The Pen and the Sword

The U.S. Naval Institute 1873-2023

  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Illustrations:
    58 b/w photos; 29 color photos
  • Published:
    July 15, 2023
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    10 × 7 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    37 oz
Hardcover $150.00
Member Price $90.00 Save 40%
Book: Cover Type


The Pen and The Sword is the history of the U.S. Naval Institute from its founding in 1873 to present, a history marking the Sesquicentennial of the Naval Institute. The work captures the writings and contributions of the young, the unknowns, the famous Flag and General Officers – Navy Marine Corps, Coast Guard, civilian authors and foreign authors works published in the independent forum of the Institute from the late 19th century to the present. The contents of the work’s 17 chapters, richly illustrated, move through the decades, underlining the role the Naval Institute has played and is playing in carrying out the never-partisan “Let Us Dare to Read, Think, Speak, and Write” charter of the founding members.

Eras of rising complexity, challenge, and danger have been part of the history of the United States since the dawning of the Republic. The nation has prepared; it has prevailed; and the Nation’s sea services – Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard—have always played a central role. Throughout cycles of peace, crisis, and war, dedicated Sailors, Marines and Cuttermen have dared to read, think, speak, and write, debating the best course ahead for the Sea Services, examining key defense, national, and global security issues.

The Pen and The Sword is, in the main, prime history, their thinking, their writing, quoted from the pages of Proceedings, the Naval Institute Press, Naval History, oral histories, conferences, and current digital-age contributions.

The Pen and The Sword presents the publishing role the Naval Institute Press, a charter member of the University Presses of America, from professional educational handbooks, to a broad range essays and histories, and, of importance, oral histories – Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard non-fiction, to the publication of fiction beginning with Hunt for the Red October by Tom Clancy.

The book captures the role that seminars, meetings and conferences have increasingly played through the years, culminating in the construction and opening of the Institute’s on-site Jack C. Taylor Conference Center in 2021. Quoting Marine General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Institute Foundation Board of Trustees, on the occasion of the Center’s opening, “Today more than ever, our nations needs a place where professionals in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard can have a discourse on the direction of our naval forces, the direction of our nation, and do so in a non-partisan environment that allows people to speak their minds and learn from others.”

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“The fundamental idea of the establishment of the Institute is 'the advancement of professional and scientific knowledge in the Navy,’ and that purpose is being accomplished year by year in a praiseworthy manner. . . . Opposition sometimes proves a wholesome stimulant . . . If a few undertake to build up there are never wanting those who are ready to pull down apparently for the sheer love of pulling down.” —Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, U.S. Navy, President, U.S. Naval Institute “Annual Address, 1888” Proceedings, Vol. 14, No. 1, January 1888

When Admiral Arleigh Burke, as Chief of Naval Operations, became President of the Naval Institute, he published a February 16, 1956, “Memorandum to All in Command” in the Proceedings, writing, in part: “I wish to express my personal conviction of the importance of the Institute to the Navy and to the country at large. Since its founding in 1873 by an outstanding group of officers, the Institute has provided a forum and sounding board for thoughts of our most outstanding officers. It has been instrumental in collecting and disseminating current and historical information of great professional value. . . Membership in the Naval Institute is not merely a subscription to a professional magazine. True, the Proceedings is the voice of the Institute, but the heart of the Institute is its members, and its vitality is measured by the interest taken by officers in their professional society.” —“Memorandum to All in Command,” Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, U.S. Navy, Proceedings, Vol. 82, No. 4, April 1956

“Not only was it a great credit to me with a gold medal from the Naval Institute,” Admiral Ernest J. King said afterward in 1909 when he was a lieutenant, “but I also got a life membership and five hundred dollars. I might add that before I got the prize essay, I had been just another officer. But after the prize essay I became noted in the whole naval service, and this probably helped me in my career.” —Master of Sea Power – A Biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, Thomas B. Buell, Naval Institute Press, 1995