Captain Brayton Harris, USN (Ret)—author, co-author, editor of or contributor to more than 20 books . . . here, five of which that are new or have just been re-issued . . .


The Age of the Battleship 1890-1922 (Second Edition: Revised and Enlarged 2015)
WAR NEWS: Blue & Gray in Black & White . . . Newspapers in the Civil War
Admiral Nimitz: Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater
Citizens for Eisenhower: The 1952 Presidential Campaign; Lessons for the Future?
PICTURE.BOOK: The Full Story of the Movie They Didn't Want You to See

Also . . . a website fpr submarine buffs: / an illustrared survey of key events in the History of Submarines / Recommended by Beesker as the world's best website on submarines,

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In the years following the Civil War, ignorance, indifference, and corruption left such a mark on the U. S. Navy that the entire fleet of the 1880s could have been defeated by any modern warship of the day. It took years of often-acrimonious wrangling to re-build the sorry fleet—but despite factional disputes and political bumbling (as in, a Congress more interested in pork than in progress), and, with a learning curve through two wars (the largely naval war against Spain, 1898, and the sea, air, and land war—with the Navy's Marine Corps at the front—against Germany, 1918), the Navy rose in strength and efficiency until, by 1922, it was second to none in the world.

The Age of the Battleship tells the tale and, along the way, reminds us of the role played by the United States Navy in bringing submarines and airplanes to naval warfare, and that a racially integrated Navy became segregated—thanks to Woodrow Wilson—and then integrated, again, thanks to World War II. It also tells the tale . . . more than any other, of the Navy's frequent wars against itself.

First published in 1965, this iconic history of the era has been revised and updated . . . now, with 57 fresh illustrations.

SELECTED REVIEWS (from the original edition): The LOG: “An excellent, enjoyable, and very informative book. . . a must for anyone interested in Naval History . . .” New Dominion Magazine: “Splendid! The author . . . obviously knows his subject and writes authoritatively and well.” Pentagram News: “The author carries the reader surely and with a style of prose that is a pleasure to read . . . This book is a real gem, and the author is to be complimented on a historical study of great value."

250 pages. List: $14.95, paper. ISBN: 978-0-9862309-3-6; $24.95, hardcover. ISBN: 9780986230950.

WAR NEWS (originally published by Brassey's, 1999, as Blue & Gray in Black & White) is an exploration of the individual and collective efforts of newspaper journalists during the Civil War. As eyewitnesses to one of the most memorable conflicts in history, they left a record that is sometimes brilliant but, at other times, marred by shoddy journalism, sensationalism, and self-serving reporting. They were, however, the American public's primary source of information about the battles that were tearing the nation apart. This book focuses on the personalities, politics, and rivalries of editors; the efforts of newspapers to influence military appointments, strategy, and tactics; advances in printing technology; formal and informal censorship, the suppression of dissident newspapers, and, most of all, the war correspondents themselves.

SELECTED REVIEWS: Washington Times: “A compelling account of . . . the emergence of the press as a power on the national scene. . .how a cast of visionaries and tough reporters—along with some rogues and crackpots—used that power to shape the way the nation viewed the war then and for all time.” History: Reviews of New Books: “A solid look at the behavior and importance of journalists during the Civil War.” Boston Globe: “A lively account of Civil War reporting." Library Journal: "Concise and well-written . . . it brings the role of the press in the war to vivid life." Kansas City Star: “The love-hate relationship between the newspapers and the men who fought in the Civil War.” Proceedings: “Much has changed in the relationship between the media and the military . . . much remains stubbornly the same."

Click HERE for additional and expanded reviews.

378 pages. List: $14.95, paper. ISBN: 453617027; EAN-13: 9781453617021


When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, FDR knew there was only one man in the Navy who could take charge of the escalating war in the Pacific—Chester Nimitz. A brilliant strategist, he astounded contemporaries by achieving military victories against fantastic odds, while working with such egotistic colleagues as General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral “Bull” Halsey. In this first new biography in more than three decades, the author uses eyewitness accounts and recently-declassified documents to bring to life one of America’s greatest wartime heroes.

SELECTED REVIEWS AND COMMENT: Kirkus Reviews: “A military historian’s look at . . . every stage of Nimitz’s era-straddling career . . . an introduction to the Navy’s senior hero of WWII. For military buffs, surely." Evan Thomas: “Calm, clear-headed, decisive—Admiral Nimitz was a God-send to the U.S. Navy and the Allied cause . . . Brayton Harris has written a compelling biography of a low-key hero. Carlo d’Este: “A superbly written biography of one of the towering but least-known heroes of World War II.” J. William Middendorf: “Brayton Harris puts flesh on the bones of an icon.” Gregory Freeman: “Harris has a knack for finding the details, the anecdotes, that build a comprehensive portrait. Read it for the pure joy of getting to know Admiral Nimitz.” Alan Axelrod: “Rarely have a biographer and his subject been so wonderfully matched."

238 pages. List: $28.00, hardcover. ISBN: 978-0-230-10765-6 Palgrave Macmillan

“I would not have been here as a candidate if it had not been for Charlie Willis and Stan Rumbough, who started the Citizens for Eisenhower”
Dwight D. Eisenhower (At the time of the Republican Nominating Convention, July 1952)

In June, 1951, Charles F. Willis, Jr. and Stanley M. Rumbough, Jr.—two former WWII Naval fighter pilots with no political experience or contacts —were frustrated with what they saw as “that mess in Washington” and were convinced that General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower was the ideal 1952 candidate for President of the United States. They did not know whether he was Republican or Democrat, had never communicated with the General, and were so naive that they didn’t even know how candidates were nominated.But they made it work. Within eight months, self-funded, with no help from the Republican Party, they had thousands of supporters active in 800 “Eisenhower for President Clubs” in 38 states and were instrumental in convincing Eisenhower to run for President.

“Citizens” brought creativity to the primaries and the Republican National Convention, including brass bands, teams of cheerleaders, and illuminated “IKE” branded barrage balloons floating in the nighttime skies. And . . . along the way . . . “Citizens”—NOT the formal party organization—participated in the creation and sponsorship of the first-ever TV spot commercials used in a Presidential election campaign.

Never heard any of this, before? As George A. Colburn—Executive Producer of the Eisenhower Legacy Television Project—has written, "Sadly, those who write our history have long ignored, or do not understand, the impact of the Citizens’ operation on the 1952 election."

148 pages. List: $9.95, paper. ISBN 978-0615863559 For special library or bulk discount on this title, contact or


"I knew that someday I would have to write this book, before the fan-magazine fiction became truth and the myth became history. The only problem is that yesterday I did not know that I would be starting today."

Thus, narrator Walter Shelton began PICTURE.BOOK—the (fictional) story of perhaps the most controversial motion picture of a generation, including selected portions of the script, media coverage ("Today," "Tonight, "New Yorker") and a transcript of the celebrated 1959 Court proceeding.
It all started as a ploy to meet a girl Shelton spotted in a restaurant ("Have you ever thought," he asked, "about being in the movies?") and then he, and some friends—with no experience, no training, but some serendipitous funding—went on to make a full-length commercial movie. In Philadelphia. About a neophyte prostitute. An ambitious District Attorney, seeking elevation to Mayor, seized the film as "obscene" (it was not) and gave it so much publicity that it may have been the most profitable movie of modern times.

It also turned a troubled 19-year-old beauty into a full-fledged Hollywood star, until she went into hiding, while Shelton found his own emotional security, hiding out as a college professor. Other players in this satirical romance: The pampered rich-kid who owned a church; the bartender who managed a string of hookers—and taught the moviemakers the tricks of that trade; the prostitute with a "layaway plan" for indigent customers. And, the Arthur Murray instructor turned "Miss New Jersey" contestant. "My talent," she explained, "was singing with a little dance step thrown in because of the Arthur Murray, and to show the judges how sensible I was, besides talented, I made my own costume."

204 pages. List: $9.95, paper. ISBN-13: 978-1481908900

Additional and expanded reviews for WAR NEWS
From Library Journal
Harris, a retired U.S. Navy captain and veteran freelance writer, takes his cue from a quote in the November 11, 1861 New York Times "it is opinion, not force, which determines great struggles" and presents a concise and well-written overview of the significant influence of the popular press during the Civil War. With the rapid rise of technological developments in communication and transportation, reports of battles from the 350 Northern and 150 Southern war correspondents "could be flashed around the nation while the guns were still firing." Harris analyzes the political philosophies of major newspapers, the often outrageous partisanship of the press and newspaper owners, suppression and censorship, and the quality of reporting, which was much livelier than official military reports and often surprisingly reliable. Harris's monograph is not as thoroughly researched as J. Cutler Andrews' dated and more scholarly volumes on the Civil War press, but it brings the role of the press in the war to vivid life. Recommended for general readers. Charles C. Hay, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Archives, Richmond. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Washington Times (October 2, 1999) Mr. Harris' book is a compelling account of how the Civil War led to the emergence of the press as a power on the national scene. It gives fresh insight into how a cast of visionaries and tough reporters -- along with some rogues and crackpots -- used that power to shape the way the nation viewed the war the and for all time . . . .This book is the first full treatment of the subject of press coverage of the Civil War since a pair of books by J. Cutler Andrews nearly two generations ago . . . Readers may be distracted by some of the author's digressions . . . [but] the value of "Blue and Gray in Black and White" outweighs any quibbles. . . . Journalism is viewed as the disposable first draft of history. What Mr. Harris' book makes clear is that taken as a whole, the work of combat correspondents created a record of the war that has formed our perceptions and fueled our imaginations ever since.

By Midwest Book Review on November 8, 2010: Throughout the civil war, both sides counted on the newspapers for much of their information. "War News: Blue & Gray in Black and White" is a study of newspapers in the civil war and the state of journalism at the time. America's main source for understanding the war, it was not without its problems as sources were scarce, and sensationalism was running high. "War News" is an intriguing take on the nineteenth century newspapers during one of America's most important conflicts.

From the Kansas City Star Magazine, (October 10, 1999) The love-hate relationship between the newspapers and the men who fought in the Civil War is just one of the subjects of Brayton Harris' Blue & Gray in Black & White: Newspapers in the Civil War . . . [In an interview, Harris said] "Before the Civil War, the newspapers in the United States were primarily opinion sheets for their editors. By the end of the war, they had actually become newspapers in the way we know them today. . . .One thing that came through is that nothing really has changed except technology . . . the media works the same way today that they did in 1860. Reporters do the same dumb, or brilliant things. Publishers sometimes put profits above ethics then and they do now."

By Janice M. Hidey on June 1, 2011: It was interesting to see that some things have not changed much: journalists will work hard to get the latest story, even going behind enemy lines, the military wants to preserve secrecy and control the story, the public wants to hear firsthand accounts and those stories can change public opinion of the war. Journalists will do anything to get the story and use the latest technological tool of the time, the telegraph, to beat their competitors to get the story back to the publisher. Harris provides a good balance of North and South perspectives and gives you a glimpse of the personalities of this war, from the president, to the generals who made numerous mistakes, to the newspaper publishers that demanded the story, to the reporters who were the first war correspondents.


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