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A Novel
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781612511443
  • Binding: Hardcover, with Ebook available
  • Era: 19th Century
  • Number of Pages: 256
  • Subject: Fiction
  • Date Available: November 2012
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Full Description:

Like the previous books in William C. Hammond’s award-winning historical fiction series, this fourth novel features the seafaring adventures of the Cutler family of Hingham, Massachusetts, and an expanding cast of characters. Interwoven with his fictional characters aresuch historical figures as Edward Preble, Stephen Decatur, Richard Somers, Samuel Coleridge, Bashaw Yusuf Qaramanli, and Horatio Nelson, along with such real events as the naval bombardment of Tripoli, the burning of the USS Philadelphia, the USS Intrepid’s last voyage, and the assault on Derne. Drawing on years of historical research and a lifetime of sailing, Hammond has been lauded for vividly recreating in his Cutler series, a chapter of early American naval history overlooked by most American novelists.

Set primarily in the Mediterranean Sea during the First Barbary War (1801–1805), A Call to Arms offers readers intriguing and often startling insights into the young republic’s struggle to promote its principles in a world ravaged by wars and piracy. This time, the actions of a few heroic naval officers, sailors, and Marines determine the country’s fate in a fast-paced plot that moves from New England on to Tripoli, Malta, Sicily, Alexandria, and Cairo. At the center of all the excitement are the magnificent super frigates of the fledgling U.S. Navy and a new generation of Cutler sons and daughters eager to follow in the footsteps of Richard Cutler and his beloved wife, Katherine. Theirs is a love story for the ages, but one whose future, readers will find, is threatened in a way that Capt. Cutler could not possibly have foreseen as he takes command of the USS Portsmouth and sets sail to join the Mediterranean Squadron and his son James, a midshipman on the USS Constitution. The author’s unique blend of real-life people and events with equally unforgettable fictionalized characters, assures hours of entertaining reading for lovers of rousingly good sea stories.

William C. Hammond is a novelist, literary agent, business consultant, and sailing enthusiast. He lives in Minneapolis, MN, and frequently sails on Lake Superior and off the coast of New England. His first novel in the Cutler chronicles, A Matter of Honor, was published in 2007, followed by For Love of Country in 2010, and The Power and the Glory in 2011.

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Praise for A Call to Arms~

“This book is highly recommended to those interested in naval history.”

Historical Novel Society

“Readers who have read the previous volumes in the series will enjoy being reunited with characters who feel like family, while newcomers will find themselves cast into a maelstrom of events that are spiced with tears, heartache, joy, and pride.” 

Pirates and Privateers

“As a work of fiction the book is a captivating narrative, but it is also a fascinating look back at an important chapter in our naval history by a gifted writer and historian.”

Ocean Navigator, May/June 2013

“A riveting novel that educates as it entertains, very much recommended reading.”

The Midwest Book Review, January 2013

A Call to Arms tells a grand and very interesting tale of heroism, foolishness, political maneuverings and perhaps even megalomania in one of the first major engagements of the US Navy outside the Americas. It seems to be quite open and honest. This early period of the US Navy, so far mostly neglected, seems to be much more interesting than I thought. It is an intriguing tale, taller-than-life and very well told by William C. Hammond who, in my opinion, is improving noticeably from book to book. This is a series to follow for lovers of navy fiction!”


“Hammond deftly weaves impeccably researched history with the day-to-day lives of the Cutlers. Readers are in the room as Jamie announces his interest in obtaining an appointment as a midshipman under Captain Edward Preble and are on the quarterdeck with Richard as Portsmouth sails into the Med and is attacked by Barbary corsairs.

Hammond’s intriguing plot and page-turning prose is a delight for anyone who enjoys a view of history as it happened through the eyes of well-drawn characters. This epic series fills a void in nautical fiction, offering a fresh look the Age of Sail from the American perspective.” — Quarterdeck, November 2012

Praise for the Cutler series~

“I highly recommend this historical fiction series. It’s as good as the novels of Patrick O’Brian. Start with the first book and read all three—then wait, as I must, with great anticipation for the release of book IV and other novels in the series. Bill Hammond is a master writer of nautical fiction whose literary gifts are yours to enjoy.” Good Old Boat magazine

Praise for A Matter of Honor
“Drawing on five years of historical research and a lifetime of sailing, Hammond vividly re-creates an early chapter in American history.” Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Power and the Glory
“Two previous books covered the Cutlers’ naval service during the American Revolution, but The Power and the Glory is a fine stand-alone read. Hammond offers a deft blend of fictional and real characters that range the American coast from Massachusetts to Barbados, as Lt. Richard Cutler rises in the new American Navy. Hammond’s meaty tale climaxes in 1800 with a splendid ship duel between the newly built USS Constellation and La Vengeance. This battle alone is so thrilling that I am now eager to look up Hammond’s previous works, and I heartily recommend The Power and the Glory.” The Historical Novels Review

“As always, the naval, family, and political threads are woven together in an excellent, well-written, and believable narrative by the author as [Hammond] explores the early history of the young nation.  I look forward to reading the next in the series.  Recommended.”Historical Naval Fiction Review


William C. Hammond is a business consultant and writing coach who lives with his three sons in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A life-long student of history, and a long-time devotee of historical and nautical fiction, he sails whenever possible on Lake Superior and off the coast of New England.

More by this Author

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Events and Conferences

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Customer Reviews
1 Review
Average Customer Reviews
5.00 Stars
Excellent nove of politics and naval warfare in the early 19th century. Excellent coverage on Naval promotions and government i
Monday, November 19, 2012
By: Glenmal
Excellent novel covering the US intervention and destruction of The Tripoli governments (pirates) power. It clearly describes the federal governments dysfunctional politics and our early naval problems and power competition. The history is full and rich and graphically described. Mr Hammond's writing style has progressed to more literary than past books in the series and offers keen observations not only of naval warfare, but early American society and political dis-functionality in the founding years. The author, quite uniquely introduced cancer in one of his characters long before it was understood or treatable. I highly recommend this well written book.


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