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Under Two Flags: The American Navy in the Civil War

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Vividly written and well researched by a noted historian of the period, this succinct history credits the Union Navy as an essential element in the northern victory. Neither ponderous nor hagiographic, the work presents characters and events that have been previously neglected and offers candid assessments of officers, men, and material. Originally published in 1990, when ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 15th 2012 by US Naval Institute Press (first published 1990)
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Paul Haspel
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Under the opposing flags of the Union and the Confederacy, the American Navy achieved, during the Civil War years, important innovations that prepared it for the global challenges that the Navy would face in the 20th century. That exploration of how the naval history of the Civil War fits into the larger history of the United States Navy may be the most important contribution of William M. Fowler Jr.’s 1990 book Under Two Flags. Fowler, a professor of history at Northeastern University in Boston ...more
Jim
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a rather concise history of the two navies in the American Civil War, published in 1990. It made for a fast read but if one wants more detail on some of the aspects of the naval war of the ACW, one will have to find other books. Fowler does make some good points, particularly in his Conclusion. It should go without saying that the Union would not have won without having naval superiority over the South. We think of the blockade and its starving of the South. But Fowler makes the point th ...more
Porter Broyles
This is a fun book about various naval actions during the Civil War. It covers most of the major events and does so in a well written enjoyable manner.

That being, I'm a little disappointed with the content. The title implies that the book will discuss the US and CSA navy--- "Under two flags". Instead it was alsmot exclusively the Union Navy. There are paragraphs about the Confederate Navy and the last chapter is about various raiders.

Still it was a pretty tight little book on the Navy.
...more
Clay Davis
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The writer writes in such a way and includes first hand account that make the history of the U.S. Navy during the Civil War come alive.
Fredrick Danysh
During the American Civil War both sides discovered a need for an active navy. Under Two Flags examines the development, handicaps, and strategies of both the Union and the Confederacy. Most of the text concerns the struggle for the rivers with some attention being paid to the efforts to instill a coastal blockade. A scant chapter is devoted to blockade runners and the commerce raiders. The book is a decent introduction to the naval side of the American Civil War.
Jerome
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
A concise, clearly written naval history of the war.The book is more an introduction to the topic and should serve well as such to any interested reader. Fowler is, however, more interested in technology and strategy than battles or command.

In a smooth,lively, and evenhanded narrative Fowler covers the Confederate raiders, the river campaigns, the Union blockade, and Union operations against the Confederacy’s harbors. Fowler argues that the North could not have won the war without a powerful nav
...more
Matt
Dr. Fowler's books are always entertaining, interesting and Under Two Flags doesn't disappoint. This book was well organized and gives the reader an understanding of the complexities of the naval campaigns of the Civil War. This book is highly recommended as an introduction to the naval campaigns of the Civil War then the reader can read the specific histories. ...more
Mark Stidham
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
My friend Gary McQuarrie is managing editor for a specialty magazine "Civil War Navy". Though it was not something of innate interest to me, I thought it would be fun to subscribe and then learn more about, perhaps to see if I could research something and contribute to the magazine. This book came up in a search on Abe Books (https://www.abebooks.com/), and for $4, I thought it would be a good background reading.

The author does a reasonable job organizing the subject and taking the reader throug
...more
Sean Chick
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
The writing is sloppy and so is this analysis. Ultimately this isn't even a good introductory work. ...more
Converse
Mar 31, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, fairly short history of naval aspects of the civil war, with more on policy and less bang-bang than is typical of books on this subject
Pasha
Oct 04, 2016 added it
I think that this book is an interesting that to know what was over 160 years ago
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William Morgan Fowler Jr. is a professor of history at Northeastern University, Boston and an author. He served as Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society from 1998 through 2005. He earned his BA from the University of Indiana in 1967 and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.

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