If Mahan Ran the Great Pacific War: An Analysis of World War II Naval Strategy
John A. Adams. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. 472 pp. Illus. Maps. Notes. Index. $34.95.
Reviewed by Robert Love
History is the most vexing of academic disciplines. Unlike the hard sciences or engineering, its practitioners cannot know all, or even most, of the evidence that provides the basis for their arguments and conclusions. Historians possess no laws or axioms from which to draw results or explain outcomes, and they cannot replicate their findings through experiment. Histories written by academics therefore tend to be maddeningly unassertive and annoyingly tentative.