Book Review – ‘The Rise and Fall of British Shipbuilding’ by Fred. M. Walker

By Fred M Walker, published October 2020


In just over 100,000 words, this volume purports to describe the thousand-year history of shipbuilding on our islands, to ascribe reasons for the climb to international leadership at the beginning of the twentieth century and then explain the near extinction of the industry a mere eighty years later. This is an ambitious objective for any book, especially when the main narrative lacks clarity and cohesion. The author covers many subjects in a superficial manner and seems more intent on displaying the breadth of his interest and reading rather than concentrating on specific areas and delivering an incisive study.

This book was first published in 1994 and it is a shame that the author, or indeed the publisher, has not taken the opportunity to correct some of mistakes and inaccuracies that unfortunately riddle the book. The author does not appear to be well versed in technical matters and the many errors do not instil confidence in his handling of the subject …

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Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Miscellaneous | Shipbuilding & Design

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