional Look at a Forgotten Conflict: The Quasi-War, 1798-1801.” Examines ten ways in which this obscure war has been misunderstood or its significance underappreciated.

Other Lectures

  • “Our Political Divisions Today: An Historical Perspective.” Looks at earlier periods in which the nation was deeply divided and suggests a solution for today’s troubles.
  • “Two Hundred Years of American Wars, 1775-1975: An Overview and Assessment.” Looks at the nation’s twelve major wars and for each conflict examines American war aims and war plans, whether there was any domestic opposition, and what the outcome and the legacy were.
  • “The Rise and Fall of American Political Parties: A Hypothesis.” Looks at the rise and fall of political parties since their emergence in the 1790s and offers a theory on why they were initially successful but later failed and in some cases disappeared altogether.
  • “America’s Contested Elections, 1789-1815.” Exmaines ten U.S. presidential elections that were eitherly bitterly contested or had unusual or controversial outcomes.

Awards & Honors

  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1966.
  • Finalist, Nebraska State College Teaching Excellence Award, 1986, 1991, 1993, 2020.
  • American Military Institute’s Best Book Award (for The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict), 1990.
  • National Historical Society’s Book Prize (for The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict), 1990.
  • Burlington Northern Award (for outstanding teaching), 1991.
  • Nominee, Professor of the Year, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), 1991.
  • Commander’s Award for Public Service, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1992.
  • Pi Gamma Mu Outstanding Faculty Member, 1992-93.
  • Burlington Northern Award (for outstanding scholarship), 1993.
  • Maryland Preservation Award for Excellence in Media & Publications (for contribution to In Full Glory Reflected), 2013.
  • Spirit of 1812 Award, National Society United States Daughters of 1812, 2013.
  • Samuel Eliot Morison Award, USS Constitution Museum, 2013.
  • State Nebraska Bank & Trust Teaching Excellence Award, 2020.