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Morning of Fire: John Kendrick's Daring American Odyssey in the Pacific
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Morning of Fire: John Kendrick's Daring American Odyssey in the Pacific

3.49  ·  Rating Details  ·  71 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Four years after the Revolutionary War, America's independence was still in doubt. To survive, the new nation needed money and a vital surge in trade. In the back rooms of Boston, a daring plan was launched by a group of merchants and ship owners: to send two ships on a desperate mission around Cape Horn and into the Pacific Ocean. They wanted to establish new trade with C ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by William Morrow
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(showing 1-30 of 146)
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Julie
Oct 17, 2012 Julie rated it did not like it


As a lifelong bibliophile and former bookstore manager on Cape Cod who majored in English and History I have a deep interest in local and maritime history. The dramatic saga of John Kendrick's is an oft-forgotten but fascinating corner of post-Revolutionary American History. Too bad Mr. Ridley's book falls flat as a dull recitation of facts, sometimes rushed, sometimes tedious and pedantic.

Fans of maritime history would be fascinated to read the story of John Kendrick's groundbreaking expediti
...more
Keith
May 11, 2014 Keith rated it really liked it
Four years after the revolutionary war and seventeen years before Lewis and Clark completed their famous expedition west, John Kendrick, an experienced revolutionary privateer and trusted sailing captain, established an American outpost on what would later become Vancouver Island. In what some might call a historical footnote, this well researched and true story shows how history is made up of important events that often do not become mythical in the grand scheme of things but are no less import ...more
Alan
Nov 27, 2010 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By the late 1780s the American colonies have miraculously defeated the British in the Revolutionary War. The future of the newly independent colonies was, however, by no means assured. The colonies faced growing debt, ports were closed to American ships throughout most of Europe and the Atlantic, and the newly written constitution had not been ratified, so even the political future of the not yet United States even hung in the balance.

With this backdrop a group of investors decided to finance a
...more
Andrew
Oct 18, 2012 Andrew rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Note: This review originally ran in the Barnstable Patriot 05-Nov-2010

It is a recurring phenomenon. Every few years a man turns to the topic of John Kendrick and the Columbia Expedition. Building upon the work of those preceding him, he produces a work with a modicum of extra insight into the story of the first American voyage around the world.

It makes the rounds of local history groups and is placed on the shelves of libraries. And then the skipper from Cape Cod who led the first American voyag
...more
J.S.
In the wake of the American Revolution, the major European powers expected the new nation and its non-monarchial government would soon fail. England thought its former colonies would beg to come back into the fold, and Spain and even France (which had been America's ally) were looking to scoop up New World territory easily. Most Atlantic ports were closed to American goods, and American ships on the seas were opportunistically preyed upon.

To break this stranglehold, a few Boston merchants propo
...more
Dave
Jan 24, 2011 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
It isn’t all that often that one comes across a history book which can present a detailed look at a period of history or historical event, and really bring it alive. “Morning of Fire” by Scott Ridley is one of those books, and for me it had the added advantage of covering a piece of history with which I was not familiar. Though I have read a fair amount about early American history, I knew little about the voyage led by John Kendrick into the Pacific which departed when the United States was und ...more
Dale
May 12, 2012 Dale rated it it was ok
Well-researched but ultimately fails in its goal

Published by William Morrow in 2010

John Kendrick was a well-respected sailor from the Boston area during the Revolutionary War era. He was rumored to have participated in the Boston Tea Party. He captained a privateer, captured prizes and was highly regarded by political and business leaders and the men who sailed on his ships.

As America struggled to revive its foreign trade after the Revolutionary War (The United States was officially cut off from
...more
Dustin Lonero
Dec 15, 2011 Dustin Lonero rated it liked it
This book was built around a very interesting story and taught me about an American explorer that I knew nothing about. John Kendrick conducted a 7 year voyage that included 5 trans-pacific transits. He went around Cape Horn to the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, China, Japan, and Hong Kong. It was an amazing voyage and the telling of it earns this book 3 stars. Unfortunately, the author's description of the voyage was shallow, confusing, and dry. I don't think he had enough material on John Kendrick ...more
Haley Grizzell
Jul 28, 2012 Haley Grizzell rated it really liked it
Four years after the Revolutionary War, America's independence was still in doubt. To survive, the new nation needed money and a vital surge in trade. In the back rooms of Boston, a daring plan was launched by a group of merchants and ship owners: to send two ships on a desperate mission around Cape Horn and into the Pacific Ocean. They wanted to establish new trade with China, settle an outpost on territory claimed by the Spanish, and find the legendary Northwest Passage- the fabled waterway li ...more
Shyam Parekh
Dec 15, 2012 Shyam Parekh rated it really liked it
Though not as well-written as a Nathaniel Philbrick novel, this account of Kendrick should be read by anybody interested in the growth of our nation and our seafaring power in the years following independence. Contrary to some other reviewers, I thought it was a good read which was easy to follow, though a bit dry at times. I can see how some readers would feel put off by the sometimes disjunct style of writing. It didn't bother me too much because I'm often stopping to look up and read about lo ...more
Doug Canfield
May 06, 2013 Doug Canfield rated it really liked it
I see some reviewers have read other histories covering this story that they liked better, but not having that obstacle to overcome myself, I thoroughly enjoyed "Morning of Fire". The drama surrounding this story couldn't be more exciting if it was fiction. I found the writing polished and well paced. In addition, I live in the Pacific Northwest and it was fun to see how the explorers from this brief period (about 10 years) left such an indelible imprint on the region's coast and set the stage f ...more
John
Mar 02, 2012 John rated it really liked it
A great example of events that are not covered well even in college course work. Kendrick was a man that paved the way for America's presence in both the Pacific Northwest as well as the Hawaiian Islands. If not for him Hawaii could well be a part of the British Commonwealth today and Washington and Oregon may have been part of Canada.
Nat Bond
Dec 09, 2012 Nat Bond rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and exciting account of the life of a true American hero, John Kendrick. I had never heard of his findings and accomplishments, as I suspect most Americans have not. I recommend this book to everyone who has an interest in American history.
Jacob Mandel
Mar 23, 2013 Jacob Mandel rated it really liked it
I'm not a historian so what this book is missing I don't know but it did fulfill my interest and expectations. I enjoyed the detail Ridley added to the facts making it an adventurous read.
John Conrad
Jan 14, 2014 John Conrad rated it it was amazing
Really really good adventure story, If you like this another extremely good book on pacific exploration and trade is called "Nathaniel's Nutmeg"
Paul
May 20, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Kept my interest in the characters until the end. I needed a map to track the journey but was able to plot it in my head most of the time. Never knew of Kendrick until I read this book and was drawn to it based upon the synopsis. It read to me like an historical novel and not just straight-up history; the extensive references backup the real history and the detailed research performed by the author. Strongly recommend.
Paul Amaral
Bill
Apr 29, 2014 Bill rated it liked it
'New' history is always interesting. Although American explorer John Kendrick is the central character, plenty of time is devoted to the competitions and clashes among the United States, Great Britain, and Spain along the Pacific North American coast and Hawaii.
Jim
Dec 19, 2012 Jim rated it liked it
This was a tedious read and only finished half of it. Detailed history in the late 1700's when America was just getting started.
Claire
Claire marked it as to-read
May 30, 2016
Gregory Pedersen
Gregory Pedersen marked it as to-read
May 06, 2016
Lindsay
Lindsay marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2016
Matt Bucklin
Matt Bucklin rated it it was ok
Jun 01, 2016
Bill Howell
Bill Howell rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2016
Ken Watson
Ken Watson is currently reading it
Mar 21, 2016
Andrew Michaels
Andrew Michaels marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2016
Keith Lords
Keith Lords rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2016
M Swett
M Swett rated it it was amazing
Feb 10, 2016
Evan Boening
Evan Boening rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2016
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