The Rise And Fall of British Naval Mastery
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The Rise And Fall of British Naval Mastery

3.87 (108 ratings by Goodreads)
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Paul Kennedy's classic naval history, now updated with a new introduction by the author

This acclaimed book traces Britain's rise and fall as a sea power from the Tudors to the present day. Challenging the traditional view that the British are natural 'sons of the waves', he suggests instead that the country's fortunes as a significant maritime force have always been bound up with its economic growth. In doing so, he contributes significantly to the centuries-long debate between 'continental' and 'maritime' schools of strategy over Britain's policy in times of war. Setting British naval history within a framework of national, international, economic, political and strategic considerations, he offers a fresh approach to one of the central questions in British history. A new introduction extends his analysis into the twenty-first century and reflects on current American and Chinese ambitions for naval mastery.

'Excellent and stimulating' Correlli Barnett

'The first scholar to have set the sweep of British Naval history against the background of economic history' Michael Howard, Sunday Times

'By far the best study that has ever been done on the subject ... a sparkling and apt quotation on practically every page' Daniel A. Baugh, International History Review

'The best single-volume study of Britain and her naval past now available to us' Jon Sumida, Journal of Modern History
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Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 26mm | 337g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0141983825
  • 9780141983820
  • 839,811

Review quote

The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery is the best single-volume study of Britain and her naval past now available to us. -- Jon Sumida * Journal of Modern History * As soon as it appeared in 1976, Paul M. Kennedy's magisterial survey of the historical role and significance of British seapower was recognized by serious naval historians as a work of first importance ... This is by far the most important survey of British Naval history since Sir Herbert Richmond's Statesmen and Sea Power (1946), and in some ways it is more important ... the whole book displays an immense historiographical grasp of a calibre that broad surveys seldom attain. The author's unfailing powers of discernment are further revealed by a sparkling and apt quotation on practically every page. -- Daniel A. Baugh * International History Review *
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About Paul Kennedy

Paul Kennedy is among the world's best-selling and most influential historians. Raised in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he took his doctorate in Oxford and began work shortly afterwards for the first great historian of WW2, Sir Basil Liddell Hart. He now teaches at Yale, and is the author or editor of nineteen books, including The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (translated into over twenty languages), and Engineers of Victory: The Problem Solvers Who Turned the Tide in the Second World War.
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Review Text

The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery is the best single-volume study of Britain and her naval past now available to us. Jon Sumida Journal of Modern History
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Rating details

108 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 27% (29)
4 43% (46)
3 22% (24)
2 8% (9)
1 0% (0)
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