Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Biography of Fox and Excellent Book

Yesterday I finished reading Gustavus Vasa Fox of the Union Navy: A Biography by Ari Hoogenboom. I was asked to review this book for the Nautical Research Journal. I am grateful to the editor for giving me the opportunity to read this book. Biographies can be a tricky business; some are exceedingly good, but I find many to be tedious, if not downright bad. This book is near the top of the exceedingly good list. It is extremely well written and lively, making it very easy to read. I managed to complete the 314 page volume in just over two days. As it should, the book does a solid job in telling Fox's life story, but the book is more than that. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of the US Navy during the Civil War. Fox's life throughout the book is built around relationships, and it is those relationships that drive the story. I won't go into too much detail because I need to save that for the review. However, I will highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the topic.


Bilwhy513 said...

I've heard good things about the Fox Biography. It is on my list after Lincoln and His Admirals by Symonds and the Timberclads in the Civil War by Myron Smith.
Does the Nautical Research Journal accept unsolicited book reviews?

Andrew Duppstadt said...

I assure you that you will not be disappointed with the Fox biography.

As for the Journal, I do not believe that they accept unsolicited book reviews. My wife works with the Editor and he receives many books throughout the year for review, and then assigns them to folks. She mentioned that he has a copy of the Symonds book up for the next round of reviews. I have already received a copy and it is in my stack of books to get to (eventually). Thanks for the comment!

Bilwhy513 said...

I don't think you will be disappointed with the Symonds book either. I am almost finished it now. Well written, although some of the arguments on Lincoln's leadership have been published before. Then again, what hasn't been written on Lincoln!