Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mini Review: John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy

Author: Evan Thomas
Narrator: Dan Cashman
Format: audio = 13.5 hrs  400 page equivalent
Subject: John Paul Jones
Genre: Biography
Source: public library audio download

A well researched, surprisingly easy to read biography of the man credited with being the "Father of the American Navy".  Now acknowledged to be rather a legend in his own mind, Thomas carefully debunks some of the sayings and myths that have attached themselves to this colorful and talented sailor, while still showing the genius of his strategic thinking.

His attitudes, accomplishments, judgments and temper tantrums are spelled out to put  this flamboyant hero in the proper niche of history.  We are treated to his thoughts on everything from planting crops to sailing, from proper uniforms to correct food, and along the way we get to glimpse the American Revolution from an often overlooked perspective.  It's interesting enough for those with a compelling fascination with the Navy and its beginnings. For others, it is well written enough to be worth at least a look see.

I read this in print and listened to this on audio.  For this one I'd recommend the written word.  I found the narrator's Scottish accent (used whenever he was quoting Jones) very off-putting.


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