The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History

by James Tertius deKay

When an impassioned Swedish inventor, already with a dubious reputation, unveiled his plans for a semi-submersible iron warship, the Union Navy was unimpressed. No one could have predicted that John Ericsson’s Monitor would save the Union from the most-feared Confederate ship, the iron-clad Virginia, just three months later.

James Tertius deKay describes the development of Ericsson’s creation and how it become the prototype for all future warships. While Monitor’s actual battle with Virginia was a brief slug-fest consisting of large cannonballs bouncing off iron, deKay explains why the battle was so significant: If Virginia had not been stopped, the Confederate ironclad could have proceeded northward and wreaked havoc bombarding Union ports.

Walker and Company, New York, N.Y.; 212-727-8300; 239 pgs.; $21.00.

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