Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy - Ian W. Toll

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy

By Ian W. Toll

  • Release Date: 2008-03-17
  • Genre: Military
Score: 4.5
From 70 Ratings


"A fluent, intelligent history...give[s] the reader a feel for the human quirks and harsh demands of life at sea."—New York Times Book Review
Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders—particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams—debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.
From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian.


  • Six frigates

    By Cansu3
    Overall very well written and informative. One of the least biased historical narratives I've seen. Gives me hope for the US, as the founding fathers were as decided as we are today. If you are into sail and early American history this is a must read.
  • Excellent!

    By Perrymedik
    Slow to start but one of my favorite reads in a long time!!
  • Ron Hillbury

    By R Hillbury
    A clear, concise and entertaining Study of the birth of the US Navy and the War of 1812, "America's second war of independence".
  • Birth of a Navy

    By crabtrem
    This is a tale of historical importance that defined our nation and its Navy. Figures and heroes of our country are brought back in a new and fresh light. A wonderful book that makes you appreciate the courage of some we have forgotten, and puts a more truthful light on some we may have put too high on a pedestal. A wonderful tale of a new country and it's fledgeling Navy and how it built and matured its character.