A respected writer of naval history, Long is most qualified to write this first biography of "Mad Jack," an unusual and controversial figure in the early days of the U.S. Navy. Using family accounts and primary materials, Long recounts the 40-year naval career of this maverick naval officer and in doing so gives the low-down on how the Navy worked in its nascent years. Anyone interested in eighteenth and nineteenth century military history will find this engrossing reading. This popularly written but scholarly study covers the unusual Navy captain, whose career spanned the globe. Long provides a chronological account of Captain Percival's early years; his command during the War of 1812; his administrative duties at the Boston Navy Yard; his trips to the Pacific; mutinies; an incident with missionaries in Hawaii and the subsequent trial; cruises to the Caribbean; South America; and the Mediterranean; a trek around the world in the mid-1840s; his retirement; and his final years. Extensive notes and a bibliographical essay guide the reader to other important sources for those studying the period. Numerous maps are also provided.