Thank you Dr Alan Anderson for this article, which won first prize in the 2017 U.S. Naval Institute Naval History Essay Contest, sponsored with the William M. Wood Foundation.
Publication of The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660–1783 thrust its author, Alfred Thayer Mahan, onto the world stage. Previously a relatively unknown instructor at the U.S. Naval War College and an officer at best indifferent to command at sea, Mahan was catapulted to international fame as a historian, naval strategist, and supporter of American imperialism. His book developed a worldwide following and was translated into numerous languages. Mahan retired from the Navy in 1896 and embarked full speed on his literary career, building on the fame that publication of The Influence of Sea Power in 1890 had brought him. He became a prophet for increased sea power and naval expansion in the United States, revered for decades by legions of naval personnel. As one historian has written, “Never has one book on naval history and strategy meant so much to so many.” More than 100 years after his death, his works continue to be studied today.
The full article can be downloaded here.
The proper citation for this article is
Alan M. Anderson, “Mahan’s Interference in U.S. Policy,” Naval History 31, no. 6 (December 2017): 48-53.