Monitor: The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History

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9780802713308: Monitor: The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History
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Describes the origins and development of the Monitor, the ironclad Union ship that engaged the Confederate Merrimac in an epic 1862 naval battle that forever changed the course of ship design and technology.

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Review:

Many writers have described the famous clash between the Monitor and the Merrimac, but James Tertius deKay's book probably belongs at the top of the stack. Much of Monitor focuses on how these ships came into being, including John Ericsson's struggle of more than 20 years to have his vision of an ironclad warship become a reality. As the title suggests, Monitor is more about the Monitor than the Merrimac, but both vessels get their due in deKay's wide-ranging narrative. Like so much of Civil War history, the coincidences and ironies of what happened at the mouth of the Chesapeake in 1862--how the two ships met, how brother fought brother, how neither impregnable warrior survived the calendar year--make for a spellbinding story, and deKay tells it as well as it has ever been told.

From the Back Cover:

"Altogether absorbing and charming."
--The New York Times

"GRIPPING SUSPENSE AND EXCITEMENT."
--The New York Times Book Review

"FASCINATING READING . . . The stirring tale of the unique ship--its brilliant, arrogant inventor John Ericsson, its speedy assembly, and the fateful showdown that made it arguably the most famous vessel in American history--is laid out with rich, vivid detail. . . . DeKay has breathed new life into the story of the Monitor. . . . His anecdotes, his clear grasp of the times, and dramatic descriptions of the battle make this history a must for Civil War buffs and casual readers alike."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"BRINGS TO LIFE A RICH CAST OF CHARACTERS . . . A vivid, informative, fully realized work infused with dramatic momentum."
--Houston Chronicle

"WRITTEN WITH PANACHE . . . DeKay's tale is a richly brocaded one, serving up the sweetheart deals and political shenanigans that marked the Monitor's progress; elaborating on the rumors that flew before the epic battle like expectations before a championship heavyweight fight; bringing into play the weather and tides and most any other thing that touched upon events. This book is, simply, a little treasure."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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DeKay, James Tertius
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