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 George Daughan: If By Sea 
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Post George Daughan: If By Sea
I saw this book at Borders today. Has anyone read it? Any good?

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susan


Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:14 am
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Post Re: George Daughan: If By Sea
susan wrote:
I saw this book at Borders today. Has anyone read it? Any good?

Susan, I just started Daughan's book and will post some more information later. For anyone interested, the full title is "IF BY SEA: The Forging of the American Navy -- From The Revolution to the War of 1812" The author holds a Ph.D. in American History and Government from Harvard University.

There was a very interesting "discussion" here as to when and where the American Navy came into being. For some background information on thisCLICK HERE and CLICK HERE.

This author takes a slightly new position that the American Navy began with the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. The first notable American mentioned is Paul Revere and Daughan's title obviously comes from the 10th line in Longfellow's poem learned by many American schoolchildren. For those non-Americans among us CLICK HEREfor the poem.

I must say I am impressed by the 11 excellent maps in the beginning of the book illustrating places from Boston, Mass. to the Mediterranean.
More to follow...

PS: Since it has been more than a year since Susan first posted her question, here it is again. Anyone read this?

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:41 pm
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Susan, I am further along with this book (after a brief trip through Lawhead's Merlin Trilogy) and have a few more comments.

I am impressed.

This is not just the events over the stated period that took place on fresh or salt water. The author sets such events into the context of the land battles, the political situation, and the personality conflicts, on both the American and British sides.

Daughan makes some pretty intelligent comments and constructive criticism of naval, military, and political situations. Some of these comments might provoke some debate here and in other forums.

One that I found interesting was that American political leaders were so impressed with the British Navy that they made attempts to emulate it (albeit very poorly). According to the examples in this book, the Americans used their warships in ways unsuitable for the American war effort. One example was to use the small number of American warships to carry our ambassadors to Europe, only because the British Navy did the same. Private vessels could have served just as well. American warships thereby missed some critical engagements against British troops and ships.

American forces were fearful of the large number of British ships and their cannon, even when the British ships were undermanned and ill used. British admirals, notably Graves, were fearful of American boat actions against British warships, which the author thinks should have happened more often.

This book, including notes, glossary, etc., is over 500 pages long so there are a number of details that flesh out the bare facts.

I do not consider myself an expert on the American Navy but it seems to me that this book belongs in the personal library of all those interested in this subject.

I gushed earlier about the number of maps but there are lots of places referenced in the text that do not appear on these maps even though there is plenty of room for them to be shown.

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Don Campbell
"Whoever is strongest at sea, make him your friend."
Corcyraeans to the Athenians, 433 BC


Last edited by timoneer on Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:23 am, edited 3 times in total.



Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:52 am
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Thanks for your comments, Don. Sounds good.

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susan


Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:30 am
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