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      Hello fellow modellers   02/04/2018

      We would like to present on our Facebook page more regularly pictures of your work. If you would like to participate, and we would appreciate that as we wanna promote the forum this way, please visit https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/17711-your-images-for-our-facebook-page/

    • kurtvd19

      An Incentive to Start A Build Log - New Plan Set from the NRG   03/17/2018

      An Incentive for Starting a Build Log

      The NRG’s Generic East Coast Oyster Sharpie plan sets have been selling out – we had to reorder prints 2X already.

      BUT nobody has started a build log yet.  As an incentive we have decided to reward the first three (3) MSW / NRG members who purchase the plans and start and continue* actual build logs** from the plans. 

      The build logs should be started in the scratch built forum and labeled with Generic Sharpie – by “your ID”.  When we have six or more build logs up and running we will set up a group build area for the Generic Sharpie build logs.

      The winners will be able to pick any one of the prizes listed below:

      Free registration for one day at 2018 or 2019 NRG Conference                  ($145 value)

      Shop Notes 1 and 2 set                                                                         ($60 value)

      Nautical Research Journal – all content set                                              ($145 value)

      4 CD's or 1 flash drive         

      Continental Galley Washington Plan set                                                    ($65 value)

      1 year NRG membership or extension                                                      ($50 - $62 value)

      THE RULES

       

      *“Continue” means that multiple posts containing build log content must be made for a minimum of 30 days after the initial post.  Logs will be tracked by starting date and the first 3 that have continued for 30 days following their initial post will be declared the winners.

      **Note the words “actual build logs” – no fair showing a few pieces of wood and going no further just to win. 

       

      The NRG has a new set of plans available for purchase with a free 200+ page full-color monograph .  Check the NAUTICAL RESEARCH GUILD NEWS forum below for details.  This plan set is developed for the first time scratch builder with limited tools and experience.  All materials are standard strip stock available from hobby wood suppliers.  However, it is also a great project for the more experienced builder looking for a smaller project to take a break from the bigger builds.  Remember MSW Members who provide us their real name are considered members for the discounted price.  An email or call to the office before you order with your real name and MSW user name before you order is needed for the discount code.

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  1. Rough Waters: Sovereignty and the American Merchant Flag By Rodney Carlisle Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2017 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xii + 278 pages Photographs, tables, notes, bibliography, index. $31.95 ISBN: 9781682470091 In Rough Waters, Rodney P. Carlisle studies the emotional symbolism attached to the United States flag and its merchant marine fleet. According to the author, American naval and political figures adhered to an eighteenth century gentleman’s honor code. As a result, the language, rhetoric, and values associated with the gentleman’s honor code frame the government’s approach to national and international politics. Carlisle argues that the United States flag, as an extension of American identity, embodies the emotional, symbolic, and cultural values of the nation. Consequently, the treatment of merchant ships operating under the United States flag abroad is considered a matter of national honor. Merchant vessels occasionally ignite conflict between the United States and other global powers. The appropriate response to the insult of the flag’s honor, as per the gentleman’s honor code regarding duels, is a display of force. Nevertheless, Carlisle argues, since 1939 the United States has avoided participation in a war to defend national honor due to the change in nationality of flags on American-owned merchant vessels. In his analysis of post-Revolutionary and Antebellum maritime history, Carlisle fails to account for the other contributing political, societal, and economic factors that led to historical maritime events and military confrontations. While the argument regarding the flag and its ties to national honor as instigators of maritime conflict is compelling, the intervention of the American military in the examples used by Carlisle can be described as a nation protecting its economic interests. As is, Carlisle’s exclusion of the numerous political, economic, and societal issues that influenced maritime events and conflicts makes his examination of post-Revolutionary and Antebellum history one-dimensional. Additionally, Carlisle argues that the United States was able to remain neutral at the beginning of World War II because merchant ships owned by American corporations began to fly foreign flags. As a consequence of the flag change and transfer in registries, the American flag and national honor were not at risk at sea. It was then unnecessary for the United States to interfere when American-owned foreign-flagged ships carrying cargo to the Allies were attacked. Nonetheless, as Carlisle states, there were government officials who saw the transfer of flags and registry of ships transporting cargo for the Allies as a violation of the intent of the neutrality law, and, therefore, dishonorable. The politicians who disagreed with the decision to transfer ship registries to Panama contradict Carlisle’s argument. Thus, the United States’ maritime policies regarding trade with warring nations between 1939-1941 betray the gentleman’s code of honor that Carlisle describes. Despite these weaknesses, Carlisle presents a thought-provoking argument regarding the symbolism and national honor of the American merchant flag in connection to maritime conflicts. The text’s most noteworthy contribution to present scholarly literature is its discussion of maritime law and the “flight” of the flag. Carlisle’s book is a comprehensive analysis of the legal basis for today’s shipping industry and registry system. His discussion of the reasons and timing for the change in national flags onboard American merchant vessels is undoubtedly useful. Rough Waters, although flawed, is a valuable addition to current scholarship dedicated to the legal side of maritime history. Anna D’Jernes East Carolina University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  2. China’s Quest for Great Power: Ships, Oil, and Foreign Policy By Bernard D. Cole Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2016 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xii + 304 pages Maps, tables, notes, bibliography, index. $34.95 ISBN: 9781612518381 Captain Bernard D. Cole examines the interrelationship of naval power, energy security, and foreign policy, as well as the significance these three elements have in China’s national security policy in China’s Quest for Great Power. Cole analyzes both the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) desire to maintain legitimacy, and President Xi Jinping’s domestic and foreign policies, as well as their correlation with one another, to illustrate the importance of maritime power in China’s pursuit of continued economic prosperity and energy security. Cole successfully argues that China’s drive for national security supports China’s larger goal of reestablishing itself as a central force in the Asiatic region as well as the world. Cole discusses Xi Jinping’s desire to avoid “Western values” infiltrating China, and argues that the United States is China’s main strategic concern; however, he asserts that domestic concerns will overshadow foreign concerns, indubitably, as regime legitimacy of the CCP rests in Chinese society rather than issues abroad. Cole references statements and policies released by Xi as well as Beijing’s 2015 military strategy, among other military documents, to the effect that having a strong economy supersedes naval growth for China. Yet, the navy will continue to grow as maritime power ensures energy security, which is needed for continued economic growth and domestic support of the CCP. Cole asserts that, as the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s power grows, other countries will continue to grow wary of China’s mixed soft and hard policies and its focus on its own interests in the global paradigm. Growing tension will inevitably impact China’s foreign policies and continued debates on national sovereignty. The biggest challenge facing Cole is the constraints of a book. Cole’s analysis ends with 2016, prior to the election in China. Though he provides an excellent analysis of China’s non-transparent policies, new editions of the book will be needed as time continues to pass and China gets closer to 2049, the year of China’s modernization goal, in order to understand the country’s policies as it continues to rise in power. Despite the time constraints, Cole does an excellent job explaining that the elements of naval power, energy security, and foreign policy will remain crucial in China’s national security policy as time progresses. Cole’s thorough research, paired with providing much needed attention to Xi Jinping’s periphery diplomacy and policy, results in a strong analysis of China and the country’s rise as a global force. Cole has convincing evidence in China’s words and actions to illustrate the nation’s goal in becoming a world power, though it remains focused on its domestic needs as opposed to concerns in the global paradigm. The insights provided on United States-China relations, as well as relations between China and the Asiatic region and world at large, will prove beneficial to academics; however, the style and approach will also appeal to general readers who are interested in China and China’s quest for power in the modern world. Kayla E. Green East Carolina University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  3. America, Sea Power, and the World Edited by James C. Bradford Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2016 7-1/2: x 9-1/2”, softcover, xxiii + 379 pages Illustrations, maps, tables, notes, bibliography, index. $39.95 ISBN: 9781118927939 Although assessments of the rise of American preeminence on the seas are not few, James C. Bradford’s America, Sea Power, and the World is an impressive treatment of the important topic. Bradford, serving as editor for the work, has mustered an impressive array of naval historians for the task, and his skill as an editor has given the book a surprisingly smooth narrative quality. Most of the authors are affiliated with the United States Naval Academy, and their expertise in each chapter is clear. Across the numerous authors, one strand of argument is apparent: the course of American history is inseparably bound to the nation’s ability to innovate and project sea power. In advancing this thesis, the authors are overwhelmingly successful in providing a useful overview for experts and casual readers alike. Bradford lays a useful base of naval history in the first chapter of the book. Though entirely predating the emergence of the United States as a sovereign nation, this chapter makes clear the connections between political power on land and sea power around the world. Once the book proceeds to its study of American sea power in particular, these early principles reappear in the close relationship between the fortunes of the nation and its navy. As the chapters progress throughout American history, no major naval episode is neglected, giving the topic sufficient coverage, even if certain areas are not explored to a sufficient depth for a specialist’s use. One of the book’s best contributions is “Defending Imperial Interests in Asia and the Caribbean, 1898-1941.” These oft-forgotten events are an important part of America’s naval story at the turn of the twentieth century, and the chapter’s author, Aaron B. O’Connell, lends the dense topic considerable clarity. Bradford has dedicated more space to the American Civil War and World War II than to other American military struggles, but this understandably reflects the large body of scholarship already dedicated to these periods. America, Sea Power, and the World will work nicely in courses surveying American naval history and will appeal to students of varying levels of familiarity with the topic. One of the book’s great strengths is its readability amid technical topics, lending it a broad readership that will undoubtedly include people outside the typical scope of professional history. Some chapters also depart from the rigid chronological framework to discuss important technological trends that cross large time periods. From beginning to end, America, Sea Power, and the World displays the unique history of American naval power at home and abroad. Despite the work’s breadth, each aspect of America’s naval history receives useful coverage. The book concludes with an exploration of the future of naval power in light of challenges to American hegemony. As Bradford’s book aptly proves, America must innovate in the midst of wearying change to maintain its position of leadership among ascendant powers. Austin Croom East Carolina University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  4. A Tale of Two Navies: Geopolitics, Technology, and Strategy in the United States Navy and the Royal Navy, 1960-2015 By Anthony R. Wells Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2017 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xi + 250 pages Photographs, table, notes, bibliography, index. $35.00 ISBN: 9781682471203 Anthony R. Wells’s A Tale of Two Navies: Geopolitics, Technology, and Strategy in the United States Navy and the Royal Navy, 1960-2015 is an intriguing work that discusses the relationship between the United States Navy and the Royal Navy. He covers all aspects of this strategic relationship, focusing on several specific events including the emergence of the Soviet Navy, the Walker Spy Ring, and the Falklands Campaign of 1982. He also discusses the roles that Intelligence played in creating and furthering this relationship. Wells states that he hopes readers form their own ideas of events that transpired over this fifty-five year course of history and the ways that those events will shape the naval strategy of the future. The book is not a strict chronology, but an overview of themes and naval interactions. Wells’s discussion includes all aspects of the developments in technology and intelligence, the post-World War II political shifts that caused restructuring of the military, and global security issues from 1960 to 2015. He begins with an examination of the organizational changes in the navies of both nations post-World War II. While there were many changes, the United States Navy and the Royal Navy remained close, building on existing agreements and security arrangements. The author also offers his interpretation of naval strategy in the nuclear era, stressing that the Cold War remained cold due, in large part, to naval leadership of the time. Throughout the book, Wells challenges his reader to consider that events of the past could parallel future global military events. For example, the rise of a Chinese navy easily equates to the rise of the Soviet Navy post-World War II. Lessons can be learned from this regarding strategy and policy. Wells provides an engaging discussion on the strategic relationship between the United States Navy and the Royal Navy. His work is backed with an extensive bibliography, including many primary sources. This provides an excellent and useful bibliography for those interested in naval history of the Cold War period. A Tale of Two Navies is a true work of academic history, engaging readers and forcing them to think for themselves. His own service for both British and American Intelligence gives him a unique perspective on this period in history, as well as on the relationship between the two countries. Overall, Wells provides an extremely well-written and researched book on his chosen topic. His discussion is convincing and concise, and his style of writing is smooth and understandable. Additionally, the book includes an excellent section of source notes bound together by the personal experiences of the author. Wells’s work is a valuable discussion on naval partnership and strategy in the modern period. Annie Wright East Carolina University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  5. Faces of the Civil War Navies: An Album of Union and Confederate Sailors By Ronald S. Coddington Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016 6” x 9”, hardcover, xxxiii + 401 pages Photographs, notes, references, index. $32.95 ISBN: 9781421421360 Photographs, and the stories they tell, are rare among Civil War literature. Faces of the Civil War Navies unearths photographs, known as cartes de visite, and offers details of their origin. Both Union and Confederate navies have a rich history, although many of their contributions are not familiar to the average historical reader. The author, Ronald S. Coddington, is a photographer by trade, although his previous books testify to his abilities as a historian. His writing style offers vital details of each individual’s life. This tactic allows the author to include more soldiers and sailors, which benefits the book. The author does not include just the name of each alongside a picture, rather he covers the key aspects of their war experience. Each cartes de visite has a unique story to tell beyond the blank stare usually seen throughout Civil War photography. A compelling aspect of Faces of the Civil War Navies is the author’s choice to include both navies in the book. In doing so, he displays professionalism at the highest level free of any bias. It would be easy to mention just the Union Navy given the abundance of material available compared to their counterpart. Choosing to track down both sides exemplifies the author’s dedication to the topic. He identifies more Union figures due to the lack of Confederate cartes de visite available today, but all soldiers and sailors chronicled in the book risked their lives for a cause they deemed important. Mentioning participants from both sides allows a fuller understanding of both navies during the war. The author’s choice to incorporate all figures of rank into his book is admirable. Listing over seventy different profiles, alongside their cartes de visite, bolsters his objective further. Finding information relating to officers, while difficult, pales in comparison to that of enlisted men. The author has managed to track enlisted men’s stories through multiple avenues proving his devotion to exhaustive research. While common in historical writing, this research is unusual given the proclivities of photographers and the author’s use of cartes de visite. Faces of the Civil War Navies pursues a new angle of studying sailors of both the Confederate and Union Navies. This angle is presented in the form of cartes de visite with each one being unique from another. Photography, while not widely available during the Civil War, has become integral to the study of this particular subject. Additionally, the author displays immense passion by offering personal details connected to each cartes de visite. Placing stories along with faces provides a sense of connection to every soldier or sailor. Faces of the Civil War Navies offers an enjoyable reading experience across all levels of academia. Daniel Krentz East Carolina University This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  6. Playing War: Wargaming and U.S. Navy Preparations for World War II By John M. Lillard Bethesda: Potomac Press, 2016 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, 210 pages Illustrations, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. $39.95 ISBN: 9781612347738 John M. Lillard’s study of war games, aptly titled Playing War: Wargaming and U.S. Navy Preparations for World War II, dissects the players, game processes, and phases of wargaming during the interwar period. Wargaming proved to be a useful tool for the United States Navy in preparing for the naval battles of World War II. The wargames gave the Navy an upper hand, because they could predict movements of enemy ships based on the aforementioned games. In his attempt to prove if the war games and the Naval College had any historical agency, he delves into a previously under-explored topic. To prove his thesis, Lillard examines the impact of individual games and their players on the war effort, while also assessing the overall effects of wargaming through the inter-war period. Unlike historians such as Peter Perla and Michael Vlahos, Lillard reveals the significance of the war games to the development of technology and, ultimately, to the success of the United States Navy during World War II. Lillard first breaks down the Naval War College’s strategies and their assessments into sections. Using an assortment of charts, graphs, and images to support his thesis Lillard delivers the most in-depth study of war gaming to date. Through Lillard’s research, he found that war games were necessary to teach decision-making skills, as well as develop technology to advance the Navy. He uses speeches, diaries, and official records from the inter-war period as a primary basis for his argument. The downfall to Lillard’s sources is the focus on popular figures, such as Admiral Chester Nimitz, and the lack of voices from enlisted personnel. He does assess the data from the graduating classes, such as the number and type. He also shows the different fictional opponents throughout the wargames and provides graphics to aid in understanding for those without a military background. At times, Lillard’s argument seemed long-winded. The lack of representation by other scholars in reference to the war games could be because the argument can be summed up within a few pages. But, Lillard was able to redeem his work by providing stories that piqued the reader’s interest when facts became dull. His assessment of the early phase, from 1919 to 1927, is particularly interesting, especially when he delves into one of the later exercises in 1927. The class of 1927 worked through a game that focused on both land and sea objectives, with special situations thrown at them at every turn. The class had to adapt to changes given through the games, leading to further advancements in the games. Because Lillard uses individual games, his monograph has a narrative quality, aiding the readability of his work. While this history would be more aptly used by a military historian, the narrative aspect and the clear visual aids allow anyone to enjoy Lillard’s book. He determines that the Naval War College deserves agency within the historical context of preparations for battle, which he sums up nicely in the conclusion. Playing War is a well-written, well-researched, and well-received monograph adding a new facet to military history and the study of naval advancements. Courtney Webb University of West Florida This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  7. Sea Miner: Major E.B. Hunt’s Civil War Rocket Torpedo, 1862-1863 By Chuck Veit Lulu.com, 2016 6” x 9”, softcover, 216 pages Photographs, appendices, diagrams, notes, bibliography, index. $17.00 ISBN: 9781329736382 In the realm of Civil War naval history, academic writers have generally focused on big picture topics such as biographies of naval officers and general histories, for example, James McPherson’s War on the Waters and Craig Symonds’ The Civil War at Sea. However, if one digs deeper there has been much good work done on the fringes of naval warfare by either public historians or subject matter enthusiasts. Examples abound, from the histories of torpedo warfare by Milton Perry, W. Davis Waters, and Mike Kochan, to Mark Ragan’s research on Civil War submarine warfare. Much of this fine work, including the book under review here, is self-published. While that may make it more difficult to find, the search can be well worth the effort. Chuck Veit’s Sea Miner: Major E.B. Hunt’s Civil War Rocket Torpedo, 1862-1863 is a fine example of excellent work being done in Civil War naval history. Veit is no stranger to unique and different topics, having published numerous books about Civil War history and having been keenly interested in the hunt for USS Alligator, the Union Navy’s little-known submarine. He is also a long-time living historian and President of the Navy & Marine Living History Association. In Sea Miner, Veit brings to light a little-known and long-forgotten piece of naval history, the Union attempts to design and build a self-propelled underwater torpedo. Due to the paucity of resources—Major Hunt destroyed much of his own documentation to maintain secrecy—Veit admits that some of this story relies on speculation, conjecture, or just plain educated guessing. However, he has pieced together enough documentary evidence to produce a solid history of this project. The research is impressive; the amount of primary source material used is laudable considering how much must have been destroyed. Not only does Veit show a strong grasp of the history of this project, he is able to convey the scientific and mathematical complexity of it without getting too bogged down. In fact, Chapter XI is the only chapter that reads more scientific than historical. Throughout the course of the book, Veit covers all the bases. He gives a solid biographical account of Hunt’s life, details previous efforts to design and build such weapons systems, gives a good overview of the Brooklyn Navy Yard where the project was housed, and conveys as full an accounting as possible of the Sea Miner project. He highlights the interplay and cooperation between the Army and Navy, as Hunt was on assignment from the Army to work on this project. What emerges is not simply a history of the Sea Miner project, but a book that underscores the brilliant scientific mind of Hunt. The story is primary, while many of the scientific details are left to the appendices; this allows the story to flow without becoming overly technical. Veit does allow his regional bias to show, never using the term “Civil War” outside of the book’s title. He prefers the official period designation “War of the Rebellion,” but on occasions throughout the text uses “Slaveholder’s Rebellion” and “Slaveholder’s Revolt” as well. That might not endear him to diehard Confederate apologists, but it does not detract from his excellent work. Andrew Duppstadt North Carolina State Historic Sites This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  8. A New History of Yachting By Mike Bender Woodbridge, Sussex: The Boydell Press, 2017 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xix + 441 pages Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $115.00 ISBN: 9781783271337 Being neither a yachtsman or historian, it was with some apprehension that this amateur modeler and consumer of nautical lore took up this volume. As it covers the subject of “leisure sailing” as it evolved in the early United Kingdom and Ireland, it cannot but touch upon the many elements of historical significance such as economics, politics, social systems, technology and the usual wars. Most outstanding in this context is the persistence of the class system and “hierarchies of prestige” that follow yachting right up to our own era. It is, as Bender early on notes, the original sport of kings. As a true history supported by some thirty-five pages of bibliography, the text is rich with extended quotations, enhanced by voluminous footnotes, some running to an enjoyable half page of additional facts and observations. Those of us not part of the Commonwealth would do well to have a good map or road atlas of Britain in hand. Those not familiar with yachting may also need to employ something like Royce’s Sailing Illustrated to fully understand references to the various classes and types of modern competitive racing boats. Discussions of power boats or yachts are not included. Also, this is history from the British point of view with only limited discussions of “goings on” from the American side of the pond. For the modeler there appears to be little here. There are no plans, lines or diagrams. There are only two dozen photographs and of these, only three have to do with vessels for which models or kits are commercially available, those being America , Gypsy Moth IV and Spray. A survey of the bibliography reveals a name match for about each foot of shelf space in my personal nautical collection. The additional information on Phineas Pett should be of interest to more serious modelers and plans are certainly available for the numerous boats that comprise the “home built” dingy explosion that followed World War II. Not unlike other histories Bender divides his text into sections divided by time and major events that effected them. He ends up with three “golden ages of yachting”. The industrial revolution creates new wealth and new yacht owners. The mass production of sheet plywood after World War II would create thousands of new yacht builders and owners. Oddly it was the development of railroads and the automobile on land bringing people to the shore that creates a demand for anchorages, marinas and yacht clubs. Most glaring and lasting in this account is the existence of the yacht and the yacht club as both vehicle and emblem of social class. Charles II and his many “royal” yachts begins the process that marks the yacht and yacht club membership as emblematic of elite to this day. Bender pulls no punches here. He gives full accounting to blackballing and the exclusion of working sailors, and watermen of all types and anyone of a certain gender. No women were allowed to even row in the Henley regatta until 1981. With his concluding chapters. the author offers little for the future of yachting. Too little money and too little time for sailing in the future it seems. A New History of Yachting may be the final history of yachting, thus worth reading for even more than what it says about boats. Dan Brummer Stayton, Oregon This review is provided courtesy of the Nautical Research Guild.
  9. Lascars and Indian Ocean Seafaring, 1780-1860: Shipboard Life, Unrest and Mutiny By Aaron Jaffer Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 2015 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xii + 235 pages Illustrations, maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index. $115.00 ISBN: 9781783270385 This book is volume number twelve in a series of works on the East India Company. Aaron Jaffer draws upon several scholars who have previously studied the multitude of causes and effects, as well as the complexity, of mutinous events aboard sailing ships and compiles their evidence so as to give a broad, well-supported analysis of late eighteenth and early to mid-nineteenth century mutinies in the Indian Ocean. The study considers both East Indiamen and private merchant ships, referred to as country ships, that operated mainly in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific. Jaffer offers five key themes to explain mutinous events, their causes, methods, alternatives, and consequences. He makes use of an extensive list of primary sources, including private papers, court proceedings, and factory records. Jaffer also includes conclusions reached by previous scholars in similar studies and compares these conclusions with each other as well as his primary source evidence. A basic overview of each theme of the book is outlined, and expanded upon, throughout its respective chapter, including references to other studies and the specific primary material from which Jaffer draws his information. He includes differences in language, religion, culture, superstition, age, level of experience, and marital status in the causes for mutinous events, comparing the numerous examples of such acts and, when possible, the documented reasons. He discusses the different forms of protest and mutiny that have been documented, including desertion, hunger and work strikes, as well as the overthrow of power onboard. Sources and evidence for each of these protests abound and Jaffer’s writing makes that clear. Jaffer exams intermediaries aboard sailing ships and their role in events of mutiny or protest. The ranks of intermediaries included translators, overseers, arbiters, representatives of certain crew members and interest groups, and often had a hand in the finances of the ship. Each role could be, and sometimes was, easily corrupted to sway people or events for personal gain. In the event of ship seizure as the result of a mutiny or protest, of which there are many examples, the resulting status of former officers, commanders, women onboard, and the crew often fell into disorder. Jaffer acknowledges that the surviving testimonies of mutiny investigations and personal accounts are tempered with bias, skewed descriptions, and embellishments, making them difficult for historians to interpret. International politics had a profound effect on protests and mutinies onboard sailing ships in the Indian Ocean. Shifts in politics and diplomacy led to changes in regards to asylum, arrest, trial, and imprisonment. Those who intended to carry out a mutiny, primarily for personal gain, had to be aware of changes in geopolitics of the time in order to be successful. Jaffer’s work is well researched and composed, including references to other scholars’ research as well as numerous excerpts from sources close to each respective mutinous event. This volume is useful for anyone studying sailing ships and shipboard life of the late eighteenth and early to mid-nineteenth centuries. Olivia Thomas East Carolina University
  10. Commemorating the Seafarer: Monuments, Memorials and Memory By Barbara Tomlinson Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 2015 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xiv + 259 pages Photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $50.00 ISBN: 97817843839705 Death at sea, whether through accident, or war, is often premature and unexpected. Sometimes bodies are not recovered, and people simply disappear. Although not all maritime memorials commemorate those lost at sea, perhaps this helps explain the reason, as Tomlinson notes, that maritime memorials are spread across Great Britain. According to Tomlinson, these memorials act as repositories for memory and grief, providing places for people to mourn and communicate with the dead. She also suggests that they provide information of historical and cultural importance, noting that all levels of society produced memorials affected by, and thus reflecting, such cultural forces as politics and religious as well as artistic trends. Tomlinson focuses on British maritime memorials from the sixteenth century through the modern era—from a time when only a small number of elite were honored in such a way to a broadening and democratization of commemoration to include the ordinary seaman. Ultimately, these memorials honored a wide range of people, including naval personnel, privateers, explorers, common seamen, and those lost in maritime disaster. Tomlinson states that her work concentrates on detailing artistically significant memorials, and the stories behind those monuments. Much of her study concerns naval memorials. She describes the funeral of Robert Blake, given a grand service and burial in Henry VII’s chapel in 1657. Three years later, churchmen disinterred his body, throwing it into a common grave, only to have his memory be honored in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with stained glass windows at Westminster and a statue at his birth place in Somerset. In another, poignant example, she describes a wall monument in Westminster commemorating two junior officers. bodies lost at sea. Friends, both died in the Battle of Solebay in 1672. Tomlinson describes their epitaphs, on adjacent panels sharing a common cornice. The destruction of their ship, Royal James, is shown in relief. The vessel fought off two Dutch fireships, but was set aflame by a third. The father of one son paid for the memorial. Tomlinson also details memorials to those lost in maritime accidents. One early memorial commemorates Hugh Everard, lost, along with the entire crew of Restoration, when the vessel wrecked in 1703. Everard was only fifteen when he died. His memorial shows a sinking vessel in relief and bears the inscription Spes nulla salutis (no hope of safety). Later, Tomlinson describes memorials commemorating those lost when the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in 1987. One, in the vessel’s homeport of Dover, includes a window showing Christ stilling the waters. A wall painting in the same city depicts the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. The bows of the ship appear below the figure of St. John. To Tomlinson, this shows “both death and new life through water.” She notes that sculptures of sinking ships are no longer used in memorials—they too explicitly remind people of their mortality—yet sinking ships remain a reality. Tomlinson’s work is a thorough and vibrant examination of British maritime memorials, providing both an enjoyable stroll through centuries of art and history, and a reminder of human mortality. Mark Keusenkothen East Carolina University
  11. Embassy to the Eastern Courts: America’s Secret First Pivot Toward Asia, 1832-37 By Andrew C.A. Jampoler Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xv + 236 pages Illustrations, maps, notes, bibliography, index. $44.95 ISBN: 9781612514161 Andrew Jampoler’s Embassy to the Eastern Courts: America’s Secret First Power Pivot Toward Asia is a well written academic work about American diplomatic developments. His book follows the cruise of USS Peacock and USS Boxer from 1832-1834 and the cruise of Peacock with USS Enterprise from 1835 to 1837. In these two cruises, the ships travel to various Asian ports such as Manila, China, Siam, and Muscat. The first voyage marks an important diplomatic push for the United States. Edmund Quincy Roberts set sail aboard Peacock in 1832 as it was bound for Asia. His objective, however, was kept secret as then-President Andrew Jackson wanted him to attempt to secure a treaty to formalize and regularize American trade with China, Siam, and “the powers of Arabia on the Red Sea.” The concealment of his role was to prevent the British from catching wind of the somewhat nefarious scheme. Roberts was a merchant from New Hampshire, but his job was to present a letter to leaders of the various Asian countries that expressed the desire for a treaty to be signed to secure trade and to ensure the prosperity and flourishing of all involved economies. This was not the first time a rather informal and secret trade mission was executed under the Jackson administration, however. In years prior, Jackson quietly sent three commissioners to the Ottoman Empire to meet with the Sultan in order to gain access to the Black Sea trade routes. In typical Jacksonian manner, the United States Congress was not consulted in this endeavor, which was successful. Jampoler describes the voyages by various American frigates, most diplomatic in nature and all aiding in the United States’ trade endeavors. Including a general overview of the United States’ naval buildup and the qualms of Congress with regard to said buildup, the book has a very holistic approach to American diplomacy with regard to Asia. The author follows the second voyage in 1835 to Asia by Peacock and Enterprise rather closely. This voyage, which circumnavigated the globe, was plagued with misfortune, quite literally. Roberts was also aboard on this voyage, tending to more diplomatic tasks. As a result of a cholera outbreak on this ship, many of the crew died, including Roberts, which halted all diplomatic endeavors. Jampoler has done something that, in academic writing, can be very difficult. He has not only created a superbly researched and written account of a specific portion of American History, he has done it so well that even a lay person to the subject can follow along and enjoy the work without feeling at a loss. His prose keeps the reader on edge, as if reading a suspenseful novel. He relates these diplomatic missions to the world around them, which gives the reader scope. Though it reads like one, Embassy to the Eastern Courts is not a general history. More importantly, it does not suffer from common ailments that come with general histories. Jampoler has a solid thesis and ample citations, making his book an exceedingly excellent addition to academia. Jessica Rogers Kestler East Carolina University
  12. God and Sea Power: The Influence of Religion on Alfred Thayer Mahan By Suzanne Geissler Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xiii + 264 pages Photographs, notes, bibliography, index. $29.95 ISBN: 9781612518435 As described by Suzanne Geissler, Alfred Thayer Mahan lived a life devoted to God and the United States’ military. Using Mahan’s letters and a journal from his service in the navy, Geissler seeks to demonstrate the influence that Christianity played in his career, providing a detailed account of the events that influenced Mahan to be a devout Christian, renowned leader, and respected writer. As a historian and theologian, Geissler tackles this biography from a less secular point of view than previous authors, critiquing previous biographies of Mahan and providing further evidence of the influence of God in his life. Her goal is to provide an understanding on Mahan’s religious faith, its developed, its influence on his thinking, and his role within the Episcopal Church. Mahan grew up in an environment equally influenced by God and country. His father, Dennis Hart Mahan, was a graduate of West Point, a member of the Corps of Engineers, and later in life an advocate for military scholarship. Dennis Mahan was a devoted Episcopalian his entire life. Mahan’s uncle, Milo Mahan, was not only a staunch Christian but an ordained deacon and priest. Unlike his brother, Milo Mahan devoted himself to the church, serving as a professor of ecclesiastical history for many years. Clearly, Mahan's forefathers played an important role in the sculpting of his interests. Mahan and his five siblings roamed the grounds of West Point as children, maintaining strict adherence to the Sabbath. Both he and his younger brothers later served in the military. As a young man, Mahan showed interest in God and in firepower. He spent his teenage years at St. James, an Episcopal boarding school in Maryland. Later, he attended school at Columbia College in New York where he became close with his religious uncle, Milo. In autumn of 1856, Mahan entered the Naval Academy and began his journey into naval history. Geissler carefully analyses his personal writings alongside current events, spending significant time defending Mahan’s personal righteousness. Mahan appears to be a man simply struggling with his spirituality during political and military upheaval, something Robert Seager II apparently addresses with mockery and sarcasm in his biography of Mahan. At one point in Seager’s work, he suggests that Mahan was an anti-abolitionist. According to Geissler, Mahan had not developed a definitive view on slavery during the Civil War, but did know that it had to end. Despite negative views on Mahan’s personal life, none can deny the importance his writing had on the study of naval history. Mahan’s most respected contribution to the military, The Influence of Sea Power on History, 1660-1783, continues to inspire a hundred years later. For readers interested in military biographies, I strongly recommend this book. Geissler provides a new perspective into the life of a very complex man whose work continues to impact our country's navy. Her account clearly outlines the influences of religion in the life of Alfred Thayer Mahan and challenges authors who disagree with Geissler’s viewpoint. Samantha Bernard East Carolina University
  13. American Sea Power and the Obsolescence of Capital Ship Theory By R.B. Watts Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2016 6” x 9”, softcover, vii + 222 pages Notes, bibliography, index. $45.00 ISBN: 9780786498796 No one has been more influential in the historical development of American naval power than Alfred Thayer Mahan. At the turn of the Twentieth Century, Mahan’s theories became the basis for the U.S. Navy’s strategic development based on the capital ship, decisive battle, and command of the sea. Dr. R.B. Watts, a retired Coast Guard captain and Professor at the National War College, provides an excellent historical analysis of the U.S. Navy’s interpretation of Mahan over time and the shaping of the Navy’s strategy and force structure by that interpretation. He argues that the Navy remained consistently wedded to Mahanian capital ship theory despite the shifting threat environment. In light of post 9/11 “irregular” wars, Dr. Watts argues that the Navy has only taken very limited steps to meet the challenges of irregular warfare and remains anchored to Mahanian conventional capital ship theory; which, according to Watts, threatens to make the Navy both irrelevant and unsustainable. American Sea Power and the Obsolescence of Capital Ship Theory provides an excellent history of strategic thought and doctrinal development within the Navy since Mahan published his seminal work in 1890. Dr. Watts convincingly demonstrates that the Navy constantly adapted, but always maintained the capital ship focus in attempting to deal with changing threat environments. He very effectively demonstrates the fairly consistent disconnect between the Navy’s thought and doctrine and the actual missions it was asked to accomplish. While naval doctrine and strategy remained focused on the “blue water” fleet and the decisive battle with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, it was consistently called to deal with irregular threats in multiple environments. Watts argues that, following the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the Navy should have adjusted its strategy to meet emerging irregular threats. Dr. Watt’s coverage of the Navy’s historic struggles to match its theory to the actual threat environment is clear, cogent, and convincing. His assertions concerning post-9/11 naval strategy and his recommendations for the future, however, are more controversial and debatable. He describes navalists seeking to meet this new terrorist threat using classical naval principles, focused on forward deployed capital ships conducting strike operations against terrorists. He is overly critical of the Navy’s post-9/11 strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the point of blaming the Navy and its strategy for failing to win both of those wars. Clearly a Mahanian in many ways, Dr. Watts seems to ignore Julian Corbett’s warning that wars cannot be won by sea power alone and he continuously downplays the importance of the Navy’s support to ground operations in these two land wars. Dr. Watts advocates for a more balanced and affordable force structure for the Navy and a shift in focus to include the defense of the littoral United States from irregular threats as a primary mission for the Navy. His recommendations rely on certain key assumptions: that terrorists are a strategic threat to the United States, that the terrorist seaborne threat to the United States is beyond the capability of the Coast Guard and civilian authorities, and that the forward deployed Navy is failing to meet the irregular terrorist threat. Dr. Watts’ work, due to his strong historical analysis, is a significant contribution to the ongoing debate concerning the future threat environment and the future shape, role, and missions of the United States Navy within the context of the larger joint force. Sam Rogers East Carolina University
  14. In the Shadow of the Alabama: The British Foreign Office and the American Civil War By Renata Eley Long Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xiii + 254 pages Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $37.95 ISBN: 9781612518367 In early 1862, the Confederate States of America desperately needed sea power. Busily launching littoral gunboats in rivers and sounds across the South, receiving foreign recognition as a legitimate power required the acquisition of a blue water navy. Confederate commissioners arrived in London and Paris just after the advent of hostilities, charged with acquisition of weapons, supplies, and financial loans to further the quest for Southern independence. Just over two months had passed since USS Monitor and CSS Virginia clashed at Hampton Roads, Virginia. Known alternately as 290 (its hull number) and Enrica, a private firm launched CSS Alabama on May 14, 1862. Union diplomats attempted to have this and other vessels intended for the rebel navy seized by crown officials. CSS Alabama, Florida, and Rappahannock succeeded in escaping and became the scourge of Federal merchantmen. In addition to its declared neutrality in the North American conflict, Great Britain’s Foreign Enlistment Act prohibited any citizen from equipping vessels as men-of-war for use against foreign powers with which Her Majesty's government was at peace. Since evidence incriminated crown officials with complicity in the escape of the Confederate ships, the American government sought damages after the end of the Civil War. The arbitration, now known as the Alabama claims, resulted in an unusual outcome which impacts Anglo-American relations to this day. Renata Eley Long created an in-depth study of the circumstances surrounding the Confederacy’s acquisition of warships. In the Shadow of the Alabama is extremely well researched. Long uncovered mistakes in the history perpetuated by previous historians. She establishes Victor Buckley’s identity early in the text. The connections of this nondescript British Foreign Office clerk build the plausibility of her case. Long meticulously presents evidence of Buckley’s central role in the affair. Finally, she connects the key players in an ever-expanding web of intrigue. In spite of its thoroughness, In the Shadow of the Alabama suffers from several deficiencies. Some details, such as the future and changing Royal titles of individuals, only serve to confuse an American audience. The book makes claims of Freemason involvement in the arbitration which followed the conclusion of the American Civil War; these are largely unsubstantiated. A brief reference to Charles Dickens is of questionable relevance and amounts solely to a distracting side note. The evidence of Buckley's involvement in the Alabama would not hold in an American courtroom. The only piece of hard evidence was presented by the same man who verified its authenticity. That same man was subsequently dismissed from the employ of the American ambassador. Its tenuous connections and shortage of evidence notwithstanding, In the Shadow of the Alabama is an interesting study. For lovers of Civil War history or international intrigue, the book delivers an exciting ride through the annals of Anglo-American relations in the nineteenth century. Much that is useful can be culled from within this story of the shadows that still gather around the most fabled Confederate warship. Dale Wetterhahn East Carolina University
  15. Beyond the Golden Gate: A Maritime History of California By Timothy G. Lynch New York: Fort Schuyler Press, 2015 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, xii + 318 pages Illustrations, notes, bibliography. $29.95 ISBN: 9780989939423 When thinking of California, one tends to imagine the more glamorous or modern aspects of America’s most populous state. The iconic images of the Hollywood sign, the Chinese Theater, and the Santa Monica Pier often take first priority when depicting California. It is easy to forget that the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the high-tech intellectualism of Silicon Valley are built on the back of a far more industrial history. Timothy Lynch tackles this subject by arguing that it was industrial maritime activity and culture that changed California from a sparsely populated backwater into a booming powerhouse of economic activity. Human interaction with the sea has always been a part of California’s history. Indigenous Americans were building reed boats to ply the waters of San Francisco Bay while Chumash Indians built intricate planked canoes, called tomols, to explore and exploit the waters around the Channel Islands. The arrival of Europeans to the Americas in the fifteenth century had an everlasting, and in most cases devastating, impact on native populations. From Mexico, the Spanish established missions up the coast of Alta California from San Diego to San Francisco. Despite the establishment of almost two dozen missions, California remained sparsely populated by Europeans and white Americans until the United States annexed the territory in 1848, following the Mexican-American War. Although a brisk trade in tallow, leather, and sea otter pelts was already occurring along the California coast, it was the Gold Rush of 1848 that sparked the large scale settlement and development of California. As thousands of American prospectors rushed to strike it rich, San Francisco became a booming industrial port. Lynch focuses on the rise of San Francisco as an economic and industrial center on the Pacific coast. Utilizing a large well of primary sources, Lynch is able to create a concise, yet in-depth, description of the development of California. In order to avoid being overly brief, the author sets aside space to illustrate some of the more colorful characters associated with California’s colonization. One example is a short biography of William Leidesdorff, a ship captain and the mixed race son of a Danish father and an Afro-Caribbean mother, who became one of the wealthiest land owners and politicians in early San Francisco. These short asides add to Lynch’s detailed and thorough documentation of California’s economic development that includes analysis of wide-ranging subjects such as sea otter harvesting and ship design. The only issue with Lynch’s book is its relatively narrow scope and focus. Although the subtitle professes this volume to be a “Maritime History of California,” a more accurate title would be “a Maritime History of Nineteenth Century San Francisco Bay.” While he does touch on some of the early settlements at San Diego and Monterey, these seem to be mere asides to the actual subject of San Francisco. Beyond the Golden Gate is an excellent book for anyone interested in industrial and maritime history. It is meticulously researched and provides an excellent starting point to learn about the American maritime endeavors that built and connected the United States. Conner McBrian East Carolina University
  16. Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean, 1291-1352 By Mike Carr Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 2015 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xvi + 196 pages Illustrations, maps, notes, appendices, bibliography, index. $99.00 ISBN: 97817843839903 Mike Carr’s Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean 1291-1352 details the complex power struggles throughout the Aegean Sea during the Crusades. Carr states that the Crusades in the Aegean Sea was not simply a war between Christian and Islamic forces, but a balancing act of furthering Christian gains while trying to maintain economic stability in the Aegean Sea. Carr starts by analyzing the strategic importance of the Aegean Sea before the fall of Acre. He outlines the political, religious, and ethnic divides of the Aegean Sea and the perils of raiders and treacherous waters plaguing the region. In terms of the Crusades, Carr explains that many Christian forces at the onset of the Crusades viewed the Greeks and Byzantines as evil and, in some contemporary writings, worse than their Islamic opponents. Christian forces regularly attacked Byzantines possessions, citing that the Greeks were incapable of holding against the Islamic forces. The fall of Acre, the last port on the mainland of the Levant held by Christian forces, signaled a shift in Christian tactics in stopping Islamic expansion. A number of naval leagues formed during the Crusades between Genoa, Venice, Byzantium, the Kingdom of Cyprus, and the Papal States to patrol the Aegean Sea and intercept the numerous raids conducted by the Turks. Carr details the complex balancing act of the maritime powers in the Aegean Sea on strategies to best combat Islamic expansion while still maintaining trade. Papal orders, in many cases, conflicted with the maritime commercial wishes of the other members of the naval leagues. Carr concludes by reiterating the role that both the maritime powers of the Aegean and the papacy had in strategies to combat Turkish expansion. Carr does an excellent job of structuring his book in a concise and easy-to-follow manner that covers a wide range of viewpoints, both political and economic, while still maintaining cohesion. His method of following the perspective of certain powers, such as the Venetians, then backtracking to the beginning of his timeline to follow another viewpoint ran the risk of creating confusion, but his ability to reiterate major activities in each chapter insures that the timeline of events is not confused throughout the book. Sources for his book provide a strong foundation from which the main theme derives. Carr pulls sources from Islamic texts, such as Ibn Battuta’s account of travels through the Muslim world, as well as Christian texts, both political and economic, which range from trade license agreements to indulgences granted for crusaders in the Aegean. The wide variety of sources used, and acknowledgment of biases within those sources, ensures the greatest clarity available about the state of the Aegean Sea during the Crusades. Carr’s Merchant Crusaders in the Aegean 1291-1352 is a highly detailed account of the complex political, economic, and military events in the Aegean Sea. His analysis of various Aegean perspectives, with the addition of using a variety of primary sources and secondary research, reinforces his thesis about the way in which the Papacy and maritime powers balanced warfare against a common enemy and maintaining important trade routes to the east. This well written book will provide valuable insight to scholars who seek to understand the Crusades in the Aegean. Tyler Caldwell East Carolina University
  17. The Battle of Lake Champlain: A “Brilliant and Extraordinary Victory” By John H. Schroeder Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2015 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, xiii + 164 pages Illustrations, maps, table, notes, bibliography, index. $26.95 ISBN: 9780806146935 The War of 1812 has captivated the minds of British and American citizens alike since it occurred over 200 years ago. Many scholarly works focus on the entirety of the war or the events around New Orleans in 1815. John Schroeder, a professor emeritus at University of Wisconsin-Milwuakee, a student of nineteenth-century America and its military history, successfully discusses a significant battle in the war effort. His work, The Battle of Lake Champlain: A “Brilliant and Extraordinary Victory,” places the events on Lake Champlain and in Plattsburgh, New York in the larger context of the war. Schroeder argues that the roles of the commanders and the strategies allowed for the unexpected American victory and that these events changed the outcome of the war. Schroeder strongly supports his opinion by comparing the American and British effectiveness in the battles on Lake Champlain and in Plattsburgh, the lead up to the battle, and the aftermath of the battle. In examining the commanders of the two sides, Schroeder analyzes their strengths and weaknesses and their impacts on the outcomes of the events on Lake Champlain. The American commander Thomas MacDonough, although young, was able to inspire and rebuild the naval troops on Lake Champlain as well as outsmart the British forces in the battle on September 11, 1814 by working with the other commanding officers of the American forces in the area. On the British side, George Downie led the naval forces as a seasoned naval commander from the Napoleonic Wars, yet he was new to the area during the 1814 campaign season and was unable to work with other British officers. The Americans took advantage of the confusion of the new British officers and their inability to work together. As the battle waged, the British ineffectively implemented their plan, while the Americans effectively took charge through their commanding officers and streaks of luck that played out allowing them to take the day. These same factors further affected the outcomes of the war. As Schroeder effectively describes, the outcome of this battle in the Champlain Valley allowed the Americans to successfully negotiate with a war weary Britain. Schroeder is able to support this thesis so strongly through the use of primary source evidence and battle plans. His analysis relies on the writings of MacDonough, Downie, the American and British forces, writings of the council in Ghent and numerous other sources that aid in recreating the events leading up to the battle, the battle of September 11, 1814 itself, and the results of the American victory in the Champlain Valley. Schroeder uses the appropriate images and maps to represent the battle and those involved. He, however, could have also used more images of the battle itself. Although these images would be artistic in nature, these images would offer striking examples of what the battle could have looked like and further evidence of the impact of the battle on American history. The Battle of Lake Champlain is an excellent work that compellingly argues the role of the battle in the overall position of the War of 1812 and the effect this battle had on ending the war. His use of sources offers a deeper look into the commanders themselves and the strategies that worked or did not work in the battle. Beyond exploring the Battle on Lake Champlain and in Plattsburgh, Schroeder’s work offers the necessary depth of background of the event of the War of 1812 and the complexities of its outcome. This book is a must read for anyone interested in learning about Lake Champlain and its role in the War of 1812. Allyson Ropp Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
  18. Citizen Sailors: Becoming American in the Age of Revolution By Nathan Perl-Rosenthal Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2015 6” x 9”, hardcover, 372 pages Illustrations, maps, appendix, notes, index. $29.95 ISBN: 9780674286153 The American Revolution was a turbulent time that forever changed the history of the world, and its impacts were far-reaching. While history tends to focus on the experiences of colonists—as both loyalists and patriots—and the British military during the Revolution, scholarship mostly overlooks how sailors and mariners navigated this tumultuous era to gain international recognition as Americans. Nathan Perl-Rosenthal seeks to offer insight into this unique struggle of American seaman piloting global waters in order to provide their fledgling nation with much needed goods, commerce, and international connections. Perl-Rosenthal argues that American seaman held an integral role in shaping the understanding of citizenship in the United States of America and in its role as a sovereign nation that needed to defend these citizens abroad. He elucidates that early American citizenship was highly inclusive as the nation sought to secure American maritime crews composed of men from all regions, classes, and—somewhat surprisingly—races. This broad inclusivity of citizenship was meant to protect Americans at sea from imprisonment or impressment while in foreign waters or ports. However, citizenship could be difficult to prove at times, and foreign nations would do everything possible to discredit claims of American citizenship. He also clearly and effectively portrays the complicated nature of citizenship, especially in a newly formed nation that is undergoing political changes. Perl-Rosenthal makes extensive use of a myriad of sources in order to illustrate a complete picture of the American mariner’s struggle of national identity. He travelled the globe collecting sources in order to truly understand the trials and tribulations of American seaman before, during, and after the Revolution. In addition, his international scholarship incorporates the viewpoints of various nations on American sailors. These sources include naval and government records, sailors’ personal accounts, and merchant ship logs, found at the Archives Nationales in France as well as records in England and North American sites. Perl-Rosenthal deftly constructs these fragmented and unorganized personal accounts of American sailors, who travelled to far-flung ports, into a cohesive, insightful description of the struggles of American citizens at sea who had to prove their identity in order to avoid impressment at the hands of a foreign nation. Citizen Sailors is masterfully written in a narrative style that is suitable for the public as well as academics in the field. Perl-Rosenthal currently teaches as an Assistant Professor of Early American and Atlantic History at the University of Southern California with an emphasis on political history. Overall, Perl-Rosenthal succeeds in supporting his argument that American sailors were instrumental in the development of a diverse national model of citizenship, which was more inclusive than the definition of citizenship at later points throughout American history. The success of his argument resides in the use of numerous primary sources and the inclusion of illustrations that allow the reader to step back in time. Elise Twohy East Carolina University
  19. Mad for Glory: A Heart of Darkness in the War of 1812 By Robert Booth Thomaston, Maine: Tilbury House Publishers, 2015 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, 244 pages Illustrations, map, notes, bibliography, index. $24.95 ISBN: 9780884483571 Mad for Glory: A Heart of Darkness in the War of 1812, by Robert Booth, is an informative account of the lives of two historical figures during the War of 1812 and illustrates how delusions of grandeur ultimately led to catastrophic consequences. Captain David Porter is the main character, a deluded yet incredibly ambitious officer in the United States Navy. United States Consul General Joel Roberts Poinsett is a smart and worldly man charged with inciting revolution in South America. They serve as the main characters in a wild and extraordinary journey of two men's lives in the war-torn world of the early nineteenth century. Fantastical, but thoroughly researched for its quality in interpreting the life stories of Porter and Poinsett, it is heavily based on Porter’s journal entries which he eventually published in 1815 as Journal of a Cruise Made to the Pacific Ocean. Poinsett’s own personal accounts are utilized as primary source material, along with a plethora of other firsthand stories and secondary sources. Descriptive in regard to the lives of both men on a larger global conflict scale, the narrative is indicative of the amount of research that Booth undertook to write this book. Booth articulates very well the history of the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain with events leading up to, during, and after the conflict. Though primarily based on accounts of Porter’s and Poinsett’s experience, the book also touches on other broader scale conflicts such as the revolutionary movements in Chile that Poinsett helped but failed to establish. Other major historical events are also explored and woven seamlessly into the focused story of Captain Porter: a man who defied his own government’s orders to pursue an ill-constructed fantasy of fame and fortune. Booth does well to show the depth of character in Captain Porter and his obsession with the Pacific Ocean. This self-serving fantasy drove him into such frivolous madness, leading him and his men into an outlandish and suicidal pursuit of his own desires. This is perhaps the greatest strength of the book. It takes an in-depth and analytical perspective of Porter’s mindset not only as a naval officer, but as an intense, emotional, and unpredictable individual. Porter’s personal journal entries and the author’s interpretation of them do well to explain the anger, frustration, and egotistical tendencies of the captain. Booth is very expressive with his writing. He is able to use cohesive sentences to break down and explain the mental rational of Porter, so much that it makes the narrative engaging and entices the casual reader to continue reading on sentence by sentence till the end of the book. The perspectives of other characters in this book are also equally described, particularly with the sailors on Essex under the command of Porter. Reviewing their accounts gives the reader a sense of physically being there as the sailors’ experiences are explained. This collection of historical narratives reads like adventure story. Well-written and researched, Mad for Glory: A Heart of Darkness in the War of 1812 by Robert Booth is a wonderful book for anyone to enjoy. The title of the book is somewhat is fitting, as it explores the dark corners of the human desires, obsession and their consequences. Paul Gates East Carolina University
  20. Privateering: Patriots & Profits in the War of 1812 By Faye M. Kert Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015 6-1/4” x 9-1/4”, hardcover, viii + 215 pages Illustrations, appendix, notes, essay on sources, index. $55.00 ISBN: 9781421417479 Trimming Yankee Sails (2005) and Prize and Prejudice (1997) are two previous works by Faye Kert on the subject of privateering. A third fascinating work by Kert appeared in 2015 as a treatise on certain aspects behind privateering (both American and British) during the War of 1812. The emphasis of Privateering: Patriots & Profits in the War of 1812 is clearly captured in the title. Kert uses this slender work to discuss the economic ramifications of privateering while also shedding light on the perspective of the privateers themselves. Supplemental emphases Kert places in this work are anecdotal stories discovered via her astounding research, in addition to the motivations for and against privateering as a state-sponsored institution. The introduction of Privateering fully encompasses the book in its entirety. Not only does Kert briefly (in only eight pages) and expertly paint the picture of anti-war supporters, but she also lays a framework for contextualizing privateers and their mentality. For Kert, the final decision many privateers made during their raids was on the basis of, as she puts it, "the bottom line." Was the profit of the prize worth the effort and expected loss of life? If not, then many privateers let it alone. Kert's analysis here is soundly on the basis of economic prosperity. Beyond their interests in supporting the state, privateers put their livelihood front and center. Throughout the five chapters of Privateering, Kert uses her knack for well-written prose to assist in portraying a wealth of primary source research. Included in chapter one is the curious case of the captured ship Marques de Somerueles, which entered the hands of Capt. Frederick Hickey of HMS Atalanta during the summer of 1812. Included in the captured cargo was a wealth of valuable paintings for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In a remarkable and unique court decision, the Admiralty judge, Alexander Croke, ordered the artwork to be returned to the academy. Croke defended his decision by saying, "The arts and sciences are admitted amongst all civilized nations, as forming an exception to the severe right of warfare, and as entitled to favour and protection." That is, the fine arts belong to the whole of civilization and should not be compromised as war booty. This example is just one of many Kert uses in her interesting discussion of Admiralty Courts and the legality of keeping prizes after captured. Negative critiques of Privateering are few and mild. Transitions within chapters could be improved. Another improvement would be to shift the discussion of privateering's origins to the front of the book. This would aid the reader in discerning the difference between a letter of marque ship and a true privateer (both terms used before it was clarified.) The overall readability and profound research make Privateering: Patriots & Profits in the War of 1812 a crucial work for any historian, whether naval-oriented or embracing a focus on the maritime economics of early America and Canada. Jacob T. Parks East Carolina University
  21. Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic By David Head Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015 6” x 9”, softcover, xv + 201 pages Illustrations, maps, tables, notes, index. $24.95 ISBN: 9780820348643 To understand the historical content and the events that led to privateering in Spanish America, author David Head offers a variety of perspectives from persons representing opposite sides of the conflicts, both on land and at sea. Wherever possible, Head consulted accurate first person account of events leading to the need for national privateering. Throughout, he strives to clarify the interlocking developments in geopolitical struggles around the turn of the nineteenth century that necessitated privateering. As a result, he examines the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 as precursors to the Spanish-American Wars of Independence and the struggle of nations to expand their territories. Head stresses that privateering was a way to represent nations during a time of power struggle. He also mentions that privateering became a larger geopolitical role embedded in every nation wishing to expand their territories. Through several specific examples of privateering case studies, he provides perspectives that justifies the citizens of the United States who found Spanish-American privateering was an attractive option as a profession during a time of great financial instability and inconsistency. During the early 1800s a person’s profession, financial class, and social standings played a large role when making a decision to join a privateering force. His sources incorporate nearly 350 federal court cases concerning Spanish American privateering, as well as statistics from Lloyd’s List, letters from the different crews, commanders, and legal actions of the ship’s owners. For example, the analysis from letters and memoirs of a Captain Chaytors’s decision was presented tactfully. Chaytor had to choose between becoming a privateer for a foreign nation and supporting his family on the proceeds, or declining the opportunity and risking not finding financial stability in his own nation. He chose to risk his life as a privateer for the sake of his family. One critical point developed by Head is that the sea has a logic of its own; only by penetrating that logic can the actions of privateers be understood. While understanding the driving forces behind the mentality of a privateer is the central theme of this book, understanding the sea is also a vital point. Head’s reasoning is that privateers, whether new to the Spanish American territories or not, had to adapt to the geography, currents, and elements of the southern hemisphere to become successful. The ability to adapt, combined with a privateer’s navigational and tactical skills, determined their ultimate success and the success of the nation for which they sailed during this time of expansion and flexing of power. Tyler W. Ball East Carolina University
  22. Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory By Vincent P. O’Hara Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, ix + 371 pages Photographs, maps, tables, bibliography, index. $49.95 ISBN: 9781612518237 Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942, was the largest amphibious assault in history to that time and the first such Allied operation against the Axis. Vincent P. O’Hara provides a highly readable account of this important event, drawing on a wide range of sources, including many often overlooked, such as French operational records from the period. The author begins with a broad overview of the strategic and diplomatic situation that led the United States and Great Britain to launch an assault on Vichy France’s North African holdings in November 1942. He then continues by discussing Allied preparations, demonstrating that the Western Allies were unprepared for such a major amphibious operation, due to poor training, lack of critical supplies, inadequate support doctrine, shortage of forces, and inexperienced leadership. He concludes that Operation Torch saved the Allies from embarking on a potentially disastrous early assault on Continental Europe and provided time for training forces and leaders and developing effective amphibious doctrines. O’Hara shines in his description of the details of operations, particularly the naval engagements between French and Allied forces off Oran and Casablanca. The inclusion of his own clear maps and relevant contemporary photographs make for compelling chapters. He is less effective in placing Operation Torch in the larger context of the struggle for Europe, devoting only one brief chapter to an analysis the campaign’s results, most of which addresses only the short-term outcomes in French North Africa. Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory will probably become the definitive combat study of this invasion, since O’Hara has succeeded in bringing together so much blow-by-blow detail from both sides during the operation. Readers looking for this level of operational analysis will be more than satisfied. Those readers seeking a study placing this operation in a broader strategic context will need to look elsewhere. George Coleman Austin, Texas
  23. “No One Avoided Danger”: NAS Kaneohe Bay and the Japanese Attack of 7 December 1941 By J. Michael Wenger, Robert J. Cressman, and John Di Virgilio Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015 8-3/4” x 11-1/4”, hardcover, xx + 186 pages Photographs, tables, bibliography, index. $34.95 This volume is the first in a series that the Naval Institute Press has launched entitled Pearl Harbor Tactical Studies. No One Avoided Danger covers the attack on the newly-constructed naval air station at Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, the base for the PBY-5 long-range patrol aircraft of Patrol Wing 1. The authors’ approach combines extensive archival documentation research, oral histories and interviews with participants, and a very broad array of photographs to present a very detailed and comprehensive narrative of the events of December 7, 1941, their background, and the outcome. No One Avoided Danger narrates the prewar activities of the Wing’s three squadrons, the two waves of Japanese attacks on the air station, and the aftermath of the virtual destruction of the Wing and heavy damage to its facilities. The two central chapters on the attacks themselves are comprehensive, as is coverage of events in the ensuing hours and days. The real danger of a study that concentrates so intensely of such a short period of time and such a limited location is that it can leave the reader mired in a mass of trivial detail and unable to comprehend the overall picture. The great accomplishment of this august team of authors is that they have completely succeeded in avoiding this trap. Throughout this very readable narrative, the voices of the participants, both American and Japanese, largely carry the story. This perspective brings the entire tale to life. The book’s style is lucid and fluent throughout. Wenger, Cressman, and Di Virgilio have produced an engaging, precise, and tightly-written account of the destruction of Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay and the men and women this event impacted. Mark Meyers New Bern, North Carolina
  24. Hunters and Killers; Volume 1: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1776 to 1943 Volume 2: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1943 By Norman Polmar and Edward Whitman Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2015 & 2016 8-3/4” x 11-1/4”, hardcover, 210 & 254 pages Photographs, figures, sidebars, tables, bibliography, indices. $44.95 & $49.95 ISBN: 9781591146896 & 9781612518978 With these two quite short volumes, Norman Polmar and Edward Whitman set themselves the ambitious goal of covering the entire history of anti-submarine warfare from the origins of submarines to the present. It is a huge task to synthesize the extensive literature of submarine warfare into a clear, analytical, and competent historical summary that can satisfy both general readers and specialists. Overall, the authors do remarkably well. Volume 1 covers the anti-submarine campaigns of both world wars up to the point at which the Battle of the Atlantic turned in favor of the Allies. I and II. Its primary focus is on the efforts by the British and, later, Americans to defeat Germany’s U-boats in the Atlantic and, to a lesser extent, in coastal waters and the Mediterranean. Although they set a start date of 1776, the authors generally devote little effort to the early history of the submarine, nor do they much cover other navies’ submarine or anti-submarine campaigns up to 1943 since, correctly, they view operations against the U-boats as the critical issue. Volume 2 begins by documenting the second phase of World War II: the Allies’ crushing defeat of the U-boats (despite the advent of potentially dangerous submarine types very late in the war), the parallel effectiveness of American anti-submarine operations in the Pacific, and the devastating losses of Japanese merchant shipping at the hands of submarines of the United States Navy. Then the Cold War brought new anti-submarine warfare challenges, in the form of large-scale Soviet exploitation of German electro-boat technology, followed by the rapid adoption of nuclear-powered submarines by all major navies and the creation of ballistic missile submarine forces. The authors shift their focus to the interplay between the submarine and anti-submarine forces of the United States and Soviet Union as both sides contended with the technological challenges these developments brought. Several broad themes emerge from these two volumes. Since submarines throughout the period in general represented the technological cutting edge, an essential component for successful anti-submarine warfare was the application of cutting-edge science and technology. Detection of submarines using sonar, radar, or from their sound emissions, heat signatures, or magnetism all depended on the application of science and technology to the problem. Similarly, weaponry—depth charges, ahead-throwing weapons, homing torpedoes, and so on—all required advances in technological capability. Furthermore, effective use of detection systems and advanced weaponry necessitated scientific research and operator training. A second theme is how often the difference between an effective or an ineffective approach hinged on subtleties. Huge efforts could be expended implementing ideas that did not work, such as the large patrol forces deployed in both world wars. Sometimes effective methods required long periods of development and dedicated training and coordination to work, such as ahead-throwing weapons and sonar or the coordination of surface anti-submarine forces with aircraft. The work’s other very important message relates to scientific and technological advances. There was a dramatic rise in the rate at which successful scientific achievement in anti-submarine warfare increased from early in World War I until towards the end of World War II. Thereafter, there has been a constant race for supremacy between submarine design and countermeasure development, both in research and applied technologies. The authors, at least, are of the opinion that submariners are ahead of those seeking to locate and destroy them at present. Although quite a large part of the material in these two volumes is available in the existing literature, the authors ultimately succeed admirably in achieving their goal. In the process they also bring together this information in a most convenient and accessible format. Paul E. Fontenoy North Carolina Maritime Museum
  25. The Pieces of Eight: More Archaeology of Pirates Edited by Charles R. Ewen and Russell K. Skowronek Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2016 6-1/2” x 9-1/2”, hardcover, xvii + 318 pages Illustrations, maps, tables, notes, references, index. $39.95 ISBN: 97808130615890 A sequel to X Marks the Spot (2007), Pieces of Eight, edited by Charles Ewen and Russell Skowronek, brings together evidence of piracy from around the world from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Ewen, an anthropology professor at East Carolina University, and Skowronek, an anthropology professor at University of Texas-Pan American, have previously worked on sites linked to piracy and previously edited X Marks the Spot. The anthology that Ewen and Skowronek have assembled reflects a variety of methodologies used to understand a group of people who are challenging to identify in the archaeological record. The main theme of the collection focuses on the potential for identifying piracy in the archaeological record, whether that be underwater shipwreck sites or terrestrial landscapes or the liminal space of the coastlines, and comparing real pirates to their Hollywood stereotypes. By providing a common theme of identifying piracy and its role in the world, Ewen and Skowronek provide an engaging account of piracy around the world through the latest discoveries in Panama, the Dominican Republic and Ireland and further research in North Carolina, Jamaica and Madagascar. The editors compiled a variety of different research from all over the known Golden Age of Piracy haunts to discuss the feasibility of identifying pirates in the archaeological record and breaking the Hollywood myths of piracy. The articles flow from one pirate haven to another, focusing on Queen Anne’s Revenge in North Carolina, Fiery Dragon in Madagascar, Ranger in Jamaica, Quedagh Merchant in the Dominican Republic, Morgan’s raiding of Panama, and the multitude of pirates in Ireland. The use of different sites offers a way for the editors to reach their goal of linking piracy together around the world, establishing methodologies for finding piracy in the archaeological record, and providing a means of creating an accurate image of piracy. This image shows that pirates were living in a real world filled with danger and excitement, yet they lived just as every other sailor in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, making them hard to identify in the archaeological record. This image was compared to Hollywood’s version of piracy. Through the chapters focusing on pirates as providers and their indeterminable presence in the archaeological record, the research offers the beginning attempts to break the Hollywood stereotype. The editors complied a well-written body of research. Each article convincingly argues the difficulties in finding the remains of pirates in the archaeological record, whether those be terrestrial or underwater. Unlike its predecessor anthology, this compilation does not divide the research into explicit sections. This lack of explicit division, however, provides a more dynamic read about the intricacies of pirate archaeology through the variety of sites presented in nondiscriminatory manner. By using sites throughout the world in no manner of importance, the editors have created a gripping tale of pirate archaeology. Although, as one author states “it is not possible to discern a definitive artifact pattern for pirate shipwreck,” Ewen and Skowronek have offered up the beginnings for future research into pirates in the archaeological and historical record. Allyson Ropp East Carolina University

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