Andrew Lambert

Seapower States

Maritime Culture, Continental Empires and the Conflict That Made the Modern World

Yale University Press 2018

New Books in British StudiesNew Books in European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network January 23, 2019 Charles Coutinho

Andrew Lambert, Professor of Naval History at King’s College, London, author of eighteen books, and winner of the prestigious Anderson Medal—turns his attention in...

Andrew Lambert, Professor of Naval History at King’s College, London, author of eighteen books, and winner of the prestigious Anderson Medal—turns his attention in a book that historian Felipe Fernandez Armesto describes as full of ‘ambition’, ‘verve’ and at times ‘brilliance’ – to Athens, Carthage, Venice, the Dutch Republic, and Britain. In Seapower States: Maritime Culture, Continental Empires and the Conflict That Made the Modern World (Yale UP, 2018), Professor Lambert, examines how each of these polities, identified as “seapowers,” informed and determined their individual histories and enabled them to achieve success disproportionate to their size.

Lambert by delving into the intricacies of each of these seapowers is able to show how creating maritime identities made these states more dynamic, open, and inclusive than their lumbering continental rivals. Only when they forgot this aspect of their identity did these states begin to decline. Recognizing that the United States and China are modern naval powers—rather than seapowers—is essential to understanding current affairs, as well as the long-term trends in world history. This volume is a highly original “big think” analysis of five states whose success—and eventual failure—is a subject of enduring interest, by a someone who is perhaps the leading naval scholar in the Anglophone world to-day.


Charles Coutinho has a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for the Journal of Intelligence History and Chatham House’s International Affairs. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

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