THE REVOLUTIONARY by Lawrence Schoonover
Kirkus Star


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Pearl Frye's Gallant Captain (Little, Brown) and Harvey Haislip's Sailor Named Jones (Doubleday), both published within the last three years, depict an adventurer with aspirations, desiring primarily to serve the country of his choice, hamstrung by lack of support from the poverty-striken American Congress, dogged by his reputation as a pirate, a freebooter. Schoonover has chosen a much broader canvas, and gives us a vigorous portrait of the whole man, from his boyhood in Scotland, to his role as a slaver, operating for an American trader, who repudiated him when the facts leaked out; snatching at opportunities that offered, with more than a little piratical flavor; seeking a chance to prove his loyalty in the infant American navy; performing incredible feats of valor, culminating in the famous victory of the Bonhomme Richard over the Serapis; terrifying the British seacoast; playing a dubious part in revolution torn France; serving briefly- and spectacularly- in the exalted post of Rear Admiral of the Russian navy under Catherine the Great- only to be cast into prison when the powerful Potemkin feared his advancement. Always one senses a man too big for his times, hampered by restrictions circumstances imposed, and dying haunted by a sense of frustration, dissatisfaction with achievements that rival the maddest of adventure tales. First rate reading for adventure lovers of all ages.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1958
Publisher: Little, Brown