James completed his PhD under Peter Hennessy at Queen Mary. His first book was 50 Years of the Polaris Sales Agreement, commissioned by Her Majesty's Government to mark 50 years of Polaris. He is now at work on A Very British Bomb, a history of the British nuclear deterrent. Lord Hennessy and James Jinks will be talking about The Silent Deep, the first authoritative history of the Submarine Service from the end of the Second World War to the present. It gives the most complete account yet published of the development of Britain's submarine fleet, its capabilities, its weapons, its infrastructure, its operations and above all - from the testimony of many submariners and the first-hand witness of the authors - what life is like on board for the denizens of the silent deep.
In 1990 the Cold War ended - but not for the Submarine Service. Since June 1969, it has been the last line of national defence, with the awesome responsibility of carrying Britain's nuclear deterrent. The story from Polaris to Trident - and now 'Successor' - is a central theme of the book. In the year that it is published, Russian submarines have once again been detected off the UK's shores. As Britain comes to decide whether to renew its submarine-carried nuclear deterrent, The Silent Deep provides an essential historical perspective.