Inventing Grand Strategy and Teaching Command: The Classic Works of Alfred Thayer Mahan Reconsidered

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Woodrown Wilson Center Press, 1997 - Technology & Engineering - 164 pages
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"This is a brilliant and penetrating study which revises a great deal our commonly accepted assumptions about Mahan's arguments on the influence of seapower and on naval strategy in general. It is certain to provoke great debate." -- Paul M. Kennedy, Dilworth Professor of History and Director, International Security Studies, Yale University

Between 1890 and 1913, Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan published a series of books on naval warfare in the age of sail, which won a wide readership in his own day and established his reputation as the founder of modern strategic history. But Mahan's two principal arguments have been gravely misunderstood ever since, according to Jon Tetsuro Sumida. Instead of representing Mahan as an advocate of national naval supremacy, Sumida shows him asserting that only a multinational naval consortium could defend international trade. Instead of presenting Mahan as a man who adhered to strategic principles, Sumida shows that he stressed the importance of an officer's judgment and character formed by the study of history.

Inventing Grand Strategy and Teaching Command includes a subject index to all Mahan's published books and an extensive bibliography. This is a book for scholars and students of military and strategic thinking and is a natural for libraries of U.S. service academies and U.S. armed services agencies and organizations.

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About the author (1997)

Jon Tetsuro Sumida is the author of "Inventing Grand Strategy" and "Teaching Command: The Classic Works of Alfred Thayer Mahan Reconsidered" (1997), and "Decoding Clausewitz: A New Approach to On War" (2008). He is professor of history at the University of Maryland.

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