The Dynamics of Integrated Coastal Management


This is a very important book. Born in 1940 the author has devoted his life to the Seas of East Asia, gaining his doctorate at the University of Singapore and undertaking post-doctoral training at the University of Tokyo. His breadth of knowledge and commitment to his chosen subject have combined to make this an enjoyable and informative book. Aimed at the professionals engaged in coastal management, he has achieved a book that is readable for a very wide range of readers from the novice to the highly experienced professional. Professionals engaged in the management of the Seas of East Asia will find this an indispensable work of reference, with its many charts, tables and appendices. A wealth of experience and information is contained in the pages, delivered in clear and concise text. Great credit is due to the author for the intellectual work necessary to create such a work but credit should also go to those responsible for the layout, artwork and production

The World’s Worst Warships


Perhaps not the best wording for a title. This book is based on the opinions of the author and the key is in the ‘Conclusions’ at the end of each entry. Preston is a prolific and experienced naval author and entitled to his opinions, some of which are controversial and provoking. As a result there will be many who will not share the author’s opinions but that should in no way detract from the book. Each entry contains details on the history and operation of each vessel and any sisters. There is at least one good quality black and white image of the vessel and a basic specification. Whether you agree or disagree with the author’s opinion, the history, image and specification are well researched and factual. The selection of vessels is interesting and spans the period from the US Civil War to 2002

The West Highland Galley


The West Highland Galley is a little known vessel that has had an impact to merit much wider appreciation. Birlinn have proved adept in publishing and re-publishing titles on subjects that mainly have a particular Scottish relevance that have escaped other publishers. This book is a good example. Cost has been kept down by the format and the use of a limited number of black and white photographic plates presented in a gloss plate section at the centre of the book. The author has done a good job of presenting in this economic format a readable work that brings to life a number of topics, all related to the West Highland Galley. The subject of the title is a design that owes much to the Scandinavian fighting ship from which it was developed by Gallic boat builders

The Wars of the Bruces


The film “Braveheart” scored an A for entertainment and an F- for history. This book sets the record straight and tells the story of how Scotland won independence from England and set in train the process through the Union of Crowns, the Union of Parliaments and the Blair Government legislation that gave Scotland dominance over England, while removing the ability of English MPs to exert any influence over either Scottish affairs or the disproportionate redistribution of tax collections to Scotland. As a result of this process it is easy to understand why English history gives little space to the de Brus family and the reign of Robert I. Scottish history is also strangely parochial in its treatment of the de Brus. It has taken an Irishman to provide some depth and perspective to the impact of the de Brus family on the affairs of not only Scotland but also of Ireland and England