A Rage for Glory: The Life of Commodore Stephen Decatur, USN

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 237 pages
5 Reviews
Stephen Decatur was one of the most awe-inspiring officers of the entire Age of Fighting Sail. A real-life American naval hero in the early nineteenth century, he led an astonishing life, and his remarkable acts of courage in combat made him one of the most celebrated figures of his era.

Decatur's dazzling exploits in the Barbary Wars propelled him to national prominence at the age of twenty-five. His dramatic capture of HMS "Macedonian" in the War of 1812, and his subsequent naval and diplomatic triumphs in the Mediterranean, secured his permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen. Handsome, dashing, and fearless, his crews worshipped him, presidents lionized him, and an adoring public heaped fresh honors on him with each new achievement.

James Tertius de Kay is one of our foremost naval historians. In "A Rage for Glory," the first new biography of Decatur in almost seventy years, he recounts Decatur's life in vivid colors. Drawing on material unavailable to previous biographers, he traces the origins of Decatur's fierce patriotism ("My country...right or wrong!"), chronicles Decatur's passionate love affair with Susan Wheeler, and provides new details of Decatur's tragic death in a senseless duel of honor, secretly instigated by the backroom machinations of jealous fellow officers determined to ruin him. His death left official Washington in such shock that his funeral became a state occasion, attended by friends who included former President James Madison, current President James Monroe, Chief Justice John Marshall, and ten thousand more.

Decatur's short but crowded life was an astonishing epic of hubris, romance, and high achievement. Only a handful of Americans sincehis time have ever come close to matching his extraordinary glamour and brilliance.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: A Rage for Glory: The Life of Commodore Stephen Decatur, USN

User Review  - John Brian Anderson - Goodreads

Fantastic and tragic. Overdrive MVLC. Read full review

Review: A Rage for Glory: The Life of Commodore Stephen Decatur, USN

User Review  - Mark Luongo - Goodreads

Very readable little book about a great character of American naval history by a noted naval historian. I would also recommend his book on the USS Monitor as well. Read full review

Contents

Philadelphia
9
Aidshipman Decatur FOUR
31
FIVE
37
Glory
45
Legend
61
Susan
69
EIGHT
75
The LeopardChesapeake Affair
81
FOURTEEN
143
FIFTEEN
153
SIXTEEN
167
SEVENTEEN
175
EIGHTEEN
183
NINETEEN
199
TWENTY
209
Acknowledgments
215

NINE
91
ELEVEN
108
TWELVE
121
Gales Ferry
131
Notes and Comments
221
Index
231
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

James Tertius de Kay is the author of numerous naval histories, including The Rebel Raiders, Monitor, and Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian. He lives in Pawcatuck, Connecticut.

Bibliographic information