search by author or title

On Seas of Glory

Heroic Men, Great Ships, and Epic Battles of the American Navy


John Lehman (View Bio)
Hardcover: The Free Press, 2001; Paperback: The Free Press, 2002.

On Seas of Glory
Winner of the Rear Admiral Samuel Morison Award for Naval Literature given by the Naval Order of the United States, New York Commandery

"Lehman's eclectic narrative on the grandeur of the American naval tradition serves as a forceful reflection on the Navy-Marine Corps team's continuing prowess — and enduring relevance — as the world's foremost expeditionary-warfare combat force.... Lehman serves the reader a rich sampling of the fighting American Sailors, technical innovators, and inspirational leaders who forged the battle legacies and winning traditions of the naval service.... Novice and naval historian alike should enjoy Lehman's accounts of lesser-known naval personages as well.... [An] admirable retrospective on more than 200 years of America's wars at sea." — Sea Power

"By now I have read so many books about the U.S. Navy...that I did not expect to find much really new in this one.... But John Lehman's ON SEAS OF GLORY is indeed a different and most interesting approach to the story of the Navy.... Woven throughout are stories of men and women too obscure to be included in a conventional naval history who had unusually brave or interesting experiences. In addition, there are pieces on better-known naval figures, bringing out facts and opinions not usuall seen.... Lehman has written a splendid book that catches the flavor of the Navy and provides a sparkling, readable and insightful look at our sea service." — Philadelphia Inquirer

"Bombastic title aside, an engaging if quirky history of the US Navy.... An entertaining read." — Kirkus Reviews

"An ambitious project, but those who either have served under or know John Lehman recognize that he is a man who never has shied away from ambitious projects.... ON SEAS OF GLORY is presented so unashamedly and with such moxie...that even the most erudite among naval historians might be forced to yield to his will. One fact is inarguable: John Lehman brings a passion to his efforts.... ON SEAS OF GLORY is like a comfortable pair of jeans — pants you would wear even if they had a hole or two just because they feel so good.... A must read." — Proceedings of the U. S. Naval Institute

"A former secretary of the navy, Lehman presents the epic story of the American navy from its origins during the American Revolution to the present.... Lehman knows his subject, and his folksy writing style is easy to read and comprehend.... Lehman provides concise and penetrating biographies of naval officers from well-known men...to relative unknowns.... [A]n appealing introduction to a rich subject." — Publishers Weekly

"'The ocean makes you free.' The facts tend to support that. The great democracies are almost all oceanic.... This book, completed before September 11, contains a fascinating insight. The worst Islamic outrage to precede the attack on the twin towers was the destruction by truck bomb of a barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 US Marines. After much dithering in the Pentagon, retribution was mounted by carrier-borne aircraft. A pilot fell into Arab hands and was eventually released, after much negotiation, to the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Only after his return were the battleships of the US Sixth Fleet allowed to fire their 16-inch guns into Arab positions. I was in Beirut at the time and saw the New Jersey open fire. The negotiator who secured the release of the pilot to Jesse Jackson was Donald Rumsfeld. No doubt he remembered the effect of forthright retaliation even more clearly than I do. No doubt he also believed that totalitarian states should beware of tangling with oceanic democracies." — John Keegan, The Daily Telegraph (London)

Up Back to Top