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From Sail to Steam

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Book Overview: 

Alfred Thayer Mahan, American historian and author, whose The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660–1783 became instrumental in the formation of naval strategy by many nations in the 20th century, here recounts his observations and experiences over forty years of active duty as a naval officer.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . its subsequent existence was unhappily notorious.

A general good-humored tolerance, easy-going, and depending upon a mutual understanding, none the less clear because informal, characterized the relations of the officers and students. Primarily, each were in the appreciation of the other officers and gentlemen. So far there was implicit equality; and while the ones were in duty bound to enforce academic regulations, which the others felt an equal obligation to disregard, it was a kind of game in which they did not much mind being losers, provided we did not trespass on the standards of the gentleman, and of the officer liberally construed. They, I think, had an unacknowledged feeling that while under school-boy, or collegiate, discipline as to times or manners, some relaxation of strict official correctness must be endured. Larking, sometimes uproarious, met with personal sympathy, if official condemnation. Nor did we resent being detected by what we regarded a. . . Read More