×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Monitor: The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History
     

Monitor: The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History

by James Tertius De Kay, James Tertius Kay
 
A lively popular history . . . his vivid rendering of the tough decisions faced by men at the front of innovation makes the greatest impression. -- Publishers Weekly

On March 9, 1862, an epic battle was fought. It was one that not only affected the course of the Civil War but one that changed the face of naval warfare forever. It was on that fateful

Overview

A lively popular history . . . his vivid rendering of the tough decisions faced by men at the front of innovation makes the greatest impression. -- Publishers Weekly

On March 9, 1862, an epic battle was fought. It was one that not only affected the course of the Civil War but one that changed the face of naval warfare forever. It was on that fateful day that two ironclads met for the first time -- the Monitor and the Merrimac. And here is the fascinating saga of the events that led up to the battle and the people who made it happen.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Naval historian deKay spins a good seaman's yarn about the making and fighting of the ironclads during the American Civil War. DeKay wants readers to believe that the significance of the Monitor lay less with the technology than in the battle it fought against the Confederate ironclad Merrimac in 1862, but, as he shows so well, innovations in ship design, screw propellers, and even waste disposal made the ironclad functional and helped point the way to modern naval warfare. DeKay provides useful discussions of naval strategy, personality clashes, and ship construction, and he refights the battle with verve. But the story is well known and the author offers no new facts or interpretation. He also founders on his bloated claims that not only the war but the world's future hinged on the events at Hampton Roads. The result is a rollicking good read but a dubious argument. For general readers.Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia
Booknews
A gracefully crafted popular history of the personalities, origins, agonies of the ironclads that slugged it out at Hampton Roads. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
The history of the USS Monitor, written with panache, sophisticated understanding, and attention to detail by deKay (Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian, not reviewed).

The Monitor may have been a "doughty little Civil War ironclad," as deKay writes, but it was an elegantly minimalist mechanical marvel, a milestone in naval technology, with a design so original (including a revolving turret), it had 40 patentable innovations. At a time when naval strategy relied upon ships of the line—colossal square riggers with 120 guns and a crew of up to 1,200—the Monitor was a freak and a harbinger: armor-clad, steam- powered, with a mere two guns and a crew of 58. It was hardly the first of its kind—the king of Syracuse had an armor-plated vessel in the third century b.c., and Fulton's Clermont was steaming along in 1807—yet it was the right ship, in the right spot, at the right time. DeKay tells the Monitor's story with building suspense: It was the brainchild of the Swedish engineer John Ericsson, which became the best hope of the Union forces to maintain a critical blockade at Hampton Roads, Va. Finally, the author relates the wicked confrontation with the Confederate's "awesome dark monster," Merrimac, another ironclad whose tale deKay sharply limns. It was a standoff at first, then the smaller Monitor exploited its opponent's unwieldiness to gain ascendancy. DeKay's tale is a richly brocaded one, serving up the sweetheart deals and political shenanigans that marked the Monitor's progress; elaborating on the rumors that flew before the epic battle like expectations before a championship heavyweight fight; bringing into play the weather and tides and most any other thing that touched upon events.

This book is, simply, a little treasure.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802713308
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
4.91(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.99(d)
Lexile:
1470L (what's this?)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews