U.S. Navy -American Revolution -Sea Tale Books

Americans Build a Fighting Ship Old Ironsides : Americans Build a Fighting Ship
Gr. 3^-6. "Mr. Washington was angry" begins this recounting of the building of a ship to defend the young nation's merchant ships from pirates. The goal was to construct a ship strong enough to be useful in war as well, and as the nickname testified, "Old Ironsides" turned out to be just that. The story is told through the eyes of the fictional John Aylwin, son of a ship's carpenter, who follows the process with keen interest, chatting with people who can shed light on particular aspects of the ship's design. The fictionalization makes the text more readable and personal, but the picture-book format and fiction classification are going to make library circulation iffy--it is history buffs and children intrigued by ships who will want to pore over the many detailed drawings and diagrams. Still, this gives an intriguing glimpse of the hard labor involved in shipbuilding as well as the uses of frigates in battle.From Booklist

Setting the World Ablaze

Setting the World Ablaze is the story of the three men who, perhaps more than any others, helped bring the United States into being: George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Weaving their three life stories into one narrative, John E. Ferling delivers a genuine and intimate illustration of them and, in doing so, gives us a new understanding of the passion and uncertainty of the struggle to form a new nation.

Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail, 1775-1815

In the late 18th century, it was widely thought that to be a sailor was little better than to be a slave. "No man will be a sailor," wrote Samuel Johnson, "who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail. A man in jail has more room, better food, and commonly better company."

If that were true, historian Nathan Miller suggests, then the record of sailing in the age of tall ships would likely be distinguished by few heroes and fewer grand narratives. He counters that in the regular navies of England, the fledgling United States, and most other nations, brutal captains and thuggish crewmen were rare, and professionalism was the order of the day. It was their high standard of service that made those naval forces such powerful, even indispensable arms of the land-based military. Miller's great hero throughout this fine history is Horatio Nelson, whose valor was exemplary throughout countless battles around the world. But he writes with equal admiration of lesser-known figures, such as Lambert Wickes, Pierre de Villeneuve, Juan de Cordova, and "Foul Weather Jack" Byron, who served their nations and fellow sailors well, and often heroically. --Gregory McNamee

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