Unsurprisingly, Arthur Squires presents us with a remarkable book. Unsurprisingly because this is a remarkable man - accomplished engineer, gifted musician, sensitive humanist, talented teacher, analytical observer, felicitous writer - altogether a man with the kind of breadth and depth that we rarely produce these days, and even more rarely tolerate in an age that worships specialization. Professor Squires has done a great many things in his life and has thought deeply about his experiences. The book that follows radiates not only that ongoing process of reflection, but also a dazzling range of reading and a lifetime of conversations with colleagues and bosses, mentors and students, wise men and fools. What he has produced is that rare specimen indeed - a book that is a pleasure to read and that needs to be read by every informed citizen. The Tender Ship focuses on the intersection of the most vital questions that confront American society - or indeed any modern, industrial society, however defined. No historical example exists of a society that has reached such a status without creating bureaucracies to manage its public and private sectors. Maintenance of national well-being depends, at least in part, on a nation's ability to generate and adopt the technology necessary to maintain economic competitiveness and, in the case of the United States, a credible force with which to defend ourselves and our allies.