Mayday: The Decline of American Naval Supremacy
Seth Cropsey. New York: Overlook Duckworth, Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc., 2013. 336 pp. Map. Illus. Index. $29.95.
Reviewed by Commander T. J. Zerr, U.S. Navy
Athens, Venice, Spain, and Britain all dominated the sea lanes and leveraged their maritime might to become the undisputed unilateral power of their day. None, however, survived at the top. In Mayday, Seth Cropsey—part history professor, grand strategist, military expert, policy wonk, soothsayer, and realist—asserts the cause was a diminution of sea- power supremacy. The United States, he claims, is trending toward a similar fate. A Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy for two administrations, his insight gleaned from experience is reinforced through extensive research punctuated with 20 pages of endnotes. In Cropsey’s view, world superpower status is inexorably linked to a country’s ability to dominate the high seas. He details in exceptional clarity this Mahanian argument with a litany of historical examples.