This People's Navy: The Making of American Sea Power

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9780029134702: This People's Navy: The Making of American Sea Power

This book is intended as a comprehensive history of the United States Navy in peace and war. The book covers more than two centuries of naval history, tracing the evolution of the force and examining armaments, ship design, naval policy and the careers of leading naval personalities. The book argues that because the United States is a continental power, the Mahaian dictum of achieving command of the sea with line-of-battle ships (later aircraft carriers) has always been at variance with its strategic requirements.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Hagan, a professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy, here ably traces the military, political and technological evolution of the Navy from the days of sail into the nuclear era, and reveals how the Gorbachev administration has called into question the premises of U.S. naval policy and strategy. He describes how the writings of Alfred Thayer Mahan (whose doctrines he considers outdated), combined with geopolitical realignments around the turn of the century, led to the Navy's transformation from a modest hit-and-run unit to a capital-ship force whose mission is to command the seas through decisive engagements between battlefleets. In the latter part of the study, the author analyzes the influences of three figures in the reshaping of the modern Navy: Admiral Hyman Rickover and the creation of the nuclear-powered navy; Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's attempt to reduce the large number of expensive ships; and Navy Secretary John Lehman's reinforcement of Mahanian doctrine with his "carrier as panacea" views. Hagan argues that "the American destiny is rooted in continental North America, and that political concerns with the transoceanic world are fundamentally marginal."
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Hagan (history, U.S. Naval Academy) has written a highly detailed and opinionated survey of American sea power from the naval deliberations of the Continental Congress in 1775 to the maritime strategy of the Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman, in the 1980s. Concentrating on policy and strategy, or what the author calls "the external political and economic environment," this history takes issue with traditional naval historians to present a view of American sea power that recognizes the interaction of many variables, e.g., politics, personalities, and technology. Edward L. Beach's The United States Navy: 200 Years ( LJ 3/1/86) provides a technological view of naval history and Edwin B. Hooper's United States Naval Power in a Changing World (Praeger, 1988) gives a more limited political survey. For complementary views of American naval history, choose Hagan and Beach.
- Harold N. Boyer, Marple P.L., Broomall, Pa.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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