This book is written for an uninformed audience. Much of the information presented is familiar to anyone who has a basic level of understanding of world history and geography. Most unfortunately, it appears that the author did not employ the services of a professional editor. The phrase "to say the least" punctuates all too many sentences. For example, admiral Stavridis describes his relationship with a former subordinate as "close, to say the least." What does that mean?
The book is also littered with disjointed throwaways of questionable academic value, such as the assertion in the context of Munich that "Appeasement failed, as it always does." Always? This particular phrase illustrates the nature of this book; an undisciplined, barely edited pseudo-academic stroll through the woods of world history. Were they to read this book, my professors ar the Naval Postgraduate School would surely feel seasick.
Admiral Stavridis injects his personal experiences throughout the book, but these anecdotes strain to add anything to the story. Take for example the account of the Egyptian pilot who nearly ran the then-captain's ship aground. So what? The reader learns not one single additional thing about the Suez Canal. We do learn that if a US Navy captain allows the vessel under his command to bump into something solid, his career is over. What does this have to do with "geopolitics "?
If you are a prospective buyer of this book, take the following test before you spend your money. Do you know absolutely nothing about the oceans or geography of the world? Do you like to read autobiographies devoted to self-aggrandizing? Do you think that being a 4-star admiral makes someone an expert in "geopolitics "? If you answered in the affirmative three times, you should buy the book. If you prefer in-depth learning about the world's oceans and their role in history, read the works of Samuel Eliot Morison, who was promoted to flag rank on the strengh of his scholarship.
- Audio CD
- Publisher: Penguin Group USA; Unabridged edition (6 June 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1524777285
- ISBN-13: 978-1524777289
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 15 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 159 g
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