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U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History Hardcover – April 1, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0870217395 ISBN-10: 0870217399 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 427 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; First Edition edition (April 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870217399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870217395
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #555,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
I bought the book for my father-in-law's 80th birthday.
Kristin Flood
This design history is full of clear quality photos, very nice line drawings by Baker and overviews of the many aircraft carriers.
Michael Glasgow
If you are a serious naval historian, this book belongs on your shelf.
MajorCase302

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for those who want technical information about the US Navy Aircraft Carriers. The book covers detail information about the design, construction, and modifications of all of the classes of US carriers built since the beginning of carrier aviation. In addition, the book covers other designs the US Navy thought about but never bothered to build. This book is not for the novice but for those who need detail technical information, this is the book to get.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Smith on March 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This volume, one of many in Norman Friedman's naval design histories, is amazingly thorough in its coverage of U.S. aircraft carrier design from the 1930s-era Saratoga and Lexington through the nuclear-powered Nimitz-class, as well as the offshoot amphibious assault carriers.
The book is filled with design schematics, ships' specifications and more esoteric naval information than you could possibly absorb in a lifetime. The rich wealth of information is the consistent strength of this series that makes it a bit overwhelming for the casual reader looking for a narrative history of U.S. carrier.
The emphaisis here is on ship design, its impact on operations and little else. If there is any shortcoming to be found within the book, it is that it is rather old, having been last updated in 1983, when the Nimitz class was just hitting its stride and long before the design innovations fueled by the Navy's growth in the waning years of the Cold War.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've read just about every book I can lay my hands on concerning the Essex class aircraft carrier and though this magnificent book envelops each American carrier it is far (FAR) more superior to the mediocre Essex-Class Carrier by Alan Raven, regardless that Alan Raven's book is dedicated to the Essex alone. Many believe that Raven's book is the standard for the Essex class carrier but it falls far short when compared to this brilliant masterpiece.

Please take my word for it - do NOT spend the $100.00 for Alan Raven's Essex-Class Carrier unless you want a photograph of a radar antenna and save yourself about sixty dollars and months and months of dead-end research and buy this outstanding piece of work instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MajorCase302 on August 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is not a take-to-the-beach-for-light-summer-reading fare. It is a technically dense, exhaustive study of United States aircraft carrier design, from the first awkward experiments, (the Langley), through a brief description of the then-new (1983) Nimitz class. Reading it is like trying to run through knee-deep mud, but oh, what mud. Everything a serious historian--(or naval architect, for that matter)--could possibly want to know about pre-1983 American carriers is here. Want to know where the avgas tanks were in the first Yorktown class ships? You got it. How about a complete description of the electronic suites--radars, HF/DF, communications, meterological--on the post-war carriers? Every minute iteration in the continually evolving systems is there, and which ships had which systems and when they were installed, upgraded, replaced or removed. Why did some of the Essexes have fold-up gun sponsons? (To fit through the locks of the Panama Canal.) There is even the only good description I've ever seen--with photographs--of the two WWII carqual carriers converted from paddle-wheel (!!) steamers that operated in Lake Michigan. CVEs, the post-war conversion projects, LPHs, dedicated ASW carriers, the second Enterprise, catapults, arresting gear, and on and on. If you are a serious naval historian, this book belongs on your shelf.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frank Alexander on January 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have found on the US Air Craft Carriers. It gives a complete review of carriers untill the late 1970s. I wish the auther would edit it to include, the newest carriers up to the latest ship the GR Ford.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael Glasgow on September 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
For years, Friedman has set a standard for naval ship subjects. This design history is full of clear quality photos, very nice line drawings by Baker and overviews of the many aircraft carriers. There are also design charts, specifications and lists of ships in the appendices. Just enough information to keep your interest without going too far. An excellent starting point for one's quest to research an individual ship.
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Format: Hardcover
Wonderful reference books mared by indifferent production quality. Norman Friedman blazed the trail in the USN design history series, covering in depth the political and design function eveloution of the various ship classes and how the design decisions functioned and built on each other in the new ships. This is especially valuable in the Carriers design, where each nation was groping in the dark toward the Fleet Carriers true function in the overall pre war Fleet Concept.

Most of the U.S.N. Illustrated Design Histories have gone through multiple printing editions over the years, sadly for such important books with very mixed results, especially the Battleship Volume. Most of the books printed in the US on heavy matt paper have very poor quality pictures, the books in the series printed in China on coated slick paper have good images but the paper tended toward too thin resulting in see - through of the pages pictures. The very hard to find at reasonable prices "U.S. Crusiers A Design History" is perhaps the best of the series.

Most of the photos used are Official USN shipyard photos, done during construction/refits with 8 x 10 negatives, and are superb when seen in the well printed original or in high quality book printings like the Warship Pictorial series of softcover books by Steve Wiper , which are a useful supplement for their excellent photos.

All the Design seeries are worth buying just for the wonderful text. which depicts how, with very limited bugets, and deep internal divisions, the USN leadership got their ships mostly right before WW II.
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