Captains Contentious: The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine

Captains Contentious: The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine In Captains Contentious accomplished maritime historian Louis Arthur Norton observes that many of the captains of the Continental Navy were quite obstinate as compared to their British counterparts In doing so Norton surveys the lives and military accomplishments of five captains in the nascent Continental Navy, investigating how their personality flaws both hindered their careers and enhanced their heroics in Revolutionary War combat This psychohistorical approach brings to life the idiosyncratic personalities of John Manley, Silas Talbot, Dudley Saltonstall, Joshua Barney, and that most quarrelsome of characters, John Paul Jones Norton s fast paced account of intertwining naval actions also serves as a maritime history of the war as experienced by these menNorton draws from a wealth of primary and secondary sources to present biographical sketches that illustrate the five captains reckless bravado and frequent antagonism toward their fellow officers Representing different colonies and originating from diverse social and economic backgrounds, this dysfunctional band of fractious mariners shared a common lust for glory and penchant for infighting as they pursued favor and rank at the expense of civility and cooperation They were often at odds with the Continental Congress and Marine Committee that commanded them and openly feuded among themselves Yet they still managed to achieve notable victories against superior British naval forcesTo understand better how these naval heroes turned dysfunction into derring do, Norton reads their distinctive personalities against the contrasting demeanor of their adversaries in the British ranks He concludes with psychological inferences about the leadership qualities displayed by these captains, which proved to be strikingly valuable in sea combat Enhanced by sixteen illustrations, Norton s study offers new insights into the maritime history of the American Revolution as well as an original hypothesis about the psychological traits useful to good naval command

9 thoughts on “Captains Contentious: The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine

  1. Rick Spilman Rick Spilman says:

    Louis Arthur Norton s book Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine is an entertaining reminder that history is finally about individuals, dedicated to the causes in which they believe, as well as serving their own needs and obsessions.My one complaint with Captains Contentious is that I wantedAt 146 pages before the notes and index, it whet my

  2. Urey Patrick Urey Patrick says:

    An interesting introduction to major naval figures of the American navy during the Revolutionary War The author tries too hard to establish the point of the title these men were contentious but so were just about everybody else of the day Ego, pride, honor, self aggrandizement all were evident in greater or lesser degrees among all the principal figures of the time,

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