Paul Kennedy’s classic naval history, now updated with a new introduction by the author
This acclaimed book traces Britain’s rise and fall as a sea power from the Tudors to the present day. Challenging the traditional view that the British are natural ‘sons of the waves’, he suggests instead that the country’s fortunes as a significant maritime force have always been bound up with its economic growth. In doing so, he contributes significantly to the centuries-long debate between ‘continental’ and ‘maritime’ schools of strategy over Britain’s policy in times of war. Setting British naval history within a framework of national, international, economic, political and strategic considerations, he offers a fresh approach to one of the central questions in British history. A new introduction extends his analysis into the twenty-first century and reflects on current American and Chinese ambitions for naval mastery.
‘Excellent and stimulating’ Correlli Barnett
‘The first scholar to have set the sweep of British Naval history against the background of economic history’ Michael Howard, Sunday Times
‘By far the best study that has ever been done on the subject … a sparkling and apt quotation on practically every page’ Daniel A. Baugh, International History Review
‘The best single-volume study of Britain and her naval past now available to us’ Jon Sumida, Journal of Modern History