Theodore Roosevelt was a titan of American politics, society, and culture. Rarely soft spoken, always eager to brandish a big stick, and animated by an inexhaustible energy, Roosevelt used his considerable might to leave an indelible mark on the United States. As a trust buster, Roosevelt forever altered American attitudes toward corporate monopolies. As a conservationist, Roosevelt left a legacy of stewardship over the nation’s natural resources. As a statesman and jingo, Roosevelt expanded the United States’ global reach and international standing. And as a cultural icon, Roosevelt’s maxims, disposition, and image permeated American life, defining a rugged American masculinity for generations to come.
Roosevelt’s impact in these arenas is well documented in the existing historiography—hundreds of scholarly works examine nearly every aspect of his life and career. Virtually absent from this vast literature, however, is an understanding of Roosevelt’s role in constructing the foundations of the modern United States Navy. William P. Leeman and John B. Hattendorf’s edited volume, Forging the Trident: Theodore Roosevelt and the United States Navy (Naval Institute Press, 2021), fills that gap. Tracing Roosevelt’s trajectory from naval enthusiast, to naval historian, to visionary architect of the early twentieth century United States Navy, to commander in chief of the Great White Fleet, Forging the Trident reveals the extent to which Roosevelt’s outsized personality shaped both the course of American naval affairs and the very character of the Navy itself. A significant contribution to the Roosevelt historiography, Leeman and Hattendorf’s erudite volume opens up previously uncharted waters to greater historical scrutiny.
John B. Hattendorf is the Ernest J. King Professor of Maritime History Emeritus and Senior Advisor, John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research, at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. A former officer in the United States Navy, he earned his D.Phil. degree in history from the University of Oxford and is the author or editor of more than 50 books.
William P. Leeman is an associate professor of history and a faculty fellow of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. He earned his Ph.D. in history from Boston University and taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point from 2009-2011. He is the author of The Long Road to Annapolis: The Founding of the Naval Academy and the Emerging American Republic.
In addition to the book editors, contributors are: Sarah Goldberger, James R. Holmes, David Kohnen, Branden Little, Jon Scott Logel, Edward J. Marolda, Kevin D. McCranie, Matthew Oyos, Jason W. Smith, and Craig L. Symonds.
Scott Lipkowitz an MA in History, with a concentration in military history, and a MLIS, with a concentration in information technology, from Queens College, City University of New York
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