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Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution

Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution

by Eric Jay Dolin
Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution

Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution

by Eric Jay Dolin


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“Yet another maritime masterpiece by one of the top historians of the oceans! Rebels at Sea is a brilliant exposition of a little-understood and underappreciated part of the American Revolution under way. Like his earlier works, it is full of fresh thinking and sharply observed anecdotes that both inform and delight. Eric Jay Dolin’s books deserve a prominent place on every sailor’s bookshelf.
—Admiral James Stavridis, 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, and author of The Sailor’s Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea

“Richly detailed, impressively documented, and beautifully written, Rebels at Sea hugely expands our understanding of the American Revolution through a stirring narrative of an essential part that has long been neglected.”
—George Daughan, author of Revolution on the Hudson and Lexington and Concord

“While the infant American navy fought gallantly, privateers presented the Royal Navy with its greatest challenge. Eric Jay Dolin’s Rebels at Sea is an excellent book about those overlooked patriots who brought the war at sea home to the British. It is welcome addition to the history of the American Revolution, and it deserves the highest praise.”
—William M. Fowler, author of Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy 1783–1815

“With Rebels at Sea, Eric Jay Dolin combines his meticulous research with his consummate skills as a story teller. The American privateers who sailed and fought in our Revolution have been unjustly forgotten by our history books. Their victories at sea heartened citizens, proved their worth to the Continental Congress, and drove George III and Lord North nuts. This is a terrific read!”
—Tim McGrath, author of Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea

“The war at sea during the Revolutionary War is less known than the famous land battles fought at places such as Lexington and Trenton. But privateers played a crucial role by elevating the cost of war to the Crown and providing vital supplies and gunpowder to the nascent United States among other actions. Eric Jay Dolin brings the war at sea to life with vibrant prose and solid research. After reading Rebels at Sea, readers will come away with a new perspective on how America gained independence.“
—Patrick K. O’Donnell, author of The Indispensables: The Diverse Soldier-Mariners Who Shaped the Country, Formed the Navy, and Rowed Washington Across the Delaware

“The most under-appreciated and under-chronicled contribution to American victory in the War of Independence was the massive impact of the capture and sale by Yankee privateers of numerous British merchant ships. At last we have an authoritative history of those patriots and their exploits by a disciplined scholar and a master teller of sea stories. Rebels at Sea, is that rare volume, a well-researched scholarly maritime history that is also a gripping saga of adventure on the high seas.”
—John Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy and author of Oceans Ventured: Winning the Cold War at Sea

“An often-overlooked factor in America’s victory in the War of Independence was the role of privateering – sailors who captured British ships or merchants who at considerable risk acquired essential goods for the army and home front. Eric Jay Dolin’s wonderful Rebels at Sea demonstrates that privateering was more than a sideshow. It caused Great Britain enormous problems that contributed to its failure to crush the American rebellion. This book is must reading for all who wish to learn more about the Revolutionary War.”
—John Ferling, author of Winning Independence: The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778-1781

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631498251
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 05/31/2022
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 51,742
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Eric Jay Dolin is the best-selling author of numerous works in maritime history, including Black Flags, Blue Waters and Leviathan. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, he now lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Chapter 1 Massachusetts First 1

Chapter 2 Expanding the Fight at Sea 17

Chapter 3 All In 33

Chapter 4 A Privateersman's Life 46

Chapter 5 The French Connection 87

Chapter 6 Privateering Triumphs and Tragedies 110

Chapter 7 The Lion Roars 160

Chapter 8 "Hell Afloat" 182

Chapter 9 The Home Front 212

Epilogue A Few More Rounds 237

Acknowledgments 245

Motes 249

Select Bibliography 283

Illustration Credits 285

Index 289

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