Archive for May, 2017

CRS Reports of Naval Interest

May 31, 2017

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is essentially a think tank located within the Library of Congress that generates reports for Congresspeople and their staff. (More info here.) Since the interests of Congress are wide-ranging, CRS produces a veritable blizzard of reports on a plethora of subjects. One area of interest for Congress is naval affairs. Here is a listing of recent “products”: Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress; Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress; and Navy DDG-51 and DDG-1000 Destroyer Programs: Background and Issues for Congress.


New York’s Fleet Week Starts Today

May 24, 2017

For those in the area, please visit here for additional information. I’ve been going for over two decades; I’ll be there again this year as well.

The Literature of the Sea

May 22, 2017

Such a topic as the above is featured in volume 4 of the inestimable Cambridge History of English and American Literature. Although the eighteen-volume compendium is indeed dated, it still provides valuable background on numerous topics, including maritime writing, in this case from early writers to Hakluyt. The chapter following this is entitled Seafaring and Travel. Both come with substantial bibliographies of primary sources. Searching this multi-volume work for entries such as “sea” or “maritime” yields additional information.

“Sea Stories” Found in Dime Novels

May 3, 2017

Embedded within the Nickels and Dimes collection housed at Northern Illinois University are, at last count, 212 volumes that have stories with the sea as the main backdrop. Thrill to the adventures in Shadow Jack, or, The Spotted Cruiser or find yourself sailing along in The brigantine, or, Admiral Lowe’s last cruise: a tale of 1673. These are not insubstantial stories; many run to over one hundred pages. The prose might be a little florid (but so at times was Marryat’s), but these stories surely give one a taste for the literature that was so popular and ubiquitous at the time. And they are fun to read!