Six Frigates : How Piracy, War and British Supremacy at Sea Gave Birth to the World's Most Powerful Navy

Six Frigates : How Piracy, War and British Supremacy at Sea Gave Birth to the World's Most Powerful Navy

4.7 58
by Ian W. Toll
     
 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780718146580
Publisher:
Gardners Books
Publication date:
11/02/2006

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Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
PaulBuckner More than 1 year ago
I enjoy a good history, and Ian Tolls book is well researched and contains exhaustive details. I enjoyed learning the details of each ship, from where the beams were cut and shipped to where the cannon came from. Well done, complete with excerpts from letters and drawings of the ships themselves. Paul Buckner, author of "From Broke to Broker, and other stories of finding financial freedom."
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read and listened to this book several times, and seem to enjoy every bit of information given by the author more and more each time. Mr. Toll does a thourogh job of combining historical recounts of U.S. Naval battles and political causes and effects while describing, in detail, the sacrifice every man in the 18th and 19th centuries endured. I am currently listening to this book on CD in my car for, quite possibly the 16th time and after disc 6 has ended, I'll replace it with disc 1 again. Thank You, Ian W. Toll.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed every page of this book. A little difficult to put down. Helps the reader to gain a real appreciation for the great sense of patriotism possessed by our early countrymen. They seemed to understand that they were part of a very special generation of Americans. The book has interesting insight into the social and political oddities of the era. If you enjoy US history or maritime history, you will probably find this to be very good reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best history books I've ever read. It's flow and captivating style leaves you wanting more. It seems to be unbiased as it points out failing on all sides. A great refresher course on early American History focused around our Navy. It points out things about the War of 1812 that I didn't learn in school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very good story told in a recording that could have been done better. Ian Toll has written a very enjoyable and instructive account of the first six frigates built by the U.S. Navy. Laymen like myself with an interest in the Age of Sail, the Quasi-War with France, the Barbary Pirates, and the War of 1812 should enjoy it. A nice book to listen to on your way to visit USS Constitution. Mr. Toll covers bits of the political background of events, snapshots of key figures, and recounts of many of the famous actions of these frigates. He says enough about each of those topics to be interesting and to keep the story going by quickly. It can be appreciated without constant reference to a map which is very nice since most of us purchase audio books for times during which reading is impractical. The reader speaks at a good speed and is clearly understandable although some of the early chapters are read in a monotonous tone. The audio recording leaves much to be desired, however. Most of us purchase audio books for times during which reading is impractical. For me, that is exercising on the treadmill. So any issues with the recording tend to be quite a nuisance. Most of the chapters start in the middle of a track, making it clumsy to find a stopping and restarting point. The last track on each CD starts and runs for several minutes of nothing before finally switching to the next CD ¿ it distracts you into doing something and then resumes the reading on the next CD just before you could do anything. The audio level is not consistent between many tracts, requiring frequent readjustment of the volume. The first audio book I purchased had at least two bad tracks on the second CD but Barnes and Nobel did exchange it for me with one that worked. It is a great story but don¿t expect the quality of its recording to match.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a war history buff suffering from a nagging lack of knowledge about America¿s role in the Mediterranean in the age of the Barbary Coast corsairs, the ineptitudes of elected officials, the run-up and engagement in the war of 1812, or the early history of the US Navy read this book. Add to that the evaporation of zeal in some of our early statesmen, the false confidences in heroes, the stumbling tactics of politicians and the steadfast confidence in the righteousness of a nation new to freedom, and you have a great book. So far as the Mediterranean was concerned, passing through the straits of Gibraltar took us into a strange, little known enclave of mysterious religion, piracy, bribery 'tribute' and other means of assuring safe passage for trade. Six frigates is not just about our early Navy. It uses the vessels around which to build a narrative taking us from our fledgling days as a nation to a world maritime powerhouse. It seemed that Britain had learned nothing about us during the recent war that gave us our liberty. That nation still looked upon us as colonial upstarts, not really worthy of serious concern to a country that considered itself `rulers of the waves.¿ Along came the war of 1812, where we defeated HMS capital ships, one after another, to the point where upturned British noses could no longer be pacified by starched handkerchiefs. Up turned hulls were more likely. We learned that we, too, were a nation dependent on the sea and that we had as much claim on the broad expanse of the Atlantic as did the British. On land, we were surprised that the Brits could humiliate us from Canada, pillage Washington and that they would suffer a colossal defeat outside of New Orleans. They, of course, had much more seniority in ruling the sea but that would not last. We, however, had infinitely more coastline and were an ocean and a continent away. Through it all, we prevailed and the story is enlightening. We learn much more about our early years than just about how to build a navy. We learn, stumbling at times along our way, how to build a nation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Six Frigates realistically portrays not only the nation's struggle for a navy but the young country's own deperate struggle to exist and be respected by the then world's powers. Evidently, the pecking order for bullies began with respect for a country's citizens and navy at sea. The book emphasizes that without a navy to protect its trade and commerce, the fledging United States was at the bottom of the pecking order. An excellent book that teaches the importance of such simple things as a navy that we tend take for granted in the modern world. Unfortunately the book emphasizes that politics and politicians have not really changed since the birth of the nation. It is easy to understand why some presidents (early and modern)will never have an aircraft carrier named after them. The book makes you want to cry in frustration and then shout and cheer in triumph. An excellent, moving book that deals with the reality of history in a gripping, hard to put down manner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written. Masterfully thought out. Mr. Toll moves easily through his pages - taking the reader with him. He tells a straightforward story and yet covers the complexity of what turns out to be a many faceted situation. His jumps in time and focus in order to present a broad and multi-dimensional description of his subject are never jolting, disturbing or confusing. Instead they add dimension and depth to the remarkable story he tells. He has written not just a description of an incident of the times but rather an account of the American world as it was - which provides insights to what has followed and where we stand today.
paradiserunner More than 1 year ago
A spectacularly told story of how America's navy got its start, remarkable for the depth of research and readability. Just superb.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lucid, thorough, and exciting.
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mikentexas More than 1 year ago
I first listened to this when a friend loaned me his copy. I liked it so much that I ordered my own. This book is full of rich detail about a critical period in America's history that few pay much attention to. At the same time, it provide a window into the trials and tribulations of our first navy. Highly recommended for anyone with more than a passing interest in American history.
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Ian Toll paints pictures with words which bring history to life. A great story teller. Very much enjoyed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone intrested in the history of the navy.
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yzerov1991 More than 1 year ago
A very thoroughly researched and well written account of the period from the creation of the US Navy to the end of the War of 1812.