Jeff's Reviews > Power at Sea, Volume 1: The Age of Navalism, 1890-1918

Power at Sea, Volume 1 by Lisle A. Rose
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's review
Aug 03, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: history-military, history-world-war-one
Read in April, 2007

Book one of a trilogy, The Age of Navalism charts the rise of the navies that challenged the RN for dominance on the world sea. The author focuses primarily on the technical and social aspects of naval development - although the coverage of the battles and campaigns of the First World War is more than adequate, a simple history of the conflict is not what this book is about.

Rather, it is about how navies adapted, or failed to adapt, to new technologies and to changes in the cultures of the nations they were part of. Further, the author looks at how central the navy - and societies perceptions of what the navy meant - were to the identity of countries like the UK and Germany.

The author judges the RN harshly as being far two classicist and conservative, while some of the upstarts - Germany, Japan, the US - come off in a much better light. This is not to say the narrative is anti-British or fails to look at the deficiencies in each of the other navies; just that the traditional image of England as almost inevitable masters of the world sea is shaken.

A fascinating book - and series - due to the focus on socio-cultural and technical aspects as opposed to just another series of battle histories.

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