One Hundred Years of Sea Power: The U. S. Navy, 1890-1990

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A navy is a state's main instrument of maritime force. What it should do, what doctrine it holds, what ships it deploys, and how it fights are determined by practical political and military choices in relation to national needs. Choices are made according to the state's goals, perceived threat, maritime opportunity, technological capabilities, practical experience, and, not the least, the way the sea service defines itself and its way of war. This book is a history of the modern U.S. Navy. It explains how the Navy, in the century after 1890, was formed and reformed in the interaction of purpose, experience, and doctrine.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fine book: meticulous, judicious, incisive. It is a book to which the conventional exaggerations—"must" reading, relevant, if you're only going to read one book on the subject, etc.—actually may be said to apply. . . . It is a study of the interactions of technology, bureaucracy, politics and culture, of how an institution adapts, or fails to adapt, to changing conditions. As such, the book belongs on a lot of desks at the Pentagon."—Washington Times

"Baer takes what could have been a dry topic—the political history of the modern U.S. Navy—and turns it into interesting reading."—Library Journal

"This is clearly one of the two or three most important works in American naval history published in the last decade; it has the potential to become a classic in the field. Well researched and carefully nuanced, it provides a distinctive perspective on the evolving historical relationship between national interest and national politics on the one hand and naval power on the other. Not only is this a significant contribution to scholarship—one that will critically influence how historians and political scientists think about American naval power—it is an enormously readable work. Baer writes beautifully, and he has organized his material effectively. The book is fully accessible to anyone interested in naval history."—Edward Rhodes, Rutgers University

"A valuable book that stimulates reflection, reconsideration, and debate."—International History Review

"Policy makers will benefit greatly from reading Baer's erudite review of the navy's previous successes and failures in developing strategy. . . . In seeking to educate both the naval and the non-naval communities, Baer admirably fulfills the special obligation of a public historian to convey to several audiences his special understanding of the institution he serves."—The Public Historian

Library Journal
Baer (U.S. Naval War Coll.) takes what could have been a dry topic-the policy history of the U.S. Navy-and turns it into interesting reading. He reviews the development of, and the problems inherent in, the policy decisions that shaped the U.S. Navy and, in turn, other naval powers. The book follows navy policy makers as they decide what the principal focus of the U.S. Navy will be and then determine the proper makeup of the fleet in order to ensure that the policy be carried out. One fascinating section involves the struggle to determine which branch, the Air Force or Navy, would control the nuclear weapons carried onboard navy vessels. With the strong focus on the policy history of the navy, this book would be valuable for libraries with strong naval sciences and history collections.-Terry Wirick, Erie Cty., Lib. System, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804727945
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 568
  • Sales rank: 1,407,968
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Sea Power and the Fleet Navy, 1890-1910 9
2 The New Navy, 1898-1913 27
3 Neutrality or Readiness? 1913-1917 49
4 War Without Mahan, 1917-1918 64
5 Parity and Proportion, 1919-1922 83
6 Treaty Navy, 1922-1930 104
7 Adapt and Innovate, 1931-1938 119
8 Are We Ready? 1938-1940 146
9 Sea Control, 1941-1942 181
10 Strategic Offensives, 1943-1944 222
11 Victory Drives, 1944-1945 248
12 Why Do We Need a Navy? 1945-1949 275
13 Naval Strategy, 1950-1954 314
14 Containment and the Navy, 1952-1960 332
15 The McNamara Years, 1961-1970 367
16 Disarray, 1970-1980 394
17 High Tide, 1980-1990 418
Conclusion 445
Notes 455
Index 543
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