Tuesday, September 1, 2009
A Somewhat Disappointing Book
I just finished reading Captains Contentious: The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine by Louis Arthur Norton. I've written a review of it for the Company of Military Historians publication, The Dispatch. I was pretty disappointed when I got to the end of this book. I slogged through five chapters that were brief biographies of early American naval officers to get to the final chapter that supposedly would analyze each of the characters psychologically in order to explain why they were contentious. The book failed in that regard, focusing mainly on two of the five figures (admittedly, the two best-known of the group) and saying very little really about the other three. The book was interesting enough, but I found the analysis to be a let down. The hardcover sells for $30, so if you want to read it I suggest waiting for a paperback version or try to find a used copy.