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Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781501135941
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - July 10th, 2018

Indianapolis

It is impossible for me to remember reading a book of this size (592 pages) that was such a binding adventure. It tells the story of the USS Indianapolis as the ship that took the uranium from the U.S. to Tinian Island, where the air force assembled the nuclear weapon that was used on Hiroshima, her torpedoing and sinking on the way back, and the court martial (and exoneration) of her captain, James McVay.

At times, the book reads like the World War II adventure story it is: simple, passionate, horrific. But at other times, because of the incredible amount of detail, it takes on a deeper quality. The many years it took the authors to create this book become evident when the reader grasps the astounding completeness of their work.

The authors are impressively credentialed. Lynn Vincent is a Navy veteran, a best-selling author and a journalist whose investigative work has been cited before Congress and the Supreme Court. Sara Vladic is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a leading expert on the USS Indianapolis, and has published new research on the ship in Proceedings, the official journal of the U.S. Navy. Together they produced an extremely well-researched work, full of complexity developed largely from primary source material, and which took more than fifteen years to create.

When the Indy was sunk, the men who initially survived were in the Pacific Ocean and subject to frequent shark attacks. For four days and five nights they struggled with little food and water and insufficient life rafts. Some went insane from drinking sea water. Some fought each other.Their lives became an unmentionable hell. And when they were eventually discovered, it was by accident. Of 1,195 crewmen on board, approximately 300 died when the ship went down. Of those remaining only 316 eventually survived.

They had sailed without an escort and none was entrusted with following them. Admirals and other officers displayed a greater lack of diligence to duty than did Captain McVay, yet he was court martialed, a unique occurrence for a skipper.

Compared to the number of people who know that Japan was attacked with atomic weapons, few are aware of the story of the Indianapolis and her captain. For this, the Navy must take responsibility. The Navy prevented release of information about the sinking until news that the war had ended was released, even though reporters would have been able to report the loss. Simply put, the Navy wanted this horribly tragic story to be buried in the glee of ending the war, and it also failed to assign responsibility to those who may have prevented the tragedy of so much horrific loss of life. 

Bill Toti, commander of the U. S. submarine Indianapolis became an advocate of redefining the historical record regarding Mcvay, and his role is described along with the actions of an eleven year old boy named Hunter Scott. Hunter made a school history project from the story of the Indiannapolis, and he became a major player in McVay’s exoneration.

The authors included chapters describing what it meant to them to create this work-their challenges, experiences, events and memories of the survivors whom they grew to know.

This is a story that needs to be told because it is an important one whose telling somehow never really occurred. It is no less a part of history because it was delayed. It is no sideshow. This story is one of the America from which our America grew and it is one whose players and whose details must never be forgotten.Clearly, this book receives a strong recommendation for those who appreciate thorough and well-written history.

Steve Brehm


Bloody Sunday: A Thriller (A Dewey Andreas Novel #8) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250140760
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 31st, 2018

The recent meetings between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un in Singapore centering on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the lifting of sanctions on North Korea almost seem to advertise Ben Coles “Bloody Sunday”. This work will appeal to aficionados of the spy thriller genre. It is a fast-paced yarn with plenty of violence and some pretty good twists and details. I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but I sure had fun with this one.

Actual current events will most likely remain quite different from this frightening tale in which Kim Jong-Un is not at all a “good negotiator”, “very smart” or a “talented man who loves his country very much” as our president recently said, but an insane psychopath bent on hitting the U.S with nuclear weapons to create a formidable legacy, North Korea be damned.

The North Koreans have enriched uranium but no ICBMs. The Iranians have ICBMs and decide to give them to the North Koreans. It is only through the actions, which include the use of a poison on a North Korean general, that CIA agent Dewey Andreas and a SEAL team may be able to stop Kim.Even if it was a bit of a stretch to imagine the good guys getting as far as they did with no losses, I’d still recommend “Bloody Sunday” to all who enjoy the amusement of a good airport thriller.

Steve Brehm


Small Fry Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802128232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - September 4th, 2018

“Small Fry” was the nickname Steve Jobs called his daughter, Lisa. It is also the title of her autobiography. This book is a coming of age story, brutal in its innocence and complex in human emotions and values.

Author Lisa Brennan-Jobs endured the struggles on growing up with a genius, her feared and famous father and a sensible but confused single mom, Chrisann, to become an independent young woman that created her own path in life.

She survived the apparent immaturity of her parents and the distance and volatility of her father while experiencing an enormous desire to be accepted and approved by his family. Lisa managed to overcome the toughness of her early life to create her own triumphant future.

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