The book is good history and has a strong topical appeal, in its survey of the function of the U S Navy to maintain her ""sea lanes in wartime"". The first part is the story of our maritime development behind the naval actions (campaigns against the Royal Navy, the French under Napoleon, the Barbary Pirates, the raiders of the Confederacy). Against this historical background, the authors project the maritime aspects of the two World Wars. Behind the shipping loss statistics, the authors have delved to grasp the basic significance of the problem. The passing scene is written in an Only Yesterday style -- straight journalese, which has the disadvantage of dating the book rapidly. This is good enough to deserve a new edition when the victory they prophesy has been confirmed by the event.