The Blue Age

How the US Navy Created Global Prosperity--And Why We're in Danger of Losing It

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781541742543

USD: $30  /  CAD: $38

ON SALE: September 7th 2021

Genre: Nonfiction / History / Military / Naval


The imperial dominance of the US Navy has brought half a century of peace and free trade to the world's waterways. But climate change and rising nationalism threaten to change that.

Most of human history has seen what Teddy Roosevelt called "incessant warfare on the open oceans." This all changed after World War II, when the US Navy grew into a behemoth.
America has by far the most powerful naval fleet in the world–it currently owns ten full-deck nuclear supercarriers equipped with long-range jets; the rest of the world, combined, has zero.
Its dominance in this arena is so clear and overwhelming that other nations are not even trying to keep up. This, in turn, has enabled America to stand sentinel over crucial waterways like the Strait of Malacca, ensuring safe passage of goods with little interruption.
But we are entering a new era. What will happen if we lack the political will to keep spending resources on improving trade between other nations? Will China's rising economic influence and regional aggression cause us to pull ships out of the South China Sea, or result in a conflict between our navies, however mismatched? And what will happen if new shipping lanes are opened near the Arctic Circle, or other places changed by global warming?
Surveying both decades of naval history and a world of contemporary politics, this skillful blend of research and reportage makes a unique and urgent argument about the future of global trade.

Meet The Author: Gregg Easterbrook

Gregg Easterbrook is the author of twelve books, most recently It’s Better Than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear (2018). He was a staff writer, national correspondent, or contributing editor of The Atlantic for nearly forty years. Easterbrook has written for the New Yorker, Science, Wired, Harvard Business Review, the Washington Monthly, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He was a fellow in economics and in government studies at the Brookings Institution. In 2017 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Discover More

What's Inside

Read More Read Less

Reader Reviews


“Gregg Easterbrook’s engaging new book is at once a reminder and a warning. He brilliantly reacquaints us with the vital role of sea power and focuses the mind on how the destinies of nations often turn on who controls the oceans and waterways of an ever-shrinking world.”

—Jon Meacham

The Blue Age is brilliantly written, extremely well sourced, and remarkably accurate in its depiction of the centrality of the oceans to the well-being of our world.  Set sail with the author and you will arrive at the port of enlightenment, with a deeper understanding of the sea —whether you are an experienced mariner or have always simply wondered why the oceans matter.”

Admiral (ret.) James Stavridis

“READ THIS BOOK! The Blue Age is a compelling account of how our unprecedented 75 years of pax oceanum came about, how fragile it might be, and what exactly is at stake.”

Marcia McNutt, president, National Academy of Sciences

“Gregg Easterbrook is a genius at taking huge, complex, seemingly remote but deeply vital subjects, and making them into compelling, informative reading. With a vivid sense of history, clear thinking about the future, and a nice touch of irony and humor, he explains why our destiny lies on the waves of the blue oceans.”

Evan Thomas, author of Sea of Thunder and John Paul Jones

“A captivating geopolitical case for the power of the sea and the key role of the U.S. Navy -- as a preface to the author's controversial prescriptions for maritime power sharing and innovation.”

—David Malpass, President, World Bank 

“In this thought-provoking book, Gregg Easterbrook puts the oceans firmly in the center of a vitally important story about the past, present, and future.”

Helen Rozwadowski, University of Connecticut/Avery Point

Read More Read Less