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British Naval Policy in the Gladstone-Disraeli Era, 1866-90 [Hardcover]

John F. Beeler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

30 April 1998
This book examines British naval policy during the mid-Victorian period, with an emphasis on the political, economic, and foreign relations contexts within which naval policy was formulated. This period has sometimes been characterized as the dark age of modern British naval history, reflecting not only the comparative lack of research on the period, but also the marginal role played by the Royal Navy during a time of peace. The author takes a fresh look at the navy s role, which traditionally has been viewed negatively in the wake of the reconceptualization of naval strategy brought about by Mahan and the changed global circumstances of the 1890 s. Against a background of rapid industrialization and economic transformation, the author describes the structure of British naval administration in the Gladstone-Disraeli era, assesses the important reforms of that structure by the Liberal politician Hugh Childers, and examines the strategic and operational contexts of the navy itself. The comfortable foundations upon which were erected the world views and assumptions of mid-Victorian politicians and naval administrators were swept away with disconcerting swiftness by the mechanization of naval warfare. The author shows how this transformation went far beyond the realm of technology, profoundly influencing naval tactics and strategy, government finance, political discourse, and public opinion. This book is therefore as much a case study in human responses to the process of modernization as it is an investigation of mid-Victorian British naval policy.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press (30 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804729816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804729819
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 597,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"I cannot rate this book too highly. It is of the highest quality, combining accuracy with sustained analytical rigor. It will be welcomed by all naval historians as providing a reassessment of the 19th-century Royal Navy and a reconsideration of the basic issues of British diplomacy in that period. It will remain a standard work for years to come." - Andrew Lambert, University of London

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5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely surprised. 3 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I am not well-versed in the history of the Royal Navy but found this book to be quite interesting. The author's willingness to take an unsparing look at the professional and personal motivations behind naval policy-making during this time is refreshing. Would recommend it to colleagues and naval buffs, definitely.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally getting a chance to review this one 16 Oct 2012
By James Levy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Certain books show you how it's done. This is one of them. It's a masterful monograph on the subject of British naval policy in what might appear to be a "dead period" between the Crimean War and World War I. However, it's fascinating, and tells us a great deal about politics, ideology, and government spending in the Victorian Era. It also has invaluable chapters on both the mission of the Royal Navy and its potential adversaries. For specialists, it was one of the first major works to criticize what was once conventional wisdom, that intellectually and materially this was a "Dark Age" for the Royal Navy. Admittedly, for the average reader of military history it may prove, in parts, tough going, but if you want to know what navies actually do and how they function within a political context, this book will not disappoint.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely surprised. 3 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am not well-versed in the history of the Royal Navy but found this book to be quite interesting. The author's willingness to take an unsparing look at the professional and personal motivations behind naval policy-making during this time is refreshing. Would recommend it to colleagues and naval buffs, definitely.
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