Mahan Revisited

  • John B. Hattendorf
Part of the St Antony's book series


Alfred Mahan was an outstandingly successful writer, both in terms of sales and in terms of influence, so far as one can measure influence. He was also a complex expositor, and it needs to be said at once that both the seeming contradictions in his work, and his sense of the need to qualify, make it necessary to clothe judgements on his work with seemly reserve. It is to be hoped that this article emulates the Master’s caution without avoiding facts that need consideration seventy-five years after his death.


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  1. 1.
    D. M. Schurman, The Education of a Navy (Chicago, 1965) pp. 62–3 and 81–2.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Peter Karsten, The Naval Aristocracy (New York, 1972) especially pp. 326–47.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Philip Crowl, ‘Alfred Thayer Mahan: The New Histories’, in Peter Paret (ed.), Makers of Modem Strategy (Princeton University Press, 1986) pp. 444–77Google Scholar
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  5. 6.
    Albert Lepawsky, ‘A Tribute to Mahan as a Social Scientist’, USNI Proceedings (1940) p. 1625.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    See Frederic C. Lane, Venice, A Maritime Republic (Baltimore, 1973) pp. 67–8.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Fernand Braudet, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, 2 vols (London, 1973). See especially vol. II, pp. 836–91.Google Scholar
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    See Paul E. Hoffman, The Spanish Crown and the Defense of the Caribbean, 1535–1585 (Louisiana, 1980).Google Scholar
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    Concisely expounded in Brian Tunstall, The Realities of Naval History (London, 1938).Google Scholar
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    See D. M. Schurman, ‘Imperial Defense, 1868–1887’, unpublished PhD thesis, Cambridge University, 1955.Google Scholar
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    A. T. Mahan, From Sail to Steam (New York, 1907) p. 290.Google Scholar
  18. For understanding Luce’s almost dominating influence on Mahan I am much indebted to that carefully presented and annotated collection of Luce’s work by John D. Hayes and John B. Hattendorf, The Writings of Stephen B. Luce (Newport, 1975). See especially pp. 45–68.Google Scholar
  19. 35.
    The best book in this genre of thinking was written by Gerald S. Graham and entitled The Politics of Naval Supremacy (Cambridge, 1965).Google Scholar
  20. 36.
    See Vincent Harlow, The founding of the Second British Empire, 1763–1793, vol. I (London, 1952) pp. 448–92.Google Scholar
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© John B. Hattendorf and Robert S. Jordan 1989

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  • John B. Hattendorf

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