The Command of the Ocean

The Command of the Ocean : A Naval History of Britain, 1649 -1815

4.31 (316 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Command of the Ocean describes with unprecedented authority and scholarship the rise of Britain to naval greatness, and the central place of the Navy and naval activity in the life of the nation and government. Based on the author's own research in a dozen languages over more than a decade, it describes not just battles, voyages, and cruises but also how the Navy was manned, supplied, fed, and, above all, how it was financed and directed.

N. A. M. Rodger provides convincing reassessments of such famous figures as Pepys, Hawke, Howe, and St. Vincent. The very particular and distinct qualities of Nelson and Collingwood are illuminatingly contrasted, and the world of officers and men who make up the originals of Jack Aubrey and Horatio Hornblower is brilliantly brought to life. Rodger's comparative view of other navies-French, Dutch, Spanish, and American-allows him to make a fresh assessment of the qualities of the British.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 976 pages
  • 165 x 244 x 51mm | 1,391g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • American.
  • 24 pages of illustrations
  • 0393060500
  • 9780393060508
  • 848,959

Review quote

"Rodger illuminates the world of Nelson and Hardy and its portrayal by C. F. Forrester in the Hornblower novels and Patrick O'Brian in the Aubrey and Maturin cycle . . . to understand the Royal Navy at its peak, Rodger's account is indispensable" -- Washington Post Book World "As Mr. Rodger demonstrates on almost every page, if you do not understand the importance of British maritime history, you can never fully understand Britain." -- The Economist
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About N. A. M. Rodger

N. A. M. Rodger is professor of naval history at Exeter University and a fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of The Wooden World and the highly acclaimed volumes of his naval history of Britain, The Safeguard of the Sea and The Command of the Ocean. He lives in England.
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Rating details

316 ratings
4.31 out of 5 stars
5 51% (160)
4 33% (104)
3 15% (47)
2 1% (3)
1 1% (2)
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