The modern U.S. Navy began with the authorization of three steel cruisers in 1883. What happened to this important warship over the last century is the subject of this book, the only account of U.S. cruiser development based on internal navy files. It presents a complete history of cruiser design at a level of detail and accuracy never before approached. Like the other books in Norman Friedman’s design-history series, this one pays attention to all designs, even those that never left the drawing board, since every proposal made is a link in the evolution of the cruiser force.
Also carefully examined are the many post-World War II cruiser projects, both those that were built, like the nuclear-powered Long Beach, and those that were not, like the specialized command ship of 1968. In every case, the author discusses not merely what was tried, but why it succeeded or failed.