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The Lost Hero of Cape Cod tells the story of an extraordinary nineteenth-century mariner… and of a morale-boosting victory for the young United States over Britain in the commercial battle that broke out on the Atlantic after the War of 1812. Born in a small village on Cape Cod in 1809, Asa Eldridge grew up to become one of the world’s greatest shipmasters. Even today, he still holds the record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a sailing ship, which he set on a run from New York to Liverpool in 1854. But this record is only part of his story, which includes voyages to numerous countries, command of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s private yacht, an early move into steamships, and a mysterious end that eerily foreshadowed the Titanic disaster half a century later. In recounting Eldridge’s fascinating career, Vincent Miles also tells a much broader story—of the rise of America’s merchant navy to a dominant position over Britain’s in the decades following the War of 1812, and of the government-subsidized British response that created the legendary Cunard Line. And along the way, Miles offers a guided tour of the maritime trade that shaped America, and a memorial to the courageous men who made it possible.