Every American knows "The Star-Spangled Banner", even if we can't sing it to save our lives. But how many people know what really happened through the perilous night that led a Washington lawyer to pen his historic ode? Like the subjects of Cod or Longitude, our national anthem is something taken for granted. But it was not always so. In this remarkable, flawlessly researched book, New York Times reporter Irvin Molotsky tells the story behind the story and, in the process, reveals an important piece of our country's heritage. Molotsky brings both legendary and unknown events and figures to vivid life-from the flag's seamstress to the military heroes of the War of 1812. In witty, accessible language, he charts the little-known events leading up to the war, and the far-reaching impact this obscure conflict has had on our national psyche. The Flag, the Poet, and the Song also uncovers the facts and fallacies surrounding the flag and the song, from the tremendous size of the flag to why we continue trying to sing our anthem to this day. Brimming with fascinating Americana, The Flag, the Poet, and the Song is a book that will be read and reread, whether you're a lover of history, a patriot, or just waiting for the umpire to say "play ball!"