Palmer, Michael A.

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Palmer, Michael A.

PERSONAL: Married; children: two. Education: Temple University, Ph.D, 1981.

ADDRESSES: Home—Greenville, NC. Office—Department of History Program in Maritime Studies, Brewster A-315, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC, assistant editor, 1983–86, assistant head of contemporary history, 1986–; East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, professor of history, 1991–, chair of department, 1999–. Military service: U.S. Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, worked in Strategic Concepts Group.

AWARDS, HONORS: Meritorious Civilian Service medal, U.S. Department of the Navy, 1991; Samuel Eliot Morison Award for naval literature, and Book of the Year Award, American Revolutionary War Round Table of New York, both for Stoddert's War: Naval Operations during the Quasi-War with France, 1798–1801; Moncado Prize, Society for Military History.


Stoddert's War: Naval Operations during the Quasi-War with France, 1798–1801, University of South Carolina Press (Columbia, SC), 1987, with new introduction, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 2000.

Origins of Maritime Strategy: American Naval Strategy in the First Postwar Decade, Naval Historical Center (Washington, DC), 1988, 2nd edition published as Origins of the Martime Strategy: The Development of American Naval Strategy, 1945–1955, Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, MD), 1990.

Arctic Strike!: A Visual Novel of the War of Tomorrow, Avon Books (New York, NY), 1991.

Guardians of the Gulf: A History of America's Expanding Role in the Persian Gulf, 1833–1992, Free Press (New York, NY), 1992.

On Course to Desert Storm: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulf, Naval Historical Center (Washington, DC), 1992.

The War That Never Was, Vandamere Press (Arlington, VA), 1994.

Lee Moves North: Robert E. Lee on the Offensive, John Wiley (New York, NY), 1998.

Command at Sea: Naval Command and Control since the Sixteenth Century, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

Also author of novel An American Eagle. Assistant editor, "Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History" series, Naval Historical Center, 1983–86. Contributor to periodicals, including American Neptune, Mariner's Mirror, Armed Forces Journal International, American Historical Review, and International Journal of Middle East Studies.

SIDELIGHTS: Michael A. Palmer is a military historian who has written on subjects ranging from the U.S. Civil War to the Gulf War. His particular areas of expertise are maritime history and military power at sea. Palmer's knowledge is evident in his history Command at Sea: Naval Command and Control since the Sixteenth Century. In this study, Palmer points out the changes in shipbuilding and firepower that made military power at sea not only possible, but vital for the defense of any nation. He studies the challenges of leading a fleet into battle, and suggests that the philosophy of naval command has swung back and forth between allowing operatives independence and insisting on a more-centralized authority. The author also takes a look at the way key battles in history might have played out with a few changes in strategy. According to Booklist reviewer Frieda Murray, Palmer "unabashedly propounds looser command structure." A Publishers Weekly reviewer called Command at Sea "dense and demanding," adding that it "requires some background in naval history but will be a feast for qualified readers."



Booklist, March 15, 2005, Frieda Murray, review of Command at Sea: Naval Command and Control since the Sixteenth Century, p. 1250.

Publishers Weekly, January 17, 2005, review of Command at Sea, p. 45.


East Carolina University Web site, (October 20, 2005), biographical information about Michael A. Palmer.

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