Home / A&E / Books / American Naval History, 1607-1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy (University of Nebraska Press) by Jonathan R. Dull

American Naval History, 1607-1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy (University of Nebraska Press) by Jonathan R. Dull

Jan. 17, 2013
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American schools always taught that the U.S. Navy carried the day in early wars against Barbary pirates and the British, but in truth, Jonathan Dull tells us, the record is mixed. Despite redundant and occasionally unclear writing, Dull offers a thumbnail sketch of the navy from inception through the Civil War. The subtext critiques national attributes seen by the author as holdovers from colonial times. Isolationism, American exceptionalism, obsession with private gun ownership, hatred of taxes and distrust of central government hindered the U.S. Navy in its first century. And some habits never end. Already in 1775, the Second Continental Congress established one “of the most enduring traditions in American defense spending, selecting the most expensive weapon systems possible, and spreading contracts among the various states in order to win political support.” (David Luhrssen)

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