Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy

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W. W. Norton & Company, Mar 17, 2008 - History - 592 pages

"A fluent, intelligent history...give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea."—New York Times Book Review

Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders—particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams—debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.

From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian.


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User Review  - msaucier818 - LibraryThing

This book is a fantastic survey of the earliest years of the United States Navy. Taking us from the birth of the country through the completion of the War of 1812, Ian Toll writes a narrative that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

An interesting take on the War of 1812. The author, Ian Toll, is a financial analyst and focuses on the economic and political aspects of the founding of the US Navy. Toll starts with the debates over ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Ian W. Toll is the author of Pacific Crucible, The Conquering Tide, and Six Frigates, winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award and the William E. Colby Award. He lives in San Francisco and New York.

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