The Naval Aristocracy: The Golden Age of Annapolis and the Emergence of Modern American Navalism

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Updated with a new preface and foreword, this revelatory portrait of the United States naval officer corps in the late 19th and early 20th centuries has remained a ground-breaking analysis of the backgrounds, education, values, and attitudes of the first two generations of Naval Academy graduates. Focusing on the period after the Civil War, the book deals with the emergence of the United States as a world power and the development of its navy into a professional fighting force. Recognized as a significant study of the naval officer corps, it was named Best Book of the Year by Phi Alpha Theta in 1973.

About the Author:
Peter Karsten is a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, specializing in law and society and military systems

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591144281
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 462
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Karsten is a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of many books, including the three-volume Encyclopedia on War and American Society.
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Table of Contents

Foreword     vii
Preface to this 2008 Paperback Edition     xi
An Introduction     xiii
Errata     xviii
The Naval Aristocracy: A Composite Portrait
Where They Came From: The Social Origins of the Naval Aristocracy     3
The British Backdrop
Political Influence
The Social Origins of the Candidates
Choosing Annapolis
The Education of the Naval Officer     23
Assimilation: A New Loyalty
Service, Glory, Honor
Class and Manners
The Curriculum
Learning to Obey
The End Product: "A Band of Brothers"
Naval Life and Society     51
Underway     52
The Romance of the Open Sea
Pay and Rank
The Staff-Line Controversy
Shipboard Diversions and Cultured Naval Gentry
The Religion of the Commissioned
The Crew
"Semper Fidelis"
Officer-Enlisted Relations
Shipboard Discipline
"The Captain is King" and "The King Can Do No Wrong"
Jack Tar and the "New Navy"
In Foreign Ports     101
Anglo-American Naval Rapport; or, Victorians Rule the Waves
Family Life Abroad
Naval Life in the States     121
Marriage in the Navy
The Naval Family
Retirement and Beyond
What They Did: The Navy's Role in Diplomacy     140
Asia and the Pacific
Latin America and the Caribbean
Europe, Africa, and the Mediterranean
The U.S. Navy in War and Peace: Some Observations
Some Ancestors of the Military Industrial Complex
Why TheyDid It: The Naval Mind     186
The External World     187
The Critique of the Business World
"Police of the World"
National Loyalty
National Honor
National Interest
The Social and Political Ideas of American Naval Officers
Man, Pacifism, and the Causes of War
"Mission" and Missionaries
National Darwinism
The War with Spain and the Philippines
The Navy and the "Pax Americana"
The Internal World     250
Dedication to the Navy
Inter-Service Relations
Personal Honor
The Pursuit of Glory
The Warmongers and the Military Spirit
Summary: The Naval Officer's Concept of His Role     267
The Ideological Roots of Modern Navalism
Career Anxiety and the "New Navy": The 1880s     277
The Background
The Crisis
The Response
The Concept of Sea Power
Mahan Reconsidered     326
From Sail to Steam
"Wrapped up in the Navy"
Mahan and Sea Power
"Progressives," "Conservatives," and Captain Mahan
Retirement and Beyond
Victory: The New Navalism     353
The Ships
The Line
The Reserve
"La Propaganda"
A Summing-Up and Some Final Observations     385
Acknowledgments     397
Bibliographies     399
Non-Government Bibliographical Publications
Government Bibliographical Publications
Primary Sources     400
Manuscript Collections (Listed alphabetically by repository)
Congressional Reports
Other Government Publications
Magazines, Journals, etc.
Some Important Articles from the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute
Published Autobiographies of Naval Officers
Shipboard Recollections of Enlisted Men
Novels, Poems, and Stories Written by Naval Officers
Other Primary Sources
Secondary Sources     427
Dissertations and Master's Essays
Biographies and Composite Biographies of Naval Officers
Secondary Sources; Articles and Chapters
Secondary Sources: Books
Name Index     443
General Index     453
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