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Reading progress update: I've read 27 out of 304 pages.

Congress Buys a Navy: Politics, Economics, and the Rise of American Naval Power, 1881-1921 - Paul E. Pedisich

I'm two chapters in, and so far it feels like an extended introduction to the book promised in the subtitle. Fewer potted biographies of presidents and navy secretaries and more description of "politics, economics, and the rise of American naval power" would make this a much better book.