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ADMIRAL DAVID GLASGOW FARRAGUT: THE CIVIL WAR YEARS, by Chester G. Hearn, Naval Institute Press, 416 pages, $37.50.

In this authoritative biography, Hearn chronicles the life of David Glasgow Farragut, the first admiral of the U.S. Navy. Focusing mainly on the Civil War–when Farragut captured more crucial waterways than any other naval leader–the author traces the admiral’s extraordinary career with the aid of recently discovered family correspondence and previously untapped archival records, and presents a look at the man who is considered by many historians to be the most important American naval officer prior to World War II.