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The U.S. Navy and the Birth of the American Century
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781591143635
  • Binding: Hardcover & eBook
  • Era:
  • Number of Pages: 288
  • Subject:
  • Date Available: May 2009
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Full Description:

Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy examines President Roosevelt's use of U.S. naval seapower to advance his diplomatic efforts to facilitate the emergence of the United States as a great power at the dawn of the twentieth century. Based on extensive research, the author introduces a wealth of new material to document the development of Roosevelt's philosophy with regard to naval power and his implementation of this strategy. The book relates Roosevelt's use of the Navy and Marine Corps to advance American interests during the historically controversial Venezuelan Crisis (1902–03), Panama's independence movement (1903), the Morocco-Perciaris Incident (1904), and the choice of a navy yard as the site for the negotiations that ended the Russo-Japanese War. The voyage of the Great White Fleet and Roosevelt's actions to technologically transform the American Navy are also covered. In the end, the book details how Roosevelt's actions combined to thrust the United States forward onto the world's stage as a major player and cemented his place in American history as a great president despite the fact that he did not serve during a time of war or major domestic disturbance.

This history provides new information that finally puts to rest the controversy of whether Roosevelt did or did not issue an ultimatum to the German and British governments in December 1902, bringing the United States to the brink of war with two of the world's great powers. It also reveals a secret war plan developed during Panama's independence movement that envisioned the U.S. Marine Corps invading Colombia to defend the sovereignty of the new Panamanian republic. Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy brings new understanding to how the U.S. Navy was used to usher in the American century.
Cdr. Henry J. Hendrix, USN, is a career naval officer currently assigned to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In his twenty years of active service he has made six operational deployments and earned advanced degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and Harvard University, as well as a PhD from King's College, London. A Naval Historical Center Samuel Eliot Morison Scholar and the 2006 recipient of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement, he is the author of numerous articles in professional journals. He lives in northern Virginia.
  • Watch Dr. Hendrix discuss Theodore Roosevel'ts Naval Diplomacy at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum's "Shifley Lecture."

“CDR Henry J. Hendrix hails from Indiana, far from saltwater. Yet, one would be hard pressed to find an author better qualified by combination of education and experience to write on the maritime dimension of national security. He holds advanced degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School, Harvard, and King’s College in the United Kingdom. His thesis at the first was on Japanese militarism, and he is widely published, especially in the Naval Institute’s Proceedings. He commanded a tactical air control squadron and deployed at sea five times, once aboard the nuclear carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Hendrix is an authority on naval affairs and diplomatic history, and his prose is a joy to read.

Thus, for the modern reader, Hendrix’s book offers a case study about the flexible combination of diplomacy and the measured use of military force to achieve national objectives at minimal cost. It is hard to argue against Hendrix’s notion that Roosevelt and Jefferson were the only two presidents to achieve a special greatness without wartime leadership or grave domestic crisis—and both are on Mount Rushmore along with Lincoln and Washington.  He might also have argued that both came closer to being “A Man for All Seasons” than any of the others. You should give Theodore Roosevelt’s Naval Diplomacy a high place on your reading list.”

Air Force Research Institute

“…Impressive account that will delight any navalist with its stress on the value of naval force as an appropriate means of graduated response…. this is a fine book.”

The Mariner’s Mirror
"The author used his naval expertise to compare and contrast the coercive, humanitarian, and nation-building paradigms of TR's 20th century U.S. Navy, and the requirements and missions of today's Navy with missiles, aircraft carriers, submarines, and advanced technoloy in the age of international terrorism. Captain Hendrix has written a magnificent U.S. naval history that includes a detailed biography, photographs, notes, and index."
Naval Historical Foundation book reviews newsletter, June 27, 2011: Issue 8
"CDR Hendrix's effort represents a continuation of the long line of Sailor-Scholars stretching back to Admiral Alfred T. Mahan who draw upon their operational experience as serving line officers to make a substantive contribution to our national strategic dialogue. This book not only makes a real contribution to the historical record, but also offers key insights into the current geo-strategic environment, and is a must read for national security professionals."
—Adm. James Stavridis, Combatant Commander of the US Southern Command, and author of Destroyer Captain
"Amidst the welcome resurgence of literature on TR's leadership and his broader impact on the world, Theodore Roosevelt's Naval Diplomacy stands out from all the rest. Hendrix is a salty naval person who has a fine turn of phrase. He does not let his rigorous scholarship and footnotes interfere with the flow of a very fine sea story. Let us hope it is the first in a long series."
— John Lehman, former Secretary of the Navy, 9-11 Commission Member, and author of the critically acclaimed book, Command of the Seas
"Hendrix makes abundantly clear that this is the crucial period in American history when 'economic interests predominated over the republic's philosophical values,' birthing the globalization that rules our world today. A useful guide to a poorly appreciated turning point in American and - by extension - world history."
— Thomas P.M. Barnett, best selling author of The Pentagon's New Map and Great Powers, America, and the World after Bush
"Commander Hendrix's long service in the Navy has uniquely prepared him to provide a fresh perspective on Theodore Roosevelt's use of his Big Stick, the U. S. Navy, as a diplomatic tool. This book provides important new insights on a much written about President."
— Tweed Roosevelt, great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and Chairman, Roosevelt-China Investments, Inc.
"All in all a first-rate update on the career of an enigmatic leader, the author's scholarship and footnotes allow this effort to flow like the superb sea story it is. Bully."
— Rod E. Redman, Sea Classics
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