A contrived, fragmentary account of US naval involvement in the Pacific Ocean from the War of 1812 onwards. Relying heavily on some of his other books (The Boxer Rebellion, How They Won the War in the Pacific, The Glorious Flattops), Hoyt has put together an episodic history of American naval policy and operations in the Pacific Ocean area, though what constitutes this region is rather ill-defined. Thus, Southeast Asia is largely ignored until the Vietnam War is treated, and the Fall of the Philippines to the Japanese is glossed over while the American reconquest receives considerable attention. There are, in addition, numerous errors and misapprehensions: the two Japanese air strikes on Pearl Harbor are conflated into one; the battleship New Jersey appears off the coast of Vietnam in 1965 rather than '69; the cruise of the Confederate raider Shenandoah is dismissed in four lines. And the material of particular interest--on Farragnt's early career, the opening of Japan, the acquisition of Hawaii, various World War II actions--is the common stock of historical literature. Nothing is achieved by this particular reconstitution, even apart from its internal failings.