21st Century Knox

Influence, Sea Power, and History for the Modern Era
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Published:May 15, 2016
By David Kohnen (Author)

Commo. Dudley Wright Knox took a practitioner’s approach to maritime history, helping to frame a global mission for the U.S. Navy. Having graduated with the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1897, he commanded a variety of warships and flag headquarters. He served in combat during the 1898 Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, and in the Philippines. With intelligence, Knox lead efforts to establish the “special relationship” between the Royal Navy and U.S. Navy during two world wars. Helping to realize the visions of a “navy second to none” Knox assisted President Franklin D. Roosevelt in educating Americans to understand the nexus between war and peace. Unlike armies or air forces, Knox argued that navies provided unique means, “not to make war but to preserve peace, not to be predatory but to shield the free development of commerce, not to unsettle the world but to stabilize it through the promotion of law and order.”

21st Century Knox offers a primer on the thinking of the man who exerted an enormous influence on the U.S. Navy during the first fifty years of the twentieth century. His ideas on questions of strategy, leadership, and maritime operations remain relevant to naval professionals into the twenty-first century and beyond.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Naval History
  • Paperback : 176 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (May 15, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1612519806
  • ISBN-13: 9781612519807
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 9.92 oz
  • “David Kohnen’s selection covers six articles drawn from the pages of Proceedings between 1913 and 1950, and one previously unpublished manuscript from 1948. The latter is a particularly heartwarming account of Knox’s friendship with President Roosevelt and is as much an insight into the personality of the great American war leader as it is of Knox himself. The articles, however, are more hard hitting and range from discussions on the role of doctrine in naval warfare, to leadership at sea and the importance of history. As a whole they are interesting but, this reviewer might argue, not always challenging of accepted wisdom. The joy of this book, though, is its introduction of Knox to a new generation of readers who might otherwise be wholly ignorant of him.” — The Naval Review
  • “The collection of essays offered and the commentary provided by David Kohnen suggests something of the continuing debt the U.S. Navy and maritime history, in general, owe to Commodore Dudley Knox. The work is warmly recommended. Knox and his times were blessed, indeed, that the Navy and its history had such an influential sponsor in one erstwhile Assistant Secretary.”—International Journal of Naval History
  • 21st Century Knox: Influence, Sea Power, and History for the Modern Era is a scholarly analysis and discussion of the ideas and legacy of Commodore Dudley Wright Knox (1877-1960), an officer in the United States Navy who served in the Spanish-American War and World War I, and who oversaw the Navy Department's historical office for many years. Knox's influence is especially notable during the years of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency; Knox advocated for the navy as an instrument for the preservation of peace and the protection of trade, rather than solely for warfare. Knox's views on naval strategy, leadership, and maritime options transcend his era, and offer invaluable insights to military and naval professions in the twenty-first century. Highly recommended, especially for college library nautical studies shelves.”—Midwest Book Review

David Kohnen earned a PhD with the Laughton Chair of Naval History at the University of London, King’s College. He is the author of Commanders Winn and Knowles: Winning the U-Boat War with Intelligence as well as several other works.

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