ARMS AND THE STATE. SIR WILLIAM ARMSTRONG AND THE REMAKING OF BRITISH NAVAL POWER, 1854-1914.

Bastable, Marshall J.


£75.00




Ashgate, Aldershot & Burlington, 1st.ed., 2004. Xii + 300 pp., 10 photo-ills. Pict. laminated boards ; 24 x 16cm. Slight crease to corners of two leaves o/w FINE. Dr. Nicholas Rodger’s copy, signed & inscribed : "Nicholas Rodger. Acton, Feast of St. Nicholas of (?) 2004." The manufacture and sale of naval armaments became big business in the late 19th century, and at the forefront of this industry was the firm of Sir William Armstrong, Whitworth and Company. In this book, Dr. Bastable reconstructs the history of the firm, from its origins in the Crimean War to its high point on the eve of the First World War, setting its technological, political and international story into context. Much had hitherto been written about Armstrong between 1880 and 1914, but little of substance prior to that date. This study brings light to bear on the company’s earlier history and its development, all based on new research. The book is divided into three parts : 1) Inventing the Armstrong Gun, 1854-65. This covers war, friends and competitors, the era of naval arms revolution, and the controversy over monster guns or iron ships in the defence of Britain. 2) Making the Global Arms Market, 1863-1914. The author examines world demand and Elswick’s marketing techniques, the arming of America and Europe, and the arming of Asia. 3) Remaking British Naval Power, 1880-1914. This final part unravels the complex naval-industrial, and political-industrial stories, and describes the entrepreneurs and managers and their relationship with the British State. A scholarly study containing a good deal of fresh material.


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