BOOK REVIEW – HARNESSED TO THE POLE: Sledge Dogs in Service to American Explorers of the Arctic, 1853-1909

By Sheila Nickerson, University of Alaska Press, Anchorage (2014) Reviewed by Jan Churchill The North Pole was the ultimate prize. Before aviation, ships could only go so far thanks to polar ice. The best way to travel, with supplies and food, was by dog sledge. However, the British Royal Navy made men, not dogs, haul

AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT – Henry N. Barkhausen Award

The Henry N. Barkhausen Award For Original Research in Great Lakes Maritime History For consideration in the current calendar year, entries for must be postmarked no later than May 15 Guidelines for Entrants Since 2001, the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History has sponsored the Henry N. Barkhausen Award program to recognize and encourage new

BOOK REVIEW – Crisis in the Mediterranean: Naval Competition and Great Power Politics, 1904-1914

By Jon K. Hendrickson, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by Richard P. Hallion Ph.D. Author Jon K. Hendrickson’s book Crisis in the Mediterranean is most timely, as its publication happily coincided with the beginning of commemorations of the centenary of the Great War. If, to the public mind, naval power in that war

BOOK REVIEW – The Yankee Expedition to Sebastopol: John Gowen and the Raising of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 1857-1862

By Chuck Veit, published through Lulu.com (2014) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess Forty years ago, I picked Commander Edward Ellsberg’s On the Bottom off the bookshelf of an elderly friend, a favorite from his own boyhood. The story of the raising of the submarine S-51 from 132 feet of seawater off Block Island in 1925

BOOK REVIEW – The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man’s Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones

By Scott Martelle, Chicago Review Press, Chicago, IL (2014) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA The Continental Navy had negligible impact on the American Revolution’s outcome. Its handful of little ships served almost entirely as commerce raiders, attacking and capturing defenseless merchantmen and occasionally engaging with small British warships of comparable or lesser capability. The

BOOK REVIEW – Fighting the War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology

By Norman Friedman, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by Mark Lardas The centennial of World War I has renewed focus on the conflict, including a slew of new books about the war. Norman Friedman’s Fighting the War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology, examines the naval aspects of World War I. Friedman attacks

BOOK REVIEW – Four Years Before the Mast: A History of New York’s Maritime College

By Joseph A. Williams, Fort Schuyler Press, Bronx, NY (2013) Reviewed by Suzanne Geissler,Suzanne Geissle Ph.D. The State University of New York Maritime College is the oldest maritime college in the United States.  A history of this college is long overdue, and Joseph A. Williams has now provided an excellent one.  Williams is a librarian

BOOK REVIEW – The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights

By Steve Sheinkin, Roaring Book Press, New York, NY (2014) Review by: Aldona Sendzikas, Ph.D. How do you explain racism to teenagers—specifically, the existence of institutionalized racism and segregation in the U.S. Navy during most of its history? This is author Steve Sheinkin’s challenge in this book for young adults about the massive explosion that

Norman’s Corner: A Man for All Seasons

By Norman Polmar (Editor’s note: This is the 27th a series of blogs by Norman Polmar—author, analyst, and consultant specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence fields. Follow the full series here. Mr. Polmar is now traveling abroad and the series will resume this summer.) On an afternoon in late 1975 I received a telephone

BOOK REVIEW – Poseidon and the PC – The Letters of Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt

Edited by Gary W. Neidhardt. AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN, (2013) Reviewed by Charles Bogart Editor Gary Neidhardt transcribed and annotated 115 letters that his father, Lt. Paul W. Neidhardt, wrote to his wife, Phyllis, between September 1943 and November 1945. Neidhardt, commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in July 1942, went on to serve

BOOK REVIEW – In the Trough: Three Years on Ocean Station

By Thomas F. Jaras, iUniverse, (2013). Reviewed by Thomas P. Ostrom This book drew my attention because of my time in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve in the 1960s. Between 1940 and 1980, the USCG had Ocean Station vessels in the Atlantic and Pacific performing a variety of national defense initiatives. These included search and

McPherson at SMH Dinner: “The Moral Courage of Risk Taking”

By John Grady The Navy was more successful in its campaigns like Port Royal, S.C. and New Orleans than the Army during the American Civil War particularly in the Virginia Theater.  According to Pulitzer Prize-winning author James McPherson, it was “partially due to the professionalism of Navy leadership in high positions.”  Dr. McPherson answered these

Norman’s Corner: Who is Nigel West?

By Norman Polmar (Editor’s note: This is the 21st in a series of blogs by Norman Polmar—author, analyst, and consultant specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence fields. Follow the full series here.) Nigel West is not a spy.  Some people think that he is.  British journalist and documentary film producer Jon Ronson, in his

BOOK REVIEW – Recent Works in the Naval War of 1812

The Naval War of 1812 “America’s Second War of Independence:” Collections of William I. Koch and the U.S. Naval Academy Museum By Dr. William S. Dudley with Dr. J. Scott Harmon, United States Naval Academy. Annapolis, MD, (2013) In Their Own Words: The Navy Fights the War of 1812 By Vice Adm. George W. Emery,