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From the Publisher
"This is a detailed, well-referenced, fascinating account of the development before and during the American Civil War of two new forms of warship and a complex naval arms race involvnig three powers."
The Northern Mariner
"By placing the early ironclad fleets of Britain and America in their diplomatic context, Fuller provides an altogether more persuasive explanation of naval technology and the war of words between Admirals, engineers and politicians that swept both countries. A work of the first importance."
A Specialist Publication
"Between 1860 and 1863, British and American navies faced a technological revolution in ship construction admist a cold war with the Trent crisis, British aid to the South, and fears of a blockade felt by Northern cities. Dr. Fuller provides a detailed description of the players--private engineers, admiralty, contractors, Department of the Navy, departments and officers, diplomats, and politicians--on both sides of the Atlantic….[T]he book should be of interest to anyone concerned with handling technological change, contracting, deterrance, the effect of political oversight, publicity, and the maneuvering of statesman during a time of crisis."
Catholic Library World
"The US Civil War witnessed new engines of war, some of the most powerful of which were naval guns mounted on shallow draft, armor-protected warships. Most prominent were the monitors. Deployment of these vessels in inshore waters changed naval warfare and gave the Federal Navy advantage over the Confederacy. The naval construction program of the Federal Navy had marked influence in Great Britain, where naval architects and gunnery experts pondered the influence such new mechanisms would have in their own narrow seas. France took a similar interest, causing Britain anguish. But the British Admiralty realized that the Royal Navy could not blockade US ports if war broke out with the US: ironclads in brown water could ruin British naval supremacy. Based on various documentary troves in the US and Britain, this work seeks to compare and contrast the influence that new technological innovation had on the emerging US power at sea and the reactions of the British government, Parliament, and Admiralty."
"Howard J. Fuller's book expands our view of the American Civil War at sea by examining the interplay between the ironclad programs and diplomatic relations of the US and Great Britain. […] Fuller's integration of the competing ironclad programs into the international scene is well-done and thought-provoking. For the Union, it broadens the debate about the monitor program by expanding the criteria for 'success' from operations to strategy. Through his highly detailed research, Fuller clearly shows the monitors' effect in neutralizing the 'blunt instrument of 'Palmerstonian Diplomacy'' [xxvi] Serious scholars need this book; the insights it contains will repay the effort in reading it."
International Journal of Maritime History
"Howard Fuller's Clad in Iron is a particularly welcome and interesting example because he integrates two stories which have usually been told not only in isolation, but as it were facing in opposite directions: the Franco-British story of how the
Europeans invented the ironclad, and the Union–Confederate story of how the Americans invented the ironclad.[…] The focus is close and the level of detail is likely to overwhelm the casual reader, but this is an important book and in many ways a model of how this sort of history ought to be written."
War in History