BOOK REVIEW: Decatur’s Bold and Daring Act – The Philadelphia in Tripoli 1804
By Mark Lardas, Osprey Publishing, (2011). 80 pages.
Reviewed by J.J. Ahern
In the last decade the number of titles published which focus on the early years of the U.S. Navy – and more particular the Barbary Wars of the early 1800s – has seen a mild increase. Granted the number has yet to even broach the expanse of other periods of study such as the American Civil War. Yet as important as studies of the Civil War are to understanding the transitional effect it had on many facets of the country, the Barbary Wars were also an integral part of the development of America’s young Navy and its place in the landscape of the Atlantic community of the early Nineteenth Century. One central event which is included in all of these recent studies of the Barbary Wars is Stephen Decatur’s raid to burn the USS Philadelphia in Tripoli Harbor in 1804. That event is the focus of Osprey Publishing’s latest edition to their new Raid series. In Decatur’s Bold and Daring Act: The Philadelphia in Tripoli 1804 veteran Osprey author Mark Lardas gives an in depth look at the events that surrounded Decatur’s raid. As with all Osprey books - Decatur’s Bold and Daring Act fits within a specific formula of pages, wonderfully illustrated by original and historical images, and written in a clear straightforward manner which makes the work accessible to various audiences.
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