kpanago1960 ® 03-Nov-2019 01:55

Give Me a Fast Ship - The Continental Navy & America's Revolution at Sea


Year: 2014
Language: english
Author: Tim McGrath
Genre: History
Publisher: The Penguin Group, NY, NY
Edition: First
ISBN: 9781101591574
Format: EPUB
Quality: eBook
Pages count: 465
Description:
The USA in 1775 was on the verge of revolution—or, more likely, disastrous defeat. After the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord, England’s King George sent hundreds of ships westward to bottle up American harbors and prey on American shipping. Colonists had no force to defend their coastline and waterways until John Adams of Massachusetts proposed a bold solution: The Continental Congress should raise a navy.
The idea was mad. The Royal Navy was the mightiest floating arsenal in history, with a seemingly endless supply of vessels. More than a hundred of these were massive “ships of the line,” bristling with up to a hundred high-powered cannon that could level a city. The British were confident that His Majesty’s warships would quickly bring the rebellious colonials to their knees.
They were wrong. Beginning with five converted merchantmen, the USA’s sailors became formidable warriors, matching their wits, skills, and courage against the best of the British fleet. Victories off American shores gave the patriots hope—victories led by captains such as John Barry, the fiery Irish-born giant; fearless Nicholas Biddle, who stared down an armed mutineer; and James Nicholson, the underachiever who finally redeemed himself with an inspiring display of coolness and bravery.
Meanwhile, along the British coastline, daring raids by handsome, cocksure John Paul Jones and the “Dunkirk Pirate,” Gustavus Conyngham—who was captured and sentenced to hang but tunneled under his cell and escaped to fight again—sent fear throughout England. The adventures of these men and others on both sides of the struggle rival anything from Horatio Hornblower or Lucky Jack Aubrey. In the end, these rebel sailors, from the quarterdeck to the forecastle, contributed greatly to American independence.
“Give Me a Fast Ship” is a meticulously researched and masterfully told epic tale of war-on-the-high-seas and the definitive history of the birth and the times of the United States Navy during the US Revolutionary War.
In telling this fascinating and sprawling tale, Tim McGrath never loses sight of the human dimension of his subject. He has mined archival sources largely neglected in previous histories, and the result is an exhaustively researched and fluently rendered account of the first incarnation of the American navy.
Tim McGrath is the author of the critically-acclaimed biography John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail and Give Me a Fast Ship. He is a two-time winner of the Commodore John Barry Book Award and the recipient of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature. An avid sailor, McGrath has published articles in Naval History magazine.

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