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Extended Audio Sample A Sailor’s History of the U.S. Navy, by Thomas J. Cutler Click for printable size audiobook cover
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Adopted by the US Navy for issue to all new sailors, A Sailor’s History of the U.S. Navy brings to life the events that have shaped and inspired the navy of today while highlighting the roles of all sailors—from seaman to admiral. Rather than focus entirely upon such naval icons as Stephen Decatur and Chester Nimitz, as most histories do, author Thomas J. Cutler, a retired lieutenant commander, brings to the forefront the contributions of enlisted people. You’ll hear about Quartermaster Peter Williams, who steered the ironclad Monitor into history, and Hospital Corpsman Tayinikia Campbell, who saved lives in USS Cole after she was struck by terrorists in Yemen.

Unlike most histories, A Sailor’s History is arranged thematically rather than chronologically. Chapters are built around the navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment, its traditions of “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” and other significant aspects of the navy.

As Cutler states in his preface, the book is not a whitewash. He includes mistakes and defeats along with the achievements and victories as he draws a portrait of a navy growing stronger and smarter while turning tragedy into triumph. The result is a unique account that captures the navy’s heritage as much as its history and provides inspiration as well as information while emphasizing that most essential element of naval history: the Sailor.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This award-winning author provides a series of interesting and informative vignettes about the honor, courage, and commitment of our navy’s sailors…If you too are an American sailor, read A Sailor’s History of the US Navy…to help you remember that you are part of something much greater than yourself!”

    Naval War College Review

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About the Author

Thomas J. Cutler, LCDR, USN (Ret.), is a former gunner’s mate second class who served in patrol craft, cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers. His varied assignments included an in-country Vietnam tour, small craft command, and nine years on the history faculty of the US Naval Academy. Currently, he is professor of strategy and policy with the Naval War College and senior acquisitions editor for the Naval Institute Press in Annapolis, Maryland. Winner of the Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Naval Literature, he is the author of Brown Water, Black Berets: Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam; The Battle of Leyte Gulf; and the 22nd and 23rd editions of The Bluejacket’s Manual.