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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  468 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
From the days of pirate raids on the Chesapeake to swift-boat actions in Vietnam, the Staffords and their traditional rivals, the Parrishes, struggle with foreign enemies and each other to build a navy and a nation. They march across the deserts of Tripoli, sail into the South Seas to battle the British and dally with the native girls, fight aboard the Merrimac and the Mon ...more
Paperback, 880 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Forge Books (first published 1996)
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(showing 1-30)
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Gordon Gammell
Apr 19, 2014 Gordon Gammell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very entertaining and absorbing tale. It was hard to put down, which was a good thing because it was sometimes hard to keep up with who was who and who they were related to. The story spans 300 years or so of American history and the author leaps time spans in imaginative ways. While historic times pass a modern parallel story is told that acts as a binding to the whole tale. The whole of the telling is well done even with those sometime jarring time shifts. The characters are interesting and ...more
Mark Dutell
Feb 14, 2017 Mark Dutell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually like historical fiction and this was no exception. there were several very interesting characters and the author did a marvelous job of tracking a family through eight Generations without making the characters or the circumstances in which they lived repetitive more unrealistic. I'm a little surprised the general reviews are lower than mine, usually the reverse is true.
Nov 26, 2016 Bonita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing story from beginning to end!

As a Navy wife I did not know very much about naval history. This book kept me engaged through so many wars and conflicts that I had only heard about in passing. The locations are so vividly described. I have visited Annapolis and lived in Hawaii. I was able to see the locations in my head as I read the descriptions.

Not only did I learn so much about history but the fictional family was a joy to read about. They were just as flawed and optimistic as anyon
Elaine Cougler
Aug 04, 2016 Elaine Cougler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annapolis by William Martin is a delightful surprise which I purchased off the sale shelf at Chapters. What a find! Martin integrates past and present seamlessly--a feat which all too few authors accomplish--as he tells the stories of the Staffords and the Parishes of Annapolis, Maryland. How great to have a new author to explore.
Jul 24, 2012 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hefty volume that covers a lot of territory but does it well with a fictional family tree that dates back to the mid 17th century in the Maryland colony. This chronicle of the Stafford family parallels a history of the United States Navy, documenting its meager beginnings and continuing through modern times where it has become the largest naval force in the world. The continuing thread within the story is Jack Stafford; a journalist and a seventh generation Stafford who is attempting t ...more
Dec 13, 2008 LemonLinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annapolis is a really good multi-generational epic book covering colonial America through the Revolutionary War and the struggle as a new nation, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, pre-WWII, WWII, and Vietnam with a lot of family drama and intrigue during and between and focusing basically on two families, the Staffords and the Parrishes, both of which lived both in and near Annapolis, Maryland. Also figuring into this one is the history of the U.S. Navy from its inception ...more
Sally Atwell Williams
ANNAPOLIS takes the reader through six or seven generations of the Stafford family, from before the Revolutionary War to beyond the Vietnam War. The tradition in the family always was that if there are two boys born, one is for the sea, the other for the land. An interesting concept. Weaving in and out is the naval history of the U.S., as a young woman working for PBS, and a relative of the Staffords, Susan Browne, comes to Annapolis to tell the story, and gets far more information about them th ...more
Sep 25, 2010 Janellyn51 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really love reading William Martin books. I know there is a formula....but still, I enjoy learning about things I didn't think I had any interest in. This one is about the Navy. It follows two families generational rivalries. I loved reading about the early navy, and rounding the horn. I found it interesting the parts about being on tropical islands, and loosening discipline, which seemed to mirror the Bounty. I enjoyed the portions about the Civil War, and in the Middle East. The characters a ...more
Aug 09, 2011 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great historical novel that cuts back and forth to the present tying in multiple generations of one family from the start of this country to the present. The writing was such that I was completely absorbed and could visualize the lives of the characters. I want to read more by this author. The ending was a bit of a letdown but it often seems that authors have difficulty in winding down their novels.
Jul 18, 2009 Joshua added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in Annapolis
About my favorite place in the world. Tells a fictional story of two families who see Annapolis from the Revolutionary War until Vietnam, set against a background of naval history and Maryland's history. Most of the book is naval history, rather than Annapolis history. Worth reading just for the periods between Civil War and WWII, because who knows much about civil war naval history or the history of how the naval academy came about? Now I do.
Rick Ludwig
He could have used one more family tree in this one. He is expert at making century spanning compicated stories hang together and keep you turning the pages. He links a series of interesting stories in a masterful way. Employs Martin's successful style of alternating past and present stories. I found this one of the more engaging engaging of his non-Fallon stories that I have read. Good resolution.
Aug 14, 2008 Traci rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My least favorite of Martin's books. After reading a few, the formula becomes clear and it's no longer as interesting. If you've never read one and don't know which to read, stick with Back Bay. It's far and away the best.
Jennifer Sakash
One of those sweeping historical dramas that take a while to get into, but I liked reading the stories of the different generations. Good thing there was a family tree to refer to. My brother graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, so that's why I wanted to read this.
Jun 17, 2011 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erik by: Dawn Charest
Another good romp through history, this time the US Navy from 1750 through Vietnam. The "current day" thread was not very engaging; not that it was bad, but served only as a vehicle for the historical story.
Mar 10, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Naval war through history, one generation after another.
Tripoli, pirates, WWII, Vietnam.
Descendants of 2 families and the house they own in Annapolis.
Plantation, author used Sotterly.
Lots of research.
Like Michner.
Pretty good.
Dec 08, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting to see American military history from a naval slant. A good combination of history, good writing, and captivating characters.
Lynne Radcliffe
May 02, 2013 Lynne Radcliffe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Another great William Martin historical novel . The history of a naval family from the 1700's to the 1970's was fascinating to me.
Phyllis Fredericksen
Okay historical fiction. NOt the best I've read, but not the worst.
Aug 24, 2013 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having lived and worked at Annapolis this book was most entertaining and educational.
May 10, 2013 Robbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robbie hasn't read this one.
Jul 07, 2009 Coleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A good, multi-generational historical fiction book. I enjoyed it because I enjoy multi-generational historical fiction books.
Kevin Keating
I wanted a kind of Michener-esque tale of Annapolis and the USNA. This fit the bill somewhat well. While parts were engaging, some was a little lame. I enjoyed reading it in general.
Nov 19, 2010 Marc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty weak book. Beginning was marigninally OK, just slogged at the end. Totally formulaic, "beach" read. Too long, ultimately a waste of time
Nanci Donacki-thompson
One of my favorites by William Martin. Includes the early days of the Naval Academy.
Jun 27, 2010 Janet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't finish it...too boring. I will donate it to the library.
Oct 12, 2012 Lucas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book for 5cents at a library everything must go sell I loved it this story is top 3 for me
Jul 28, 2008 Deb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really like historical novels but I think this was poorly written. It was very confusing to follow and very predictable.
May 05, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worth reading even though it could have been made more concise. I enjoy how he weaves real historical events with generations of a couple of families. Easy way to learn lots of history.
Apr 10, 2010 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I read by William Martin. I always enjoy historical fiction with engrossing characters. It reminds me of James Michener in some aspects.
Feb 17, 2008 Lanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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William Martin is a New York Times bestselling author of nine novels. He is best known for his historical fiction, which has chronicled the lives of the great and the anonymous in American history while bringing to life legendary American locations, from Cape Cod to Annapolis. He has also written an award-winning PBS documentary, one of the cheesiest horror movies ever made, magazine articles, and ...more
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