Ironclad: The Monitor and the Merrimack

Arthur Mokin, Author Presidio Press $22.5 (274p) ISBN 978-0-89141-405-6
Documentary filmmaker and first novelist Mokin offers a good look at how the Union built the Monitor and in 1862 won a decisive victory over the Merrimack. The story highlights headstrong Swede John Ericsson, who designed the radical ironclad, while focusing on Navy secretary Gideon Welles, one of the few Lincoln loyalists in the Cabinet. Washington, D.C., in 1861-1862 is vividly shown: droves of U.S. military officers ``going south,'' popular fear and impatience (especially after Bull Run), the strange hesitancy of general-in-chief McClellan, the political and military intrigues. Unfortunately, Mokin pays less attention to the naval fireworks; the epochal battle of the two ironclad ships, when it finally comes, seems to be just warming up when it's suddenly over. A sure explanation of the foreign and domestic implications of the Union blockade, but don't blink during the sea battle. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-595-09379-3
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