Lincoln and His Admirals

Lincoln and His Admirals

4.2 (257 ratings by Goodreads)
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In 1952, T. Harry Williams wrote the classic study, Lincoln and His Generals. Half a century later, Craig Symonds will write its necessary follow-up, Lincoln and His Admirals - a much-needed history of the Union navy during the Civil War. Given the wealth of books on the military history of the Civil War, surprisingly little has been written about the role of the navy. As Symonds shows, Abraham Lincoln began his presidency as well as the war with virtually no knowledge of naval affairs, lacking both exposure and interest given his upbringing in the Midwest. Despite his inexperience, he quickly came to preside over the largest national armada of the century, not eclipsed until the World War I. This was a remarkable feat given the poor shape, at least by European standards, of the Union navy in 1861. As Symonds argues, Americans had previously viewed the U.S. navy with some skepticism, regarding navies as essentially aristocratic bodies, or, worse, tools of empire.Symonds's book outlines the four factors that explain Lincoln's success in building a strong Union navy - his pragmatism, his willingness to judge men based on performance rather than politics, his command of new technology, and his deft hand at diplomacy.
Mostly, however, this book will be a compelling portrait of the naval officers and their relationships to Lincoln, as well as a lucid argument for the role of the navy in securing victory for the Union.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 444 pages
  • 165.1 x 233.68 x 35.56mm | 748.42g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195310225
  • 9780195310221
  • 2,169,804

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION: LINCOLN AND THE NAVY; PART ONE: 1861: GETTING UNDER WAY; 1. Lincoln and the Fort Sumter Crisis; 2. Lincoln and the Blockade; 3. Lincoln and the Trent Affair; PART TWO: 1862: CHARTING A COURSE; 4. Lincoln and the River War, I; 5. Lincoln and the Monitor; 6. Lincoln as Adjudicator; PART THREE: 1863: TROUBLED WATERS; 7. Lincoln, Charleston, and Vicksburg; 8. Lincoln and the Contrabands; 9. Lincoln and Wartime Politics; PART FOUR: 1864: FULL SPEED AHEAD; 10. Lincoln and the Red River Campaign; 11. Lincoln and the Politics of Promotion; 12. Lincoln and the Fort Fisher Expedition; PART FIVE: 1865: FINAL HARBOR; EPILOGUE: GIDEON WELLES AND THE LINCOLN LEGACY; NOTES, BIBLIOGRAPHY, INDEX
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Review quote

Symond's book is a splendid account...based on conscientious research in both unpublished and published sources. It is written fluently and digestibly, and will appeal to a wide readership. Brian Holden Reid, Times Literary Supplement [A] Pioneering study ... Symonds is to be commended for a strong and original contribution to our understanding of how the Civil War at sea and on America's rivers was mishandled by commander-in-cheif - and confirmed landlubber - Abraham Lincoln. United States Naval Institute
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About Craig L. Symonds

Craig L. Symonds is Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy and the author of ten previous books, including Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History, which won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Prize in 2006.
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Rating details

257 ratings
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 45% (116)
4 35% (91)
3 15% (39)
2 4% (9)
1 1% (2)
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