BOOK REVIEW – Seablindness, How Political Neglect Is Choking American Seapower and What To Do About It

By Seth Cropsey, Encounter Books, New York, NY (2017) Reviewed by John Grady Seth Cropsey’s latest book is an excellent primer on the state of today’s weakened American naval forces and some ways that he thinks can right them now and strengthen them in the longer run to meet the future changing challenges from Moscow,

BOOK REVIEW – Margaret Thatcher: A Life and Legacy

By David Cannadine, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK (2017) Reviewed by John Grady This to-the-point, short biography of Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom’s longest-serving prime minister, provides some interesting political parallels to today’s United States — the rise of populism to give voice to those left behind, cries to scale back government, demands to unleash

BOOK REVIEW – The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944

By Ian W. Toll, W.W. Norton, New York, NY (2016) Reviewed by John Grady Ian Toll’s Conquering Tide is the middle piece of his Pacific War history, and it is a superb fit with the first volume, Pacific Crucible. Now available in paperback, Conquering Tide tells the story of the fight after the Battle of

BOOK REVIEW – In Pursuit of the Essex; Mad For Glory

Reviewed by John Grady David Porter remains one of the most fascinating personalities in the early American Navy.  His quickly written, often self-serving but surprisingly candid Journal about his wartime activities in the Pacific set a standard for naval writing that remains informative and clear. It was also highly popular at the time,  fanned by

BOOK REVIEW – Confederate Saboteurs: Building the Other Secret Weapons of the Civil War

By Mark K. Ragan, Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX (2015) Reviewed by John Grady Mark Ragan’s Confederate Saboteurs does a wonderful job of shining new light on the extraordinary steps that the government in Richmond, and more importantly the inventive men from all over the seceded states, were willing to take to win

BOOK REVIEW – Embassy to the Eastern Court: America’s Secret First Pivot Toward Asia 1832-1837

By Andrew A. Jampoler, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2015) Reviewed by John Grady Having spent a great deal of time reading accounts and logbooks from the voyages of Thomas ap Catesby Jones, John “Mad Jack” Percival, John Downes, William Bolton Finch, Charles Wilkes, et al., of American encounters in the Pacific, in Asia, in

BOOK REVIEW – Matthew Fontaine Maury, Father of Oceanography: A Biography, 1806-1873

By John Grady, McFarland, Jefferson, NC (2015) Reviewed by Ingo Heidbrink, Ph.D. While Matthew Fontaine Maury is without a doubt well known among historians of science and in particular historians of oceanography, the general public might not know his name. Many naval historians will not have a real idea about the man who is often

BOOK REVIEW – Sunk in Kula Gulf: The Final Voyage of USS Helena and the Incredible Story of Her Survivors in World War II

By John J. Domagalski, Potomac Books, Washington, DC (2012) Reviewed by John Grady The greatest strength of John Domagalski’s Sunk in Kula Gulf lies in the interviews he conducted with survivors of the cruiser Helena’s sinking after it was torpedoed early 6 July 1943. While I found the first few chapters’ routine, the story picks