Simply stated, ""the purpose of this book is to present the most important and most representative types and classes of ships. . . and to describe some of their characteristics. In addition, it will discuss the part each ship plays--its 'mission'--as a member of the Navy Teams--'task forces and fleets.'"" By way of introduction, there's an explanation of Navy Terminology that's more than a glossary; a discussion of Ship Names, what they signify and How They Are Named (e.g. Oilers and Tankers ""from rivers with Indian names""). The bulk of the book is a descriptive catalog in the Cooke format and fashion which doesn't, however have a Cooke to compete with, just a differently designed Colby. For a quick, efficient overview--and a preview of the future--it's presently in a class by itself.