Book Review – ’21st Century Gorshkov: The challenge of seapower in the modern era’ by Geoffrey Till
21st Century Gorshkov is the latest in a series of short edited collections of the writing of a variety of naval figures, the purpose of which, in the words of the series editor, is to provide ‘modern perspective to the great strategists and military philosophers of the past, placing their writings, principles and theories within modern discussions and debates’. He concludes this in the hope that it will ‘help make sure we ask the right questions as we face the challenges of the future’. The subject of this particular volume is Admiral Sergei Gorshkov who commanded the old Soviet navy for an unprecedented 30 years, from 1956 to 1985.
Kevin Rowlands, currently an officer in the Royal Navy and books reviews editor of the Naval Review, starts with a thoughtful survey of the career of Admiral Gorshkov, interestingly conducted by a number of vignettes of his subject’s characteristics as war hero, patient politician, architect, strategist and writer. He then divides his commentary material under a variety of headings, namely teamwork, ethos, science, art, naval power and prosperity, sailing the global commons and the lessons of history.