'Land has written a thought-provoking book; his themes are well-illustrated and argued with subtlety. An interesting collection of views on the changing perception of seamen, which will benefit students of social, cultural, media, and art history.' H-Albion
"In this engaging cultural history, War, Nationalism, and the British Sailor gives agency and new meaning to the lives of the men and women who sailed (or claimed to have sailed) during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With adroit argument and elegant prose, Land reinterprets accepted maritime narratives and, as a consequence, forces us to re-consider what was at stake in the larger British context. By charting a course to bring maritime history ashore, Land deftly integrates the maritime into larger national narratives about British identity." - Mary Conley, Associate Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross and Author of From Jack Tar to Union Jack: Naval Manhood in the British Empire, 1870-1918.
"Land's argument - that 'Jack Tar' as a cultural product was born of the nation-building that began at the end of the seventeenth century and then disappeared after the sailing navy had accomplished its task in the early decades of the nineteenth century - is compelling and believable . . .This is a new argument, and it does a better job of explaining the changing role of the sailor in British national culture as well as the ambivalent feelings of those same sailors towards the nation-building project than any book I have read. Land uses a range of different sources to make his case, and in general displays great creativity in interpreting them . . .The author writes in a very lively and engaging manner. His use of anecdote, his portrait of the portside world, and his sense of humor and irony all combine to make this an excellent read." - Daniel Vickers, Professor of History, University of British Columbia