History Forgets Those Who Leave Little Paper Trail

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Source of book image: online version of the WSJ review quoted and cited below.

Like most of his fellow students, Barry stayed on just long enough get a grasp on the three Rs without abandoning his Catholic faith. One result of this abbreviated education was a lifelong tendency to keep all correspondence as short and simple as possible. Thus this brave, able man of action left only a minimal paper trail for future historians and biographers. John Paul Jones–an eloquent, prolific and unabashedly self-promoting letter writer–has inspired at least three major biographies in the past few years alone. It has been 72 years since the appearance of the last reliable biography of his rival, William Bell Clark’s “Gallant John Barry.”

For the full review, see:
ARAM BAKSHIAN JR.. “BOOKSHELF; The Revolutionary War’s Other Naval Hero.” The New York Times (Sat., JUNE 5, 2010).

The book under review is:
McGrath, Tim. John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail. Yardley, PA: Westholme Publishing, 2010.

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