New Review: OLIVER HAZARD PERRY: THE HERO OF LAKE ERIE
OLIVER HAZARD PERRY: THE HERO OF LAKE ERIE
by David B. McCoy
"Oliver Hazard Perry: The Hero of Lake Erie" is a short bio on the life of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry which can be read in one or maybe two sittings. It is for the most part well-written and informative. I learned a great deal, especially on Perry's early life. I definitely wish I had read this before I wrote "Waves and War," since there are a few factoids about the Commodore I learned from this book that I would have liked to feather into my story. Unfortunately, "Oliver Hazard Perry" was published four months too late.
The book does have a few glaring issues that can't be ignored. The first is that despite having a sizable bibliography for a work of this length the author uses only a minimal amount of citation in his text. I feel that when writing a biography some kind of notation is a must. Also, for the actual Battle of Lake Erie, the author defers wholly to an inserted description provided by the park service at Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. I would have liked to have seen the author tackle the battle and describe it in his own narrative style.
All in all, this is a quality "on-the-go" style read, and I look forward to reading more of McCoy's "In Your Hand" digital history series. Someone already familiar with Commodore Perry and his role in the War of 1812 might want to seek something more in depth, but for the uninitiated looking to broaden their knowledge base, especially as we enter the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie, this is a perfect choice.