Book Review – Warship 2015

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The Conway Warship annual publication rapidly established itself as a premier annual review of naval affairs and a source of insightful articles from leading writers of some of the least well-known and best-known topics of naval history. The death of Anthony Preston, who had been responsible as editor for this fine series, cast a shadow over the future of the series. Happily, the current editor took on responsibility in 2004 and his first volume proved that the reputation of Warship would not suffer. The very successful format was maintained and the only area of doubt was in the future ownership of the Conway imprint. When Bloomsbury acquired the imprint last autumn the doubts were finally dispelled. The new owner has agreed to the continuation of Warship in its popular and well-established format and this first issue under the new ownership demonstrates a commitment to both the very original and informing content and to the high production standard. Inevitably, this has resulted in a cost that is not a bargain basement price, but it is a very aggressive pricing for a book of this quality. Sadly, the reduction in lending library space means that some readers who depended on borrowing copies will either miss out or need to dig deep to buy their own copies. More significantly, it will deny access to a number of new readers who would have borrowed from libraries before becoming hooked and placing regular orders. This is a situation which affects a great many serious and highly professional books and has encouraged the purchase of imprints into a relatively small number of publishing groups. However, this is a book for professionals and enthusiasts that will also appeal to novices. Highly recommended.

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