"A fluent, intelligent history...give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea."―New York Times Book ReviewBefore the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders―particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams―debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.
From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian.
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Ian W. Toll is the author of Pacific Crucible and Six Frigates, winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and the William E. Colby Award. He lives in San Francisco and New York.From AudioFile:
The birth of the U.S. Navy and its coming-of-age in battle against the French, the Barabary/Tripolitan pirates, and the British are recounted in this work. In the 1790s, a new navy was built around six new frigates that incorporated numerous technological innovations. These ships, along with their leaders and crews, cemented many of the traditions of our naval service. Stephen Lang effortlessly displays the qualities that make him a popular narrator. Foremost is his consistency. As we hear of how USS Constitution earned her nickname of "Old Ironsides" and the audacity of the raiders led by Lt. Stephen Decatur to burn USS Philadelphia in Tripoli, we are treated to Lang's smooth baritone, subtle expression, and seemingly effortless delivery. M.T.F. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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