Engineering & Transportation

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U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History [Hardcover]

by Norman Friedman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1983 0870217399 978-0870217395 First American Edition
This fully illustrated series offers detailed descriptions of the evolution of all classes of the principle U.S. combatant types, as well as plans, profiles, and numerous detailed photographs.

Frequently Bought Together

U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History + U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Revised Edition (Illustrated Design Histories) + U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History
Price for all three: $166.66

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 427 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; First American 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: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Detailed and Fascinating 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
5.0 out of 5 stars The masterpiece on U.S. Aircraft Carrier development. 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Library Addition for Serious Historians 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
5.0 out of 5 stars US Carriers 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview 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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