On this edition of ST we are pleased to speak by phone with Steve Vogel, a veteran national reporter for The Washington Post as well as the author of "The Pentagon: A History" (2008). Vogel joins us to discuss his new book, which is a history of the War of 1812; it's called "Through the Perilous Fight: Six Weeks That Saved the Nation," and it's been hailed by Kirkus Reviews as "a swift, vibrant account of the accidents, intricacies, and insanities of war." Indeed, Vogel has written a great deal, as a journalist, about military affairs and the treatment of veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; his war reporting in Afghanistan was part of a package of Washington Post stories chosen as a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. And further, as a critic for The Washington Times has written: "'The Perilous Fight' is probably the best piece of military history that I have read or reviewed in the past five years.... This well-researched and superbly written history has all the trappings of a good novel. There is great heroism, treacherous self-interest, cowardice, and intrigue.... No one who hears the national anthem at a ballgame will ever think of it the same way after reading this book, nor want the national anthem changed."