by James M. Volo
Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008. Pp. iv, 309.
Illus, maps, appends., notes, biblio., index. $18.95 paper. ISBN: 0742561208
In Blue Water Patriots, Dr. Volo, who has written extensively in military, social, and cultural history, such as Daily Life During the American Revolution and Daily Life in the Age of Sail, offers a comprehensive overview of the naval aspects of the American Revolution from the Patriot's persepctive.
While this story has been told before, few accounts have matched the breadth of Blue Water Patriots. Not only does Volo cover the career of the Continental Navy, but he gives considerable attention to George Washington's "private navy" of 1775-1776, and the eleven state navies, as well as privateers, the lacustrine fleets, and even small boat operations, while also discussing the critically important role of the French Navy. The approach is interesting, using chapters on operational matters alternating with ones devoted to technical matters, such as naval architecture, recruitment, especially of officers, weaponry, tactics, and so forth.
Very readable, although Blue Water Patriots is likely to be of particular value to students of the Revolutionary War, it can also serve as an introduction to naval warfare in the eighteenth century.