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To Master the Boundless Sea


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About the Author

Jason W. Smith is assistant professor of history at Southern Connecticut State University.


In this well-researched book, Smith examines the extension of American knowledge during the nineteenth century and focuses in particular on the American navy." - Journal of Military History

"A well-written and thought-provoking look at the US Navy during a long period of transition, one which questions-or at least reframes-several standard narratives. . . . Highly recommended." - International Journal of Maritime History

"Smith's book takes a well-deserved place among other notable works emphasizing the importance of ocean science as a key element in aiding the relentless expansion of nineteenth-century empires." - Imago Mundi

"Any compelling book like To Master the Boundless Sea makes a reader wish for more: for more reference and comparison to the British empire, for instance. But Smith has already engaged with so many historiographies, and assembled such a rich argument and narrative, that To Master the Boundless Sea will benefit many historians grappling with American overseas empire, science, and the environment in the 19th century. The book deserves to be widely read." - Diplomatic History

"An engaging and thoughtful book-ambitious in its scope, creative in its organization, and masterful in its execution." - Isis Review

"To Master the Boundless Sea Smith (SCSU) covers the oft-told story of the 19th-century US Navy in a compelling new way." - Choice Reviews

"Impressive . . . . For scholars interested in early U.S. historical experience in the hydrographic and chart-making fields, this will be a good source of references. Full of useful research material, it should be in your library." - Naval History Magazine

"This important book deserves a wide readership." - Choice Reviews

"Offers a new argument for the U.S. Navy's role in the pursuit and development of American empire . . . . Stands very usefully at the intersection of numerous fields of history: military history, naval history, the history of science, maritime history, and environmental history." - Diplomatic History

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