For my first foray into the substance of The War of 1812 book, a valuable nugget of information was discovered.
As pre-war tensions were rising, President Madison faced a dilemma of great magnitude. Since Great Britain AND France were "hostile to neutral shipping," how would the United States justify war against the British and ignore France's transgressions? Would it be a "triangular war?" Madison consulted with Thomas Jefferson (on May 25th); Jefferson's response (of May 30, 1812) was included in the book.
The correspondence between the Madison and Jefferson bespoke of a complicated relationship between the U.S. and France.