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9780141014562

Six Frigates: How Piracy, War and British Supremacy at Sea Gave Birth to the World's Most Powerful Navy

Toll, Ian

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With the flash and thunder of eighteen pounders firing repeatedly, the Royal Navy came to rule the waves in the opening years of the nineteenth century. Yet just as Britain left its European neighbours too frightened to leave their shores, across the Atlantic a fledgling naval force was putting to sea. Ian Toll recounts how the nascent United States came to challenge British supremacy in the short-lived but often vicious war of 1812-15. Though they were inexperienced, outnumbered and outgunned, just six American frigates took on the might of His Majesty's navy - and Toll brilliantly describes, in hair-raising detail, some of the most thrilling actions ever fought.

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About the Author:

Ian W. Toll has been a Wall Street analyst, a Federal Reserve financial analyst, and a political aide and speechwriter. A lifelong sailor, Toll's research into British and American naval history dates back to the early 1990's, when he was first introduced to the historical novels of Patrick O'Brian. Six Frigates is his first book

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The birth of the U.S. Navy and its coming-of-age in battle against the French, the Barabary/Tripolitan pirates, and the British are recounted in this work. In the 1790s, a new navy was built around six new frigates that incorporated numerous technological innovations. These ships, along with their leaders and crews, cemented many of the traditions of our naval service. Stephen Lang effortlessly displays the qualities that make him a popular narrator. Foremost is his consistency. As we hear of how USS Constitution earned her nickname of "Old Ironsides" and the audacity of the raiders led by Lt. Stephen Decatur to burn USS Philadelphia in Tripoli, we are treated to Lang's smooth baritone, subtle expression, and seemingly effortless delivery. M.T.F. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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