Why is it so difficult to tell a lively story of Oliver Hazard Perry, naval hero? Once again a biographer has tackled the subject with disappointing results. It should have been swell reading; it doesn't come alive, it is inadequately personalized and rather stuffy. The a Newport sailing family, the history of maritime development in America, the growth of our Navy, the evolution of power-driven boats, naval expansion in the Pacific, the early evidences of pugnacious relations with Japan -- all add up to the potentials of a first rate historical biography. Factually, it will be useful as American naval history. Public libraries and school libraries mainly.