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John Barry
Cover of John Barry
John Barry
An American Hero in the Age of Sail
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Finalist for the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Excellence in Naval Literature

"Ashore as well as at sea, Tim McGrath paints an informative, engaging and highly entertaining portrait of this worthy but neglected hero of American independence. The author shows us a man who was a magnificent embodiment of common sense—and uncommon courage and dedication. That such a work is long overdue makes its achievement all the more pleasurable."—Wall Street Journal

"Combining sophisticated use of sources with a pleasing writing style, McGrath masterfully rescues a father of the U.S. Navy from unmerited eclipse."—Publishers Weekly

"A nearly indispensable addition to U.S. Navy collections."—Booklist

"McGrath employs exemplary narrative style in this work. . . . In John Barry, the author adroitly juxtaposes maritime history, narratives of naval combat, and early U.S. social history."—New England Quarterly

"McGrath is a compelling and lucid writer. He brings Barry to life, makes battles understandable, and provides the clearest description of Barry's 1778 capture of the British transport ships Mermaid and Kitty that this reviewer has seen."—Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

"A great read and an absorbing account of a drama-filled life."—Naval History

Finalist for the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Excellence in Naval Literature

"Ashore as well as at sea, Tim McGrath paints an informative, engaging and highly entertaining portrait of this worthy but neglected hero of American independence. The author shows us a man who was a magnificent embodiment of common sense—and uncommon courage and dedication. That such a work is long overdue makes its achievement all the more pleasurable."—Wall Street Journal

"Combining sophisticated use of sources with a pleasing writing style, McGrath masterfully rescues a father of the U.S. Navy from unmerited eclipse."—Publishers Weekly

"A nearly indispensable addition to U.S. Navy collections."—Booklist

"McGrath employs exemplary narrative style in this work. . . . In John Barry, the author adroitly juxtaposes maritime history, narratives of naval combat, and early U.S. social history."—New England Quarterly

"McGrath is a compelling and lucid writer. He brings Barry to life, makes battles understandable, and provides the clearest description of Barry's 1778 capture of the British transport ships Mermaid and Kitty that this reviewer has seen."—Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

"A great read and an absorbing account of a drama-filled life."—Naval History

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 12, 2010
    This book establishes McGrath, an executive who has written for Naval History
    magazine, as an accomplished naval historian. Combining sophisticated use of sources with a pleasing writing style, he masterfully rescues a father of the U.S. Navy from unmerited eclipse. McGrath’s own extensive recreational sailing experience adds an extra dimension by vividly conveying the physical facts of life at sea that structured the navy’s military and economic aspects. An Irish Catholic, John Barry (1745–1803) went to sea as a boy, emigrated to Philadelphia, and became a successful merchant captain. In the fledgling Continental Navy of the American Revolution, he began by commanding a converted merchantman. He finished by fighting the war’s last naval battle as a frigate captain. In between, he established a reputation as a skillful seaman, fighting captain, and successful taker of prizes. Returning to the merchant service, Barry made one of America’s first trading voyages to China. In 1794 he was named the first commissioned officer in the new U.S. Navy and continued to offer valuable service through the quasi-war with France in 1798–1799, confirming his contemporary reputation as “first of patriots, and best of men.” 51 illus.

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    Westholme Publishing
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An American Hero in the Age of Sail
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