How many times have you heard someone say, "If I'd only asked Granpa--Uncle Joe, mother--about that. Now I don't suppose we'll ever know where, how, who, when such-and-such happened."
That problem is resolved in Fighting Bob when the narrator--with the help of some pretty overwhelming pain killers--meets up with his great-great-great grandfather and follows "the Commodore's" adventures as a lad in the War of 1812 to the conquest of the California Territory in the 1840s. Over those forty-some years Robert Stockton carried Nelson's strategy of "creative disobedience" to the extreme and, as he wryly notes, "it is a two edged sword."
This is a fascinating little book containing an enormous amount of information presented in dialogue that makes it easy and fun to follow. What with Barbary Pirates and duels and "political skullduggery" and steam warships (with single screw type propellers, no less) and an incredible cast of famous (and infamous) contemporaries, we have a story set in the same seas as the fictional Patrick O'Brien books, the same annoyingly duplicitous Washington as today, and a West as wild as Hollywood ever envisioned.