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The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery
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The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  108 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
First published in 1976, this book is the first detailed examination of the history of British sea power since A.T. Mahan's classic The Influence of Sea Power on History, published in 1890. In analyzing the reasons for the rise and fall of Great Britain as a predominant maritime nation in the period from the Tudors to the present day, Professor Kennedy sets the Royal Navy ...more
Paperback, 405 pages
Published October 30th 2006 by Humanity Books (first published 1976)
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Thomas Lundy
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
A pleasant read, well written and containing by no shocking errors, but vague, unbalanced, superficial, and unfocussed. Not a first-class work of historical scholarship by any means, at least as I understand it.

Important terms, i.e., "Naval Mastery," receive very non-specific definitions, and no metrics. Consideration of the modes of interaction of the different sectors of the British economy, particularly Finance vs. everything else, is cursory, and disjointed. One might expect to find somethin
...more
Joe
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engagingly written strategic history of Britain’s naval power from the Tudors to the postwar period. The author makes a direct link between industrial economic power and technical capability, with the capacity to project strong naval forces and control the oceans.

Interesting parallels between the UK and US. Britain fought an epic naval conflict during the Napoleonic wars (arguably the actual first world war rather than 1914-18) and despite the massive strains of doing so came out of it even ric
...more
Greg
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is well researched and argued book and useful as a corrective to the Mahanian tradition that over-emphasizes the ability of sea power to turn world events and is an excellent chronicle of the rise and fall of British naval mastery. The term naval mastery is important. It conveys the sense that the British navy was able to impose its will on the sea lanes, not that it was larger and more powerful than all over navies combined.

From its rise in the 1580s to its pinnacle in 1815 to its ultimat
...more
Brian Burton
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Informative, a bit dense at the beginning but improves over the course of the book. Presents a fairly compelling counterargument to those who invoke Mahan to argue for the primacy of naval power in the present day.
Alex
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
While Kennedy is a titan in his field, I find his prose style rather too dense for the casual reader.
Trav
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: thesis, history
Focused only on the portions of the book dealing with British sea power between 1815-1945. Kennedy provides a good overview, and does an excellent job linking the economy to sea power.
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