Naval War College Review


Richard Norton


Author H. P. Willmott does not lack for self-confidence. This is evident from the first pages of the provocatively titled The Last Century of Sea Power. In a self-described effort to “explain, rather than describe,” Willmott seeks to shed light on all aspects of maritime power that have played a role in world affairs during the last hundred years. This project is of such scope that lesser historians might well spend their lives in research and never complete a manuscript. Other signif- icant challenges inherent in this task include the need to paint with a fairly broad brush, without sacrificing critical detail—how to choose which elements to em- phasize and how to deal with the personalities that populate the hundred-year landscape.