Prof. Joel Hayward's Books and Articles

Professor Joel Hayward, ZDaF, BA, MA Hons, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS

(This is a copyright free image. The author Joel Hayward has placed this image in the public domain.)

ABSTRACT:  Taking a highly original thematic approach to the study of Horatio Lord Nelson Joel Hayward analyzes the admiral's unique war-fighting style doctrine tactics and operational art his command and leadership abilities and his attitudes and beliefs. But Hayward reveals how all these elements combined to form the man whose infectious ethos spread through his entire force. He shows that Nelson's creative genius excitable and intense personality dramatic visage and fervor for all things martial not only inspired courage and loyalty but so dazzled and enflamed the hearts and minds of his men that he reached near cult status in his lifetime. As a professional military analyst who has devoted his career to researching writing and teaching about the tactics and operational art of warfare Hayward draws on his own training and experience to view the admiral's warfighting from a vantage point not accessible to many of Nelson's leading biographers. He breaks free from the constraints of chronology to explore in greater-than-usual depth and coherence the key aspects of Nelson's fighting style and to answer questions not previously raised about that style and its supporting ideas including to what degree Nelson's style can be adopted by modern warriors. For Nelson scholars and enthusiasts this book serves as a companion to the period.

For God and Glory: Lord Nelson and His Way of War


by Joel Hayward


(United States Naval Institute Press, 2003)

ISBN: 1-59114-351-9



Mountbatten Maritime Prize Finalist, 2003



"Hayward is a prolific writer on military history, strategy, operational art and command. ... In this exceptionally well written book he answers his own question [Is there anything new and important to be said about Nelson?] with an eloquent 'yes'."

— Lt Col Richard Seamon, USMCR (ret.) U.S. Naval Proceedings, October 2003, p. 114.


"For God and Glory stands apart from the usual biographical-social treatment that is commonplace nowadays and makes a distinct and important contribution to the field. The author's experiences and perspective make him uniquely situated to comment on important aspects of the admiral's career."

— Barry Gough, author of Fighting Sail on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay


"Joel Hayward has both an understanding of modern military theory and a wide knowledge of Nelson's life and career. This unique combination of experience has enabled him to write a thought-provoking book that not only approaches the over familiar Nelson story in a new and interesting way, but also successfully demonstrates how an admiral of the sailing-navy era can still offer valuable insights on leadership to today's electric warriors.

This book should be required reading in all military academies — and in schools of management as well."

— Colin White, Director, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich


"Nelson has often been thought of by biographers as a man before his own time. It is entirely fitting therefore that a thoroughly modern military analysis of the man should be written. Dr Hayward's analysis is incisive. It is an outstanding contribution to Nelson literature which will act as a beacon for biographers for years to come."

— David Shannon, Editor, The Nelson Dispatch


"Joel Hayward is not just rehashing Nelson's life as so many of the modern biographers have done. A skillful and experienced writer, he has freed himself from chronological constraints to make an original and interesting contribution to the field."

— R. Burdett Mafit, North American Secretary, The 1805 Society


"... a professional, painstakingly researched, and solidly written study of a watershed period in European history.  ...[It] provides a generally unemotional and admirably factual examination of a remarkable historical figure."

The Press, 2 August 2003


For God and Glory "bear[s] testimony to the ongoing allure of the world's most popular amphibious rascal. ... [It is] highly original ... and views the admiral's war fighting from a vantage point not accessible to many of Nelson's leading biographers."

Sea Classics, Vol. 36, No. 9 (September 3003)


"Naval history's grandest figure and the most well-known and revered warrior in Britain's pantheon of heroes. The author supports this claim by analyzing Nelson's fascinating life and unsurpassed naval victories within the context of, and focusing on, the admiral's war-fighting style. ... Nelson's legacy remains relevant today."

Military Heritage, February 2004, p. 86. 


 "In For God and Glory Joel Hayward neatly, and not uncritically, summarizes the man and his approach to warfighting in just six relatively short chapters, including several which touch on areas not usually given much attention. ... The author's treatment of these is excellent. ... Hayward goes on to add interesting, and valuable, chapters on "Nelson and War on Land" and "Coalition Warfare," giving the reader a deeper understanding of Nelson's brilliance. A valuable addition to the literature of naval warfare in the age of sail."

The New York Military Affairs Symposium Review, No. 28, Autumn 2003.


"[For God and Glory] makes a very useful and distinctive contribution. ...  of great interest to students of modern warfare ... [Hayward] has created a thought-provoking work that will certainly help to sharpen and to refine the on going discussion about Nelson."

The Journal of Military History, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2004), pp. 252-253.


For God and Glory has "an interesting approach, handled with intelligence and ... a very decent prose style. ... Nelson's conduct of amphibious and land operations receives much more pointed and effective criticism from Hayward than from other biographers. ... [The book] raises legitimate questions, is a good read, and gives military professionals food for thought."

— W.A.B. Douglas,

The Northern Mariner: Journal of the Canadian Nautical Research Society,

Vol. XIII, No. 3 (2003), pp. 64-65.


"A fascinating work of strategic philosophy. ... The result is surprisingly persuasive.  [Its analyses] are thought-provoking and, in places, offer fresh ways of understanding what happened."

— Colin White, The Mariner’s Mirror: The Journal of the Society for Nautical Research, November 2003.


"This effort by Hayward merits serious attention. ... [It] provides many fresh insights into the workings of Nelson's mind. ... There is no question Hayward has done his work and supports it by solid research. He poses important questions and proffers plausible answers. He clearly admires Nelson, but is quick to recognise his faults and his contradictory character traits. Any serious Nelson student will benefit from this book."

— Dr Paul Webb, International Journal of Maritime History,

Vol. XV No. 2 (December 2003), pp. 486-487.


"The treatment of Nelson's victories is of interest, but even more engaging are Hayward's analyses of Nelson's handling of reversals ... [Hayward's Nelson] seems more accessible... [This is] engaging reading for the Nelson fan and time well spent for those seeking a contemporary re-examination of one of history's most intriguing characters."

— Peter Sorensen, Sea History: Journal of the National Maritime Historical Society,

No. 106 (Winter 2004), p. 42.


"[This is] a fresh and original contribution. ... Hayward makes a strong case for his conclusion that Nelson's legacy remains relevant for today."

— Dr Wayne Lutton, Human Events: The National Conservative Weekly, 20 May 2004.


"Horatio Hornblower enthusiasts take note: this excellent thematic approach to popular military hero Horatio Lord Nelson's career serves as a wonderful accompaniment to the fictional series by C.S. Forester and A&E's recent film versions of the stories. An innovative and well researched addition to military studies and, because of the clear examples from primary sources that discuss Nelson's leadership, management and command style, for instance, this book is useful for business studies too."

— Therese M. Feicht (PLA) 2004 University Press Books Outstanding Titles

"For God and Glory is a fascinating analysis of Nelson and his effectiveness during the Napoleonic wars. Instead of being blinded by hero worship, Hayward writes a compelling and unbiased account of a man who was deeply religious, was aware of his human weaknesses - even if he didn't always conquer them - and was a masterful strategist and tactician at sea when his country needed him most. His loyalty was such that he willingly sacrificed himself to safeguard what he held dear, and the concern for his men and love of country, in turn, inspired others. ... One might think this would be a dry or pedantic analysis; in actuality, it is a compelling, well-crafted, and fascinating study of Nelson, the man. While primarily geared toward students of military history and warfare, as well as readers passionate about this time period and/or Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, novelists will find this analysis enlightening because it is also a comprehensive character study of the traits, both good and bad, of a convincing hero."

  Pirates and Privateers, 2019

“For God and Glory stands on the shelf as important critical counterweight.”

—Tony McGowan, The Nautilus, Volume XI, Spring 2020