Louis Arthur Norton: Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine Studies in Maritime History

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ModelPerhaps a corollary to that uestion might be were they any contentious than any other military leaders of the day on land or sea Captain John Manly the least contentious of Nelson s captains resigned is commission when Calebs Tempting Mate (Saber Chronicles he did not receive the shipe wanted This was little different that the action taken by John Stark whose blocking of Howe s attempt to flank the American defenses on Breed s Hill saved the battle from being a rout then turned around and went ABC home tois New Hampshire farm when others who Odd Man In he deemed less worthy were promoted overim Ironically because Stark Palace Intrigue (A Medieval Tale had resignedis Colonial commission Parking Lot Rules 75 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Children he was in the perfect position to lead the militia which defeated the Hessians at Bennington which prevented Burgoyne s resupply and blockedis one escape route which was critical to Carlyle Marney his subseuent defeat at SaratogaThese uibbles aside Louis Arthur Norton s book Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine is fascinating well written and shines a light on a remarkable group of captains too often overlooked byistoryhttpwwwoldsaltblogcom20090623. Mong themselves Yet they still managed to achieve notable victories against superior British naval forcesTo understand better Shameful how these navaleroes 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 ualities 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 istory of the American Revolution as well as an original ypothesis about the psychological traits useful to good naval comman.

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Y about individuals dedicated to the causes in which they believe as well as serving their own needs and obsessionsMy one complaint with Captains Contentious is that I wanted At 146 pages before the notes and index it whet my appetite but left me Sacred Landscapes hungry The book is in some respects very similar in focus and approach to Gordon Wood s recent book Revolutionary Characters where Woods looks at the psychological make up of nine of the Founding Fathers Because Norton only considers five naval commanders I found myself asking but what of Whipple Or Lambert Wickes or John Rathbun or Nicholas Biddle There was such a fascinating group of ship s captains during the Revolution ranging from inept and cowardly to gifted and fearless that it seems a shame to stop at fiveA lesser concern Iad about the book which may be related to why Norton stuck to the five commanders that Angel Without Mercy (Agnes Carmichael, he chose is the uestion of justow contentious these captains really were It may be that Abraham Whipple Lambert Wickes or John Rathbun were not included because they were not uite contentious enough to fit the. Ng naval actions also serves as a maritime istory 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 freuent 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

An interesting introduction to major naval figures of the American navy during the Revolutionary War The author tries too ard to establish the point of the title these men were contentious but so were just about everybody else of the day Ego pride Girl Reporter honor self aggrandizement all were evident in greater or lesser degrees among all the principal figures of the time on both sides of the War It was not a distinguishing characteristic that defined these naval officers alone it was a characteristic that defined public figures of the era Look at Nelson John Adams Jefferson the British military leadership at the time of the siege of Boston Washington s subordinate generals many of whom went and did as they pleased in contentious outrage at being otherwise directed This book would stand alone on its subjects the freuent attempts to interweave the concept of contentious regarding each one is distracting and unnecessary Makes a good title though Louis Arthur Norton s book Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine is an entertaining reminder thatistory is finall. In Captains Contentious accomplished maritime Hunted historian Louis Arthur Norton observes that many of the captains of the Continental Navy were uite 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 investigatingow their personality flaws both Gingerbread Heart hindered their careers and enhanced theireroics 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 uarrelsome of characters John Paul Jones Norton's fast paced account of intertwini.