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Rebels at Sea

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   13 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/31/2022

Rebels at Sea

Privateering in the American Revolution

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696608404


The bestselling author of Black Flags, Blue Waters reclaims the daring freelance sailors who proved essential to the winning of the Revolutionary War.

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Product Description

The heroic story of the founding of the US Navy during the Revolution has been told many times, yet largely missing from maritime histories of America's first war is the ragtag fleet of private vessels that truly revealed the new nation's character—above all, its ambition and entrepreneurial ethos.

In Rebels at Sea, Eric Jay Dolin corrects that significant omission, and contends that privateers, as they were called, were in fact critical to the American victory. Privateers were privately owned vessels that were granted permission by the new government to seize British merchantmen and men of war. As Dolin stirringly demonstrates, at a time when the young Continental Navy numbered no more than about sixty vessels, privateers rushed to fill the gaps. Nearly 2,000 set sail over the course of the war, with tens of thousands of Americans serving on them and capturing some 1,800 British ships.

Some Americans viewed these men as cynical opportunists whose only aim was loot. Yet Dolin shows that privateersmen were as patriotic as their fellow Americans, and moreover that they greatly contributed to the war's success: diverting critical British resources to protecting their shipping, providing much-needed supplies at home, and bolstering the new nation's confidence that it might actually defeat the most powerful military force in the world.


"Dolin’s valuable achievement in recognizing and honoring these sailors’ oft-ignored contributions to American independence more fully fleshes out American naval history." ― Mark Knoblauch, Booklist, starred review

"Scholars and general readers will enhance their knowledge of an often-neglected yet essential aspect of Revolutionary War history with Dolin’s cogent, absorbing, thoroughly researched account." ― Margaret Kappanadze, Library Journal, starred review

"[A] spirited account . . . The book’s greatest strength are the up-close portraits of the sailors themselves . . . This is a well-researched and thoroughly entertaining tribute to men who ‘stepped forward and risked their lives to help make [the United States] a reality.'" ― Publishers Weekly

Author Bio

Eric Jay Dolin is the bestselling, award-winning author of fourteen books, including A Furious Sky, Leviathan, and Black Flags, Blue Waters. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his PhD in environmental policy, Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family.