Tuesday 24 May 2016

Book Review: Privateers of the Revolution by Donald Grady Shomette

Title: Privateers of the Revolution
Author: Donald Grady Shomette
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing

Publication Date: 28 July 2016
Pages: 448
Format: eBook- PDF
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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A revelatory narrative of the 535 Pennsylvania and New Jersey privateers, privately owned ships of war some called pirates. Manned by nearly 18,000 men, these privateers influenced the fight for American independence. From the halls of Congress to the rough waterfronts of Delaware River and Bay to the remote privateering ports of the New Jersey coast and into the Atlantic, a stirring portrait emerges of seaborne raiders, battles, and derring-do, as well as incredible escapes from the great British prison ships vulgarly called Hell, where more than 11,000 men perished. A work 40 years in the making extracted from archives in both Europe and America, it is a tale unrivaled by any Hollywood fiction. (Goodreads Synopsis)

Privateers of the Revolution is an intriguing and enlightening read. Many of the books I've read so far on the subject of the American Revolution have focused on the onshore action, and until now I had no idea how extensive and important the events out at sea proved to be. The book is clearly well researched and I enjoyed all the details of certain vessels' voyages. It is also a good general read, with straightforward prose that will appeal to scholars and the casual reader alike. Anyone interested in this period in history would find this book entertaining and insightful, and it will also be of interest to those concerned with Naval history. 

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