Cover image for The political influence of naval force in history
The political influence of naval force in history
Cable, James, 1920-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
viii, 213 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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V25 .C3324 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Why governments want navies, how they use naval force for political purposes, and what changes this has brought to the world are questions which still matter at the uncertain end of the 20th century. Here James Cable picks the political fruit of five centuries of naval history. He cites examples in which the objective was clear and success or failure apparent, providing a complete survey of the political purposes for which governments have in the past made use of naval force.

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Choice Review

Cable, a retired British diplomat whose Gunboat Diplomacy (CH, Mar'72) has become a standard resource, has now provided a broad introductory survey of the relationship of diplomacy to naval power. In this he follows Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond's classic Statesman and Sea Power (Oxford, 1946) and Herbert's incomplete The Navy as an Instrument of Policy, 1558-1727 (Cambridge, 1953). Cable starts with the Falklands in 1982 as a clarifying introduction and then works forward from the 16th century to the modern world, in each case linking diplomacy and naval force, not only in peace but also in war. The result is a panoramic survey of world history as related to the use of naval force. As such, the work offers a useful prelude to more serious studies of modern international relations, particularly important given the present peacekeeping roles, ranges, and dilemmas facing the US Navy. Footnotes and an extensive bibliography provide starting points for more in-depth work. Recommended for basic collections. All levels. R. Higham; Kansas State University

Table of Contents

Scope and Definitions
The Pre-Naval Era
Explorers and Freebooters
The Early Naval Wars
The High Noon of Naval Force: 1690-1815
Naval Force Without Naval War: 1815-1882
Instrumental Change
New Naval Powers: Japan and the United States
The First World War
Between Two Wars
The Second World War
The Cold War and its Hot Spots
Violent Peace: A Continuing Process
Lessons and Speculations