Veteran historian Miller (The U.S. Navy; Theodore Roosevelt; etc.) examines naval operations in the 40 years from the beginning of the American Revolution to the end of the War of 1812. Writing for the general reader, Miller provides a wealth of detail on wooden ships of warÄranging from small sloops to huge ships of the line carrying over a hundred cannonsÄand the international crews who sailed them, along with biographies and analyses of the prominent leaders of the period: Horatio Nelson, Richard Lord Howe, John Paul Jones, Comte de Grasses, Oliver Hazard Perry and others. The great battlesÄTrafalgar, Lake Erie, the Glorious First of June and many moreÄreceive their due, as do the many ship-to-ship combats of the era, including the victories of the American frigate Constitution ("Old Ironsides") and other engagements involving England, France, Spain, the Barbary pirates and several other European nations. Descriptions of dreadful living conditions aboard cramped wooden vessels give way to bloody decks after close combat. Miller goes beyond a dry retelling of these famous events to examine the political situations that led to the wars of the period, making this a solid introduction to a turbulent era at sea. Four maps (not seen by PW) and 20 illus. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Naval historians Miller (Theodore Roosevelt: A Life) and Ireland (History of Ships) have each compiled a work on the history of the sailing navy between 1756 and 1815, the great age of the fighting sail. Writing for the general reader, both authors provide a wealth of details on the wooden ships of that era. They describe the construction and operation of the vessels and the life of the crews who manned them, the careers of the officers, and how the ships were sailed and fought. Both authors invoke such names as Lord Nelson, John Paul Jones, Old Ironsides, and the Battle of Trafalgar, among othersDenough to make every old, new, and wannabe sailor's heart quicken. The Seven Years' War, the naval side of the American Revolution, the 22-year struggle between Napoleon and Britain, America's undeclared war with France, the Barbary pirates, and the War of 1812 are all covered. Although these books both cover essentially the same period of time, they are quite different. Miller describes the battles in great detail and concentrates more on tactics and strategy, while Ireland is concerned with descriptions of the ships and methods of sailing them. His work contains many illustrations by famed naval artist Tony Gibbons, who presents every type of sailing warship of the era. Libraries that want a comprehensive treatment of the era should order both books as they are complementary and worth having for naval history collections. Recommended for public and academic libraries.DStanley L. Itkin, Hillside P.L., New Hyde Park, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.