BOOK REVIEW – Surprised at Being Alive: An Accidental Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam and Beyond

By Robert E. Curtis, Casemate Publishers, (2014) Reviewed by Thomas Ostrom In his 24 years in the service, Major Robert F. Curtis flew helicopters for the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Kentucky National Guard. Curtis flew in the United States, Britain (with the Royal Navy), Norway, and Vietnam from shore bases and the rolling decks

BOOK REVIEW – Matthew Fontaine Maury, Father of Oceanography: A Biography, 1806-1873

By John Grady, McFarland, Jefferson, NC (2015) Reviewed by Ingo Heidbrink, Ph.D. While Matthew Fontaine Maury is without a doubt well known among historians of science and in particular historians of oceanography, the general public might not know his name. Many naval historians will not have a real idea about the man who is often

BOOK REVIEW – The Ship of the Line: A History in Ship Models

By Brian Lavery. Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, Yorkshire, U.K. (2014) Reviewed by John R. Satterfield, DBA This slim, nicely illustrated volume by Brian Lavery, Curator Emeritus of the U.K.’s National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and one of the world’s most respected naval historians, describes the evolution of the ship of the line in the age of

BOOK REVIEW – Ready Then, Ready Now, Ready Always: More Than a Century of Service by Citizen Sailors

By David F. Winkler, Navy Reserve Centennial Book Committee, Washington, DC. (2015) Reviewed by David F. Winkler, Ph.D. As managing editor of the Naval Historical Foundation’s Naval History Book Reviews I’m taking the prerogative of reviewing my own book as I have some thoughts about its production, content, and some subjects covered in the book

BOOK REVIEW – Against the Tide: Rickover’s Leadership Principles and the Rise of the Nuclear Navy

By Rear Admiral Dave Oliver, USN (Ret.), Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, (2014) Reviewed by Phillip G. Pattee, Ph.D. Rear Admiral Dave Oliver, USN (Ret.), A 1963 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was a nuclear-trained submarine officer who spent thirty-two years leading within the U.S. Navy. After retirement, he served as the Principal Deputy Secretary

BOOK REVIEW – A Coward? The Rise and Fall of the Silver King

By Steve R. Dunn, Book Guild Publishing, Sussex, England, (2014) Reviewed by Capt. John A. Rodgaard USN (Ret.) What is cowardice? Can cowardice be reinterpreted as an act of reasoned restraint or self-preservation? Is cowardice situational, or is it a character trait? Does it possess a moral dimension? That is, “Can a brave man also

BOOK REVIEW – US Heavy Cruisers: 1943 – 75: Wartime and Post-war Classes

By Mark Stille, Osprey, New York (2014) Reviewed by James H. McClelland, Sr. US Heavy Cruisers: 1943 – 75 is a gold mine of information concerning the U.S. Navy’s heavy cruisers of World War II and beyond. Mark Stille, a retired navy commander who has held posts in the intelligence community, faculty positions at the

BOOK REVIEW – A Handful Of Bullets: How The Murder Of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Still Menaces The Peace

By Harlan K. Ullman, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, (2014) Reviewed by Nathan Albright Readers with an interest in grand strategy and a forceful and candid presentation of a wide variety of threats to the peace and well-being of the world will find a great deal of interest in this particular book. Although this is

BOOK REVIEW – The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO

By Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by Stephen Phillips Admiral James Stavridis is a prolific writer who is known for countless journal articles and several books that should be in every naval officer’s collection, such as Division Officer’s Guide, Destroyer Captain, and Command at Sea. Fans and followers

BOOK REVIEW – Call Me Gus – The Story of Admiral George E. R. Kinnear II, USN (Ret)

By Admiral Kinnear as told to James Carter, Dog Ear Publishing, Indianapolis, IN (2014) Reviewed by Charles Bogart The heart of this autographical book centers around four topics the Admiral feels are important for success: have a vision of what you want to achieve, take advantage of continuing education opportunities, spend time developing personal networks,

BOOK REVIEW – Naval Air Station Patuxent River

By Mark A. Chambers, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC (2014) Reviewed by Richard P. Hallion, Ph.D. This pictorial history is a useful and appealing introduction to what naval aviators—specifically, test pilots, flight test engineers, test crews, and technical support staff—have accomplished over the last seventy years at one of the world’s finest and most historic flight

BOOK REVIEW – HARNESSED TO THE POLE: Sledge Dogs in Service to American Explorers of the Arctic, 1853-1909

By Sheila Nickerson, University of Alaska Press, Anchorage (2014) Reviewed by Jan Churchill The North Pole was the ultimate prize. Before aviation, ships could only go so far thanks to polar ice. The best way to travel, with supplies and food, was by dog sledge. However, the British Royal Navy made men, not dogs, haul

BOOK REVIEW – Crisis in the Mediterranean: Naval Competition and Great Power Politics, 1904-1914

By Jon K. Hendrickson, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD (2014) Reviewed by Richard P. Hallion Ph.D. Author Jon K. Hendrickson’s book Crisis in the Mediterranean is most timely, as its publication happily coincided with the beginning of commemorations of the centenary of the Great War. If, to the public mind, naval power in that war

BOOK REVIEW – The Yankee Expedition to Sebastopol: John Gowen and the Raising of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 1857-1862

By Chuck Veit, published through Lulu.com (2014) Reviewed by Robert P. Largess Forty years ago, I picked Commander Edward Ellsberg’s On the Bottom off the bookshelf of an elderly friend, a favorite from his own boyhood. The story of the raising of the submarine S-51 from 132 feet of seawater off Block Island in 1925

BOOK REVIEW – MAN & THE SEA – Shipwrecks of Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon 1792 – 1949

By Wayne O’Neil, Midway Printery, Long Beach, WA (2013) Reviewed by Charles Bogart The author uses a broad-brush definition of what constitutes a shipwreck vessel. The book covers not only ships lost from grounding, touching bottom, effects of weather, fire, and collision, but also ships that suffered non fatal hull damage from grounding and touching