"Give Me a Fast Ship is an exhaustively researched and fluently rendered account of the first incarnation of the American navy. In telling this fascinating and sprawling tale, Tim McGrath never loses sight of the human dimension of his subject...McGrath has mined archival sources that have been largely neglected in previous histories. The result is a thoroughly readable history of an integral aspect of the campaign for American independence." --Ian W. Toll, author of Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy
McGrath has a seafarer's grasp of tactics and is a good storyteller, particularly as he weaves together the character of ships and the personalities of their captains. But it is in descriptions of the running battles at sea that he really shines, something he proves beyond doubt when recounting the well-known story of John Paul Jones. We all know the outcome, yet McGrath keeps us transfixed on the action even as we await the fiery words we know by heart: "I have not yet begun to fight."
-- Washington PostGive Me a Fast Ship
goes beyond a "spotlight" treatment of major events, offering instead a series of mini-stories that illuminate the nitty-gritty of colonial America's desperate struggle at sea.
-- Modern History Quarterly
"Important themes are woven through the scores of separate stories related by McGrath. One of the most important has to do with the often troublesome working relationships between the Continental Navy captains and their civilian leaders."
--Rear Admiral Joseph F. Callo (Ret.), author of John Paul Jones: America's First Sea Warrior.
"In Tim McGrath's Give Me a Fast Ship
, early American naval literature has found a proud new flagship… It is rare for a one-volume work to fill the sails of personalities and battles separated from the modern reader by nearly two centuries, but Give Me a Fast Ship pulls it off beautifully. His descriptions are vivid, his commanders three-dimensional, and he evinces a genuine love of the world of white sails and black powder." —The Wall Street Journal
"Tim McGrath is a storyteller writ large... This is a delight to read." —The Kansas City Star
"In Give Me a Fast Ship
, naval historian Tim McGrath has given us a meticulous, adrenalin-filled account of the earliest days of the Continental Navy, and a John Paul Jones for our times and for the ages." —Laurence Bergreen, New York Times bestselling author of Over the Edge of the World
"[McGrath's] gripping descriptions of pursuit and combat at sea are equal of any fiction, with the added virtue of being entirely true... Solidly researched history presented with verve and gusto." —Kirkus,
About the Author
is the author of the critically acclaimed biography John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail
. An avid sailor, McGrath has published articles in Naval History