"It is only by a close study of the science and art of war that we can be prepared for war…" –Stephen B. Luce
Although the Naval Institute Press is celebrating its centennial this year, marking the official beginning when the Board of Control voted formally to commence publishing books, its beginnings can be traced to an earlier date. In 1880, one entire issue of Proceedings featured a lengthy piece entitled "The Autobiography of Commodore Charles Morris, USN." While this was not a book in the traditional sense, it might as well have been. Weighing in at 108 pages, it forfeited the claims normally associated with a magazine article.
The post-Civil War Navy Department had been forced to operate on a very lean budget indeed, so lean that it could not afford to publish the books it needed. By using the pages of Proceedings in this unorthodox manner, the Naval Institute was able to fulfill part of its implied charter of helping the Navy accomplish its missions by providing sorely needed "books."