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Publisher's Summary

John Paul Jones, at sea and in the heat of battle, was the great American hero of the Age of Sail. He was to history what Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey and C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower are to fiction. Ruthless, indomitable, clever; he vowed to sail, as he put it, "in harm's way." John Paul Jones is more than a great sea story. Jones is a character for the ages. John Adams called him the "most ambitious and intriguing officer in the American Navy." The renewed interest in the Founding Fathers reminds us of the great men who made this country, but John Paul Jones teaches us that it took fighters as well as thinkers, men driven by dreams of personal glory as well as high-minded principle to break free of the past and start a new world. Jones' spirit was classically American. Evan Thomas brings his skills as a biographer to this complex, protean figure whose life and rise are both thrilling as a tale of dauntless courage and revealing about the birth of a nation.
©2003 Evan Thomas (P)2003 Tantor Media, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Superlative....Both Jones and his latest biographer can justly be praised as masters of their respective crafts." (Publishers Weekly)
"Evan Thomas captures all the incongruities, vanities, blazing ambition, and phenomenal courage of his subject." (David McCullough, author of John Adams)
"With the skill appropriate to a polished journalist, Thomas chronicles the short, but glorious, life of a brilliant, but frustratingly difficult, man, who was the first American naval hero....This is a fine account of the life of an admirable, but deeply flawed, man." (Booklist)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Bruce on 03-16-04

Swashbuckler or Saviour

I enjoy reading history, both non-fiction and historical novels. While I am not in a position to question the accuracy of the biography presented by Evan Thomas, I believe he has taken on the task well and shown many sides of the life and times of John Paul Jones. JPJ is one of those characters in our past whom we tend to remember only by the few sounds bites which become imfamous. The rest being mostly captured in our vague imaginations. This book helped immensely to put the father of the American navy into perspective for me. Even more so by the outstanding narrations which were intoned with fluent and believable accents and personalities. I enjoyed the read, a bit long towards the end, but recommended to anyone who enjoys historical biographies.

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11 of 12 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Ryan Peinhardt on 01-23-11

Enlightening Text, Horrible Narrator

The text itself is paints a pretty solid picture of John Paul Jones but while the narrator's normal voice is pretty good, he keeps wrecking it every time he attempts to do a different accent for quotes. He makes a Scottish John Paul Jones sound almost Spanish and every quote is read with a forced lilt and awkward emphases. I found myself dreading the next quote so much that it distracted from the author's words.

If you're looking for a good naval history here on Audible, skip this and check out these instead:

Storm and Conquest (by Stephen Taylor), Empire of Blue Water (by Stephan Talty), and Empires of the Sea, by (Roger Crowley)

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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