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Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy: The U.S. Navy and the Birth of the American Century Hardcover – July 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1591143635 ISBN-10: 1591143632 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591143632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591143635
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

CDR Henry Hendrix is a career naval officer currently assigned to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In his 20 years of active service he has made six operational deployments, five in support of combat operations, and commanded a naval aviation squadron. An active writer, he has authored numerous articles in professional journals over the years, and earned advanced degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School, Harvard University, and a PhD from King's College, London. He lives in northern Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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No discussion of Teddy Roosevelt and the Navy can ignore the "Great White Fleet".
Joel R.
As T.R. accomplished foreign policy goals over time and built up the US Navy his use of military power and the threat of its use became more sophisticated.
J. Mottern
Whether you're just enjoying it for a casual read or studying it academically, this text will not let you down.
James

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Retired Reader on May 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good book with a very misleading title. It does considerably more than present a history of how President Theodore Roosevelt (1900-1908) used the U.S. Navy to further diplomatic ends. Hendrix does provide a really compelling account of how Roosevelt developed an effective way to combine what today is called `force projection' with diplomatic operations to further U.S. policy and national security. Perhaps, as Hendrix suggests, Roosevelt did lay the foundation for the 20th Century to be the `American Century'. Yet the transformation of the U.S. Navy from a very mediocre force into a world class navy is interesting story in its own right and a significant part of this book.

Theodore Roosevelt appears to have been very good at recognizing brilliance in others. He became friends with and adapted wholesale Alfred Thayer Mahan's theoretical constructs for creating a strong navy as an indispensable adjunct to international trade. But he also looked to advice from such practical naval officers as William Sims who was an outstanding naval gunner of the period. Roosevelt and his naval advisors were at the forefront bringing the latest technology (such as wireless radio) to naval development. Roosevelt adopted the concept of the all big gun battleship as the back bone of the fleet, but also understood the importance of the marine torpedo and promoted the torpedo boat and latter the submarine. In doing this Roosevelt and his advisors created the foundation for the dominance that the U.S. Navy enjoys today.

Finally, although Hendrix does not really emphasize this, Roosevelt clearly recognized the value of the U.S. Marine Corps as central to the concept of force projection. It was during his administration that the Marines firmly established their reputation as the protectors of American interests in abroad.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joel R. VINE VOICE on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The African phrase "Speak softly and carry a big stick" is primarily associated with President Teddy Roosevelt. In "Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy: The US Navy and the Birth of the American Century", Henry Hendrix examines how President Roosevelt applied the 'big stick' of the US Navy during his Presidency.

Before he was President, Teddy Roosevelt had a long history with the Navy. This experience was to have a profound effect on how he applied naval power during his future Presidency. As his honors thesis, Roosevelt chose to write "the Naval War of 1812", which Hendrix claims "remains a mainstay of historical literature surrounding the subject." Hendrix continues "That a civilian barely out of college (or still in college, in the case of the early chapters) grasped the technicalities of these great clashes still amazes readers." It was Roosevelt's expert work on this book that opened the door to be a lecturer at the Naval War College where he met Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan. Hendrix documents how this relationship blossomed, culminating in Roosevelt's selection as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. In his final acts as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt shifted American naval power from coastal defense to power projection.

Hendrix states "Few incidents of recent history have remained as clouded as the Venezuela Crisis of 1902-1903." He continues "[a] careful review of the official millitary records of the military commanders on the scene provides and unmistakable picture of Roosevelt's intentions in the Caribbean during the winter of 1902-03." Hendrix indeed makes the case for the careful application of American naval power in response to German colonial ambitions in South America.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Mottern on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
President Theodore Roosevelt is considered by some historians as a blunt and aggressive president. The author makes a strong case that the president was a gifted energetic man with the vision that America should and could be a world power. As T.R. accomplished foreign policy goals over time and built up the US Navy his use of military power and the threat of its use became more sophisticated. Foreign nations no longer wrote off the American president's active diplomacy as bluffs and half baked initiatives because of what he had accomplished and the Big Stick he had available to use.

This is an excellent book for fans of Theodore Roosevelt, students of American foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century and people interested in learning more about the embryonic US Navy before it was a force to be considered by Great Britain, Germany (an aggressive expanding nation) and France. It compliments other books on T.R.'s life and has little duplication. Readers who are looking for evidence that Roosevelt was an expansionist will read facts they will find interesting.

T.R. produced a voluminous trail of correspondence in every public office he occupied but apparently, he cleverly stopped putting things in writing when as president he engaged in controversial foreign policy actions. Dr. Hendrix uses his experience as a US Navy surface warfare officer to look at actual ship and marine movements when there is no written record of what the president's thoughts and actions were. The author concludes that President Roosevelt was willing to go to war with Great Britain and Germany in the 1902 - 1903 Venezuelan Crisis by the concentration of the US fleet (approximately 50 war ships) in the Caribbean with combat loads and hand picked aggressive commanders.
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