If By Sea by George Daughan
The Forging of the American Navy -From the Revolution to the War of 1812

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Synopsis

The American Revolution-and thus the history of the United States-began not on land but on the sea. Paul Revere began his famous midnight ride not by jumping on a horse, but by scrambling into a skiff with two other brave patriots to cross Boston Harbor to Charlestown. Revere and his companions rowed with muffled oars to avoid capture by the British warships closely guarding the harbor. As they paddled silently, Revere’s neighbor was flashing two lanterns from the belfry of Old North Church, signaling patriots in Charlestown that the redcoats were crossing the Charles River in longboats. In every major Revolutionary battle thereafter the sea would play a vital, if historically neglected, role. When the American colonies took up arms against Great Britain, they were confronting the greatest sea-power of the age. And it was during the War of Independence that the American Navy was born. But following the British naval model proved crushingly expensive, and the Founding Fathers fought viciously for decades over whether or not the fledgling republic truly needed a deep-water fleet. The debate ended only when the Federal Navy proved indispensable during the War of 1812. Drawing on decades of prodigious research, historian George C. Daughan chronicles the embattled origins of the U.S. Navy. From the bloody and gunpowder-drenched battles fought by American sailors on lakes and high seas to the fierce rhetorical combat waged by the Founders in Congress, If By Sea charts the course by which the Navy became a vital and celebrated American institution.
 

About George Daughan

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George C. Daughan holds a Ph.D. in American history and government from Harvard University and won the 2008 Samuel Eliot Morison Award for his previous book, If By Sea. He resides in Portland, Maine.
 
Published May 13, 2008 by Basic Books. 570 pages
Genres: History, War. Non-fiction

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Despite calls by George Washington and John Adams to raise a naval power, there was no muscular attempt to organize patriot sea militias at the outbreak of the Revolution, largely because the Royal Navy appeared so dominant.

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Publishers Weekly

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Daughan brings a long academic career and solid command of his sources to this provocative history of the origins of the U.S. Navy.

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Bookmarks Magazine

From the bloody and gunpowder-drenched battles fought by American sailors on lakes and high seas to the fierce rhetorical combat waged by the Founders in Congress, If By Sea charts the course by which the Navy became a vital and celebrated American institution.

Jun 29 2008 | Read Full Review of If By Sea: The Forging of the...

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