The Naval Institute Press has published a new softcover edition—also available as an eBook—of Master of Seapower, the late Thomas B. Buell’s splendid biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. Buell traces King’s extraordinary career from Plebe Midshipman in 1897 through Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Fleet in World War II.
As a lieutenant commander, King served as the Naval Institute’s Secretary-Treasurer from 1913–14. Buell wrote that as a very young officer:
King also plunged into shipboard organization and leadership, for years popular subjects of debate. . . .
The United States Naval Institute offered a way to change the system. In 1873 a group of naval officers had founded the Institute as a means to advance professional and scientific knowledge in the Navy. In time, the Institute published a monthly journal, the Proceedings, which provided a free and open forum for advanced naval thinking and writing. One of its greatest values was that it allowed junior officers to express thoughts that otherwise would have been stifled.