John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography

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Naval Institute Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 534 pages
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Written by the naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison, this Pulitzer prize-winning book is widely recognized as the only authoritative, modern biography of the naval officer frequently referred to as the father of the U.S. Navy. It vividly portrays the illustrious career of John Paul Jones, from his early training at sea in the British West Indian merchant trade, to his exploits in the newly independent American navy, to his appointment as an admiral in the Russian navy and command of a squadron in the Black Sea. With compelling detail and remarkable insight, the dramatic narrative captures Jones's tenacity and fierce dedication and loyalty to his men and country, despite ill treatment and only begrudged recognition from his superiors. Jones's incredible victories at sea form an important part of the book. Morison's description of the battle between Jones's Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis is considered one of the most vivid accounts of a naval battle in the English language.

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Review: John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography

User Review  - Tony - Goodreads

JOHN PAUL JONES. (1959). Samuel Eliot Morison. ***. Morison (1887-1976) was a consummate writer and historian of most things naval. In additiion to winning a Pulitzer Prize for this history, he also ... Read full review

Review: John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography

User Review  - Vance - Goodreads

i make it a point to re-read this classic at least once per year. in my opinion, this is the best book on this US Navy Hero. Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Samuel Eliot Morison was born in Boston in 1887. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1912 and began teaching history there in 1915, becoming full professor in 1925 and Jonathan Trumbull professor of American history in 1941. He served as the university's official historian and wrote a three-volume history of the institution, the Tercentennial History of Harvard College and University, which was completed in 1936. Between 1922 and 1925 he was Harmsworth professor of American history at Oxford. He also was an accomplished sailor who retired from the navy in 1951 as a rear admiral. In preparing for his Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies of Christopher Columbus and John Paul Jones, Admiral of the Ocean Sea (1941) and John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography (1952) he took himself out of the study and onto the high seas, where he traced the voyages of his subjects and "lived" their stories insofar as possible. When it came time for the U.S. Navy to select an author to write a history of its operations in World War II, Morison was the natural choice for the task. In 1942, Morison was commissioned by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to write a history of U.S. naval operations in World War II and given the rank of lieutenant commander. The 15 volumes of his History of United States Naval Operations in World War II appeared between 1947 and 1962. Although he retired from Harvard in 1955, Morison continued his research and writing. A product of the Brahmin tradition, Morison wrote about Bostonians and other New Englanders and about life in early Massachusetts. He was an "American historian" in the fullest sense of the term. He also had a keen appreciation for the larger history of the nation and world, provincial is the last word one would use to describe Morison's writing.

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