A good read, although I liked his WWII book about the early stages of
the war in the Pacific a bit more, as it was a bit less "technical" -
there's only so much you can read about mizzen masts and spars and
whatnot... It's interesting how globalized the world already was back
then: one of the reasons the US navy was brought into being was to
defend US merchants in the Mediterranean from the "Barbary Pirates".
Later on in the year after having read the book, I managed to actually visit the USS Constitution in Boston. I'm very glad I read all the back story, because the official tour was very, very brief compared to all the rich details contained within the book, especially regarding all the politics behind the decision whether to build a navy, how much of a navy to build, and so on.