- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Naval Institute Press (August 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1612512437
- ISBN-13: 978-1612512433
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for the Modern Era Paperback – August, 2013
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“In this very valuable analysis Armstrong looks at and interprets five of Mahan’s finest essays. He very logically and rationally places them in the current context where they sit very well.” ― Word Boat World
"...Outstanding 'must read' book" ― Armchair General
"Armstrong succeeds in achieving his goal of making Mahan’s ideas accessible and relevant. In the process, he compellingly challenges the conventional interpretations of Mahan’s works. Instead of an fossilized relic, 21st Century Mahan reveals its protagonist as a perceptive, flexible, innovative thinker. While Mahan did champion the battleship as the navy’s strategic cornerstone, he envisioned it as the locus of an adaptive, balanced force designed to confront a dynamic world situation. On the level of policy, Mahan explored the linkages between national economic aspirations and potential international conflict. Armstrong also shows how Mahan recognized both the promise and peril of globalization. Military policy, Mahan believed, must remain closely attuned to worldwide economic and political conditions. Finally, Mahan advocated an honest assessment of potential threat risks to fundamentally inform national debates on policy, strategy, and defense budgets. 21st Century Mahan is a “must-read” for today’s military and naval professionals. Students of public policy and history (military, political, and diplomatic) will find Armstrong’s work especially enlightening. The book also lends itself well to use in the college classroom." – Naval History Book Reviews
“Armstrong’s strength is his ability to force his readers to reexamine Mahan and his ability to synthesize the master’s ideas on the importance of Asia, preparing for conflict, and tensions between the fighter and the administrator. I hope the author will continue his writing and provoking fresh thought within our Navy. This is a fine read for those with an interest in maritime strategy generally, and Mahan specifically.” ― DCMilitary.com
About the Author
LCDR Benjamin Armstrong, USN, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Norwich University and is a PhD candidate in War Studies with King’s College, London. He has been awarded the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement and is the editor of the 21st Century Foundations series.
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First, it highlighted 5 essays written by AT Mahan I had never read prior to reading 21st Century Mahan.
Second, it made reading Mahan interesting, and most importantly - not boring. In my opinion most of AT Mahan's books are incredibly wordy to emphasize clarity, and his books use a late 19th century writing style that readers today - particularly young readers - can find cumbersome to read. Mahan possessed a gift for taking topics that can be very interesting like naval history and the history of war in the Age of Sail... and making the content difficult to read and boring. Not this time.
21st Century Mahan highlights 5 essay's that Mahan wrote for public audiences, not naval audiences, and those essay's - unlike his books (IMO) - are both interesting and easier to read than much of his work.
The essay's are relevant to the events taking place today. BJ Armstrong, who himself has a very unique and compelling writing style, does a great job of bringing Mahan into the 21st century discussion by introducing Mahan's thinking to the 21st century reader who would normally be turned off by Mahan's late 19th century writing style. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy naval history, military strategy, naval strategy, early 20th century history, and for people who look to history to help understand events of the day. This is also a great book for those who study or want to study Mahan's strategic theories, but lack access to some of his less circulated works.
His grasp of Mahan's principles and their application to modern naval operations is unparalleled. This book is a "must have" for any student of naval strategy, operations and leadership. Keep watching for Armstrong's next book, whatever it covers and whenever it's released. He is on the cusp of a monumental writing career.
I was expecting a book that was more of Armstrong's analysis and giving shorter quotes from many of Mahan's writings to support his views. Or at the very least, i expected a summary of many different books/articles of Mahans. Instead it really came off as Armstrong simply giving a brief introduction to a handful of Mahan's lesser known writings.
If I had known this before I bought the book, I probably would have passed and bought a different book. I'm giving this book three stars because the analysis that accompanied Mahan's articles I thought was very good.
VERY INTERESTING SUBJECT LOADED WITH FOOD FOR THOUGHT.