ACDelco Radiators & Heating Components Best Books of the Month Shop Men's Watches Cloud Drive Photos nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon $5 Albums belkin All-New Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Subscribe & Save Introducing Handmade Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer wdftv wdftv wdftv  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Now Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by brit-books-usa
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Simply Brit: We have dispatched from our UK warehouse books of good condition to over 1 million satisfied customers worldwide. We are committed to providing you with a reliable and efficient service at all times.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

To Rule the Waves Paperback – August 1, 2005

6 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$61.94 $0.98
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Hubris: The Tragedy of War in the Twentieth Century by Alistair Horne
"Hubris" by Alistair Horne
A dramatic, colorful, stylishly-written history, Hubris is a much-needed reflection on war from a master of his field. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews


'Arthur Herman manages to tell the extraordinary story of the Royal Navy and its impact on modern history in a single compelling volume. Herman has written a marvellous book.' -- Saul David, Daily Telegraph 'TO RULE THE WAVES is a long and generous book. It is readable, vigorous and well-informed.' -- Spectator 'He's certainly written a rattling good book. He is one of those historians who know how to pile on the information and keep their readers turning the page.' -- Sunday Herald 'TO RULE THE WAVES is a riveting story told by a masterful historian.' -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Arthur Herman is the author of HOW THE SCOTS INVENTED THE MODERN WORLD, a New York Times bestseller, as well as THE IDEA OF DECLINE IN WESTERN HISTORY, and JOSEPH MCCARTHY. He has been a professor of history at Georgetown University, Catholic University, George Mason University, and the University of the South. He served as the coordinator of the Western Heritage Program at the Smithsonian and has been the recipient of Fulbright, Mellon, and Newcombe Foundation grants. He lives in Virginia.


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperback; New edition edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340734191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340734193
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,520,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 6 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lakan Kildap on August 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is hard to put down, which is an enormous feat for a history book. It's NOT perfect, but since 4 stars isn't going to be fair, I have to give it a 5.

The book tells us the story of the British Navy from the days of Hawkins and Drake, to Robert Blake, to Vernon, Anson and Nelson, to Fisher and Jutland, to its decline post WW2, and to its mini-revival in the Falklands War. Through this book, we know, for example, that Britain didn't immediately become Mistress of the Sea after their defeat of the Spanish Armada. The Dutch did, ruling the sea for more than half a century. We also learn that while Spain declined after Armada, it was a l-o-n-g decline, the flow of silver from Latin America actually increased 100 years after 1588.

We learn about the so many near disasters during the long rivalry with France, from Louis XIV to Napoleon. That the demands of keeping the Navy may have led to the American Revolution. We learn about Dreadnought, and how it may have triggered WW1, which of course led to a lot of other terrible things. (TIME magazine called Gavrilo Princip the triggerman of the 20th century, this book tells us Dreadnought played a heavier hand than we realize.)

Churchill also takes a beating here, in both World Wars, but even a Churchill fan would welcome this other look at his hero, who was clearly a flawed great man.

Above all, we learn that the Navy earned its place of honor because of the courage, skill and determination of its officers and men, and because it had the fierce support of its politicians and its people. When the latter disappeared, when priorities shifted elsewhere, the Navy declined, but happily, the skill and courage of the men remained.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on July 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Arthur Herman has written a very balanced popular history of the British navy and it's importance to the development of world history over a period of 500 years. A topic this vast requires a monumental task of synthesis and his account is accessible and entertaining as well as enlightening to the general reader. With the added bonus of occasionally shedding light on the origins of certain terms that are used in every day speech that have nautical roots, the exploration of the amazing parade of historical characters that made the Royal Navy what it was ,To Rule The Waves is a wonderful read for anyone with an interest in European or Colonial history and especially for those with an interest in British history.

Characters from Drake to Raleigh to Cook to Nelson to Darwin and more populate this history and in Herman's account the historical threads that unite them all are clear if sometimes somewhat simplified to facilitate the narrative.

Some reviewers have pointed out some inaccuracies but I would say that for a subject of this scope he has done an admirable job of presenting a one volume history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William J. Romanos on June 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was an excellent history of the British Navy. It has the great battles like Trafalgar - I especially learned a great deal about Nelson and his impact on the British Navy - as well as Winston Churchill's role in shaping the British Navy. I also learned a great deal about Elizabeth's response to the Spanish Armada and her mistreatment of her own seamen upon their return (or attempted return) to safety, as well as piracy and the British responses to it.

I really enjoyed this book. It's very comprehensive and thorough. All the stories within it are very interesting and the book is extremely well written.

If you like this book, you may also want to read the influential and very important book the Influence of Sea Power Upon History by Alfred Thayer Mahan written around 1890. Many of the leaders of the world's navies read it and it had a very big influence on them and their shaping of their navies and the commensurate Naval arms race that developed in the first half of the twentieth century (especially after World War I and prior to World War II).
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: transportation, naval