THE LEVERAGE OF SEA POWER

THE STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE OF NAVIES IN WAR

A think-tank intellectual's persuasive, if tedious, reminder that sea power confers decisive military superiority—even in an era marked by advances in aerospace, ballistic, electronic, nuclear, submarine, and allied technologies. Gray (president of the National Institute for Public Policy) is a latter-day pragmatist who coolly evaluates the evidence offered by major conflicts down through the ages. Moving back and forth in time, he assesses the nautical lessons to be learned from the Peloponnesian War; the defense of the Byzantine Empire (from about A.D. 400 through 1453); the rise and fall of Venice; the protracted strife between Great Britain and France (1688-1815); WW II; and the cold war. While many of the author's insights are buried beneath pedantic prose, offhand allusions, and academic jargon (e.g., ``environmentally specific advantage''), his geostrategic conclusions are clear enough—that control of the seas yields global mobility, with no continental parallel, for maritime forces and merchant shipping. Along similar lines, Gray argues that many Western politicians and constituencies have consistently failed to understand that the primary purpose of navies is not to engage in deep-water battles with their foes but to maintain oceanic dominion as an ``enabling agent'' of victory. Whether nonspecialists will take much interest in Gray's informed—albeit donnish and often murky—analyses, though, is quite another story.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 1992

ISBN: 0-02-912661-4

Page Count: 350

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1992

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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