Historical Dreadnoughts: Marder and Roskill: Writing and Fighting Naval History

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9781848320772: Historical Dreadnoughts: Marder and Roskill: Writing and Fighting Naval History
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This is the story of the remarkable, intersecting careers of the two greatest writers on British naval history in the twentieth century - the American professor Arthur Marder, son of immigrant Russian Jews, and Captain Stephen Roskill, who knew the Royal Navy from the inside. Between them, these contrasting characters were to peel back the lid of historical secrecy that surrounded the maritime aspects of the two world wars, based on the privileged access to official papers they both achieved through different channels.Initially their mutual interests led to a degree of friendly rivalry, but this was to deteriorate into a stormy academic feud fought out in newspaper columns and the footnotes of their books - much to the bemusement (and sometimes amusement) of the naval history community. Out of it, surprisingly, emerged some of the best historical writing on naval themes, and a central contribution of this book is to reveal the process by which the two historians produced their literary masterpieces.Anyone who has read Marder's From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow or Roskill's The War at Sea - and they were both bestsellers in their day - will be entertained and enlightened by this story of the men A J P Taylor called 'our historical dreadnoughts'. This is the story of the remarkable, intersecting careers of the two greatest writers on British naval history in the twentieth century - the American professor Arthur Marder, son of immigrant Russian Jews, and Captain Stephen Roskill, who knew the Royal Navy from the inside. Between them, these contrasting characters were to peel back the lid of historical secrecy that surrounded the maritime aspects of the two world wars, based on the privileged access to official papers they both achieved through different channels.Initially their mutual interests led to a degree of friendly rivalry, but this was to deteriorate into a stormy academic feud fought out in newspaper columns and the footnotes of their books - much to the bemus

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This very thorough and eminently readable book is the story of the lives and interactions of the two great writers on twentieth century British naval history, the successors to the legendary Alfred T Mahan and Julian Corbett. A book about naval historians and their differing approaches to writing history might be dry and dull, but in the author's capable hands (as a Canadian, he is neutral in the dispute) makes a fascinating read. It is a naval book with a difference and one that cannot be too highly recommended for the bookshelf. - Warship 2012

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Gough, Barry
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ISBN 10: 1848320779 ISBN 13: 9781848320772
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