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Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1590207895
ISBN-10: 1590207890
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Seldom is a book on a military topic so well informed and compelling in regard to the underlying and pertinent historical patterns, strategical necessities, economic truths, and political realities with which Cropsey deals as scholar, academic, high official, analyst, and  naval person. His superior intellect, great clarity of vision, long experience, and fundamental courage make this, an enjoyable tour d'horizon of naval affairs, truly the book of a soldier/statesman." —Mark Helprin, author of Winter's Tale



"In a well-structured narrative, Mr. Cropsey provides a concise and compelling summary of the evolution of American and other great powers' application of and dependence on sea power. He chronicles the waxing and waning of that power and the global order that has come with our nation's ability to command the seas…He wisely advocates that "the most advanced technology should bow to numbers" and argues for pursuing unmanned systems to achieve "decreased cost and increased surveillance and combat power."…Mayday is extremely timely, reminding us that security and prosperity are inextricably linked to sea power." —Wall Street Journal



"From diminished budgets to increased tasks the world over, the rise of potential future naval competitors, and an enfeebled procurement system the United States Navy is in serious trouble. Seth Cropsey's brilliant explanation speaks to a general audience, detailing how the failure to solve these problems will cripple America's position as a global power and risk the United States' future security. Every American should read this extraordinary book." --John Lehman, former United States Secretary of the Navy and member of the 9/11 Commission

"Mayday  looks at the past, present, and future of the U.S. Navy and finds a troubling drift toward a smaller fleet and reduced American global influence. Seth Cropsey argues that America's stature as a formidable power has and will parallel her ability to remain the world's great seapower. It is an argument that deserves the widest possible readership." --Jon Kyl, former U.S. Senate Minority Whip

"Mayday is a powerful distress call about the dangerous decline of American seapower. It's also a significant contribution to thinking about American national security policy and to formulating American grand strategy in the 21st century. And it's a good read."--William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard
 
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Seth Cropsey is the former U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy, having served under four Secretaries of the Navy in the Reagan and Bush administrations. He also served as an officer in the United States Naval Reserve for nearly two decades. He is now Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington and a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and other publications.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (April 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590207890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590207895
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
American naval grand strategy has been largely adrift since the end of the Cold War. Seth Cropsey returns it again to center stage with "Mayday" and shows that technological improvements and media savvy talking points are no substitute for reasoned strategic thinking. He also avoids the mistakes made by so many in the post-Cold War era in that he identifies potential threats by name and factors those nations' capabilities into U.S. naval planning, rather than create another vague list of desired "capabilities". An easy and enjoyable read for the strategist, the student, and the layman who has interest in preserving their nation's national power. Finally, every Navy officer from Ensign to Admiral should add this book to their professional reading list. It will make them advocates for the necessary steps Seth Cropsey recommends to reverse the decline in American naval supremacy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"I suppose the United States will always be unready for war, and in consequence will always be exposed to great expense, and to the possibility of the gravest calamity, when the Nation goes to war. This is no new thing. Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience. There would have been no war in 1812 if, in the previous decade, America, instead of announcing that 'peace was her passion,' instead of acting on the theory that unpreparedness averts war, had been willing to go to the expense of providing a fleet of a score of ships of the line. However, in that case, doubtless the very men who in the actual event deplored the loss of life and waste of capital which their own supineness had brought about would have loudly inveighed against the 'excessive and improper cost of armaments'; so it all came to about the same thing in the end."
- Theodore Roosevelt, "Autobiography," Chapter 7

Mr. Roosevelt's words from a century earlier might have been written yesterday. The military has been diminished for twenty years through Republican and Democratic administrations, and Americans seem to think again that wishing away dangers will make them disappear.

Now comes Mr. Cropsey's very fine and absolutely necessary book, which, if followed by Congress, could finally give the lie to Mr. Roosevelt's prediction. When voices rise from the Left and from the Right in support of drastic reductions in the defense budget in order to fund other bankrupt programs for a little more time, Mr. Cropsey's book reminds readers of the critical strategic importance of seapower.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book meant to be read widely --- not only by experts, but by those broadly interested in US history, foreign policy, and military strategy, and most importantly, by concerned citizens.

The writing is beautiful and easily accessible, and complicated thoughts are fluidly distilled. But, what's most rare is that unlike most similar books, this one actually discusses strategy and makes it intelligible, rather than speaking in bureaucratic jargon or deferring to abstractions. An essential read for all concerned citizens and students of history and strategy.
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Format: Hardcover
Currently, less than one percent of Americans are serving in our military and veterans elected to Congress are at an all time low. Allegedly educated sophisticates are increasing ignorant of our military in general and especially of the vital need for a forward deployed, battle ready fleet in peacetime and war to secure our nation's prosperity and liberty . Seth Cropsey's book is a desperately needed well wrought reminder of America's essential maritime nature. Our supremacy as guarantor of the security of the world's sea lanes is steadily declining, and with it our power and influence. Too few ships with increasingly overworked crews are tasked with securing the global commons, projecting our power and fighting our wars. Maintaining our Navy is the work of generations and the Cropsey has done a great service to the public by chronicling the current naval crisis.
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Format: Hardcover
Mayday is one of the best new books I've read. It is unusual among books with policy goals for being well-written and aimed at US security wonks as well as general readers like me. I enjoyed the historical parts immensely. I now understand how threatening it is to reduce American seapower. Cropsey shows how, throughout history, the loss of seapower dominance by a state whose security and commerce are tied to seapower ended invariably with the state's loss of great power status.
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Format: Hardcover
Thorough. Compelling. Haunting. Cropsey shows how the age-old truth that sea power is essential to a country's ability to project power and defend itself applies to the United States. The question readers naturally ask - and which Cropsey gets to - is what path are we on as a nation? This is a must-read not only for academics and policymakers, but also the general public. For your relatives who served, your students, your congressman, I'd highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Cropsey's book is eloquently written and poses lasting questions that rarely make it through the noise of the media. He shows the importance of the US Navy for our national security and commercial activities. But more importantly, he shows that we cannot take for granted the more or less stable world we live in, for it is preserved and protected by the US Navy. Once its influence recedes, America will most likely lose its preeminence and way of life. A fascinating and necessary read for the general public and experts alike.
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