Give Me a Fast Ship: The Continental Navy and America’s Revolution at Sea
Tim McGrath. New York: NAL Caliber, 2014. 544 pp. Battle maps. Illus. Index. Notes. $26.95.
Reviewed by Lieutenant Andrew Cox, U.S. Navy
In his book Give Me a Fast Ship, Tim McGrath produces a comprehensive and lively history of the Continental Navy during the American Revolution, grappling with complexities that might sink lesser historians. In attempting to develop a definitive one-volume naval history book, he chronologically covers all naval preparations and actions and places them inside the larger political-military context. This in turn includes a large cast of characters and ships that can be difficult to keep track of at times. He also doesn’t shy away from using archaic and unfamiliar naval terms and technology. Thankfully, all of these potential problems are so masterfully handled that the reader can easily stay on top of the story. Blending exhaustive research and rousing storytelling, McGrath has created a distinguished work of scholarship that grabs the reader like a Patrick O’Brian novel.