The first volume of Lewis’ biography covers David Glasgow Farragut’s long career in the navy before the Civil War. He was about sixty years old when that war began, and had accordingly lived through that long transitional period from sail to steam. The first volume of Lewis’ masterful biography of David Glasgow Farragut’s long career in the U.S. Navy covers his life before the Civil War. Farragut served with Captain David Porter in the USS Essex; cruised in the Mediterranean; hunted pirates in the Caribbean; almost died of yellow fever; observed the French bombardment of Vera Cruz; sailed into Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Rio de Janeiro when revolution threatened those cities; fought in the Mexican War; and commanded the steam sloop of war Brooklyn. During these years he slowly rose from midshipman to captain, then to the highest rank in the United States Navy.