The Patriot Resource - American Revolution

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

311 pages (plus Notes, Bibliography and Index); 15 chapters.
Introduction: "My Desire for Fame Is Infinite"
1. "You Meet a Gentleman"
2."That Great Misfortune"
3. "Proof of Madness"
4. "Determined at All Hazards"
5. "Delicate Notions of Honor"
6. "A Rash Thing"
7. "Officer of Fine Feelings"
8. "Lay It in Ashes"
9. "We've Got Her Now!"
10. "No Sooner Seen Than Lost"
11. "Caressed by All the World"
12. "The Gale Still Increasing"
13. "Cover Him With Kisses"
14. "Conquer or Die"
15. "The Ghost of Himself"
Epilogue: "Envy of the World"

First, this is not a definitive biography of John Paul Jones. It is a good introduction to the person of John Paul Jones. Mr. Thomas gives the reader glimpses beyond the legend, but gives only select insights into his personal relationships with others. He did succeed in convincing this reader that Jones was a complex man and often a contradiction. The book mostly covers the years during the American Revolution with a large chunk devoted to the Bonhomme Richard and the legendary battle with the Serapis. It does, however, also survey both his origin as ths son of a gardener and his last quest for glory in the Russian Navy.

Mr. Thomas gives substance to the legend, giving him some humanity, but also leaves the reader with new questions and mysteries to explore. This reader had a desire to further explore Jones' character by learning more about his relationships with those who sailed in and out of his life.

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