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Nothing too daring; a biography of Commodore David Porter, 1780-1843
par David F. Long
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Commodore David Dixon Porter made history when he took the Essex into the Pacific and crippled the British whaling industry in the War of 1812. He was the first to suggest that the U.S. Navy force open Japan. He was also court-martialed and convicted on charges arising out of his unauthorized invasion of Spanish Puerto Rico. He later sought to reverse his fortunes in the Mexican Navy, and consistently suffered chaos in his personal and financial affairs. As the first U.S. chargé d’affaires in Constantinople he established direct diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Ottoman Empire. Porter was courageous, passionate, intelligent, far-sighted, dedicated, and generous. Yet he was at the same time impulsive, avaricious, hot-tempered, conceited, sometimes vicious, and finally paranoiac. Nothing Too Daring offers an objective, thoroughly researched biography of one of America’s most colorful naval officers.
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