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Few know how close the world has come to annihilation better than the warriors who served America during the tense, 45-year struggle known as the Cold War. Yet for decades, their work has remained shrouded in secrecy. Now, in this riveting new history, W. Craig Reed, a former navy diver and fast-attack submariner, provides an eye-opening, pulse-pounding narrative of the underwater struggles and espionage operations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. that brought us to the brink of nuclear war more than once.
Red November is filled with hair-raising, behind-the-scenes stories that take you deep beneath the surface and into the action during the entire Cold War period from 1946 through 1992. Reed served aboard submarines involved in espionage operations, and his father was a top military intelligence specialist intimately involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Reed is one of the first authors to obtain so many in-depth interviews with dozens of navy divers, espionage operatives, submariners, and government officials on both sides (including several Soviet submarine captains) about the most daring and decorated missions of the conflict, including top-secret Ivy Bells, Boresight, Bulls Eye, and Holystone operations.
Transcending traditional submarine, espionage, and Cold War accounts, Red November is an up-close examination of one of the most dangerous times in world history and an intimate look at the men and women who participated in our country’s longest and most expensive underwater war.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By SeaDuck on 08-10-10
Blind Man's Bluff meets Cuban Missile Crisis
This 2 part book really is in two parts. The first part covers the beginning of the nuclear age, and covers some, though not nearly all, of the espionage stories detailed more completely in Sherry Sontag's excellent "Blind Man's Bluff". There is an interesting and significant portion of this that talks about how we figured out how to track the Soviet subs by their transmissions.
Then the second part segues into how subs helped the American side during the Cuban Missile crisis and the Cold War, including the Jennifer Project. There are some excellent stories, and a few gripping moments, but mostly it isn't a compelling, edge of your seat read. If you want to be informed, get this book. If you are looking to be entertained, there are better ones.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Brian on 09-25-12
Good for fans of "Hunt For Red October"
"Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War" wasn't quite what I expected but it was a very good listen anyway. I had expected an account of most if not all the most interesting Col War sub-vs-sub encounters. Instead it's a more detailed account of certain key episodes in the U.S.-U.S.S.R naval interactions during the Cold War, with an emphasis on thosemissions directly related to the author's service history and that of his father. That said, it is a very interesting book that should appeal to fans of Tom Clancy's fictional "Hunt For Red October."
One strength of "Red November" is that the author goes into just enough technical detail to make it interesting to the subset of readers who have sought out a book on nuclear submarines, without getting into such minute detail that it becomes tedious, such as the section in which he describes how one nuclear submarine became stranded on the bottom when sand and other debris clogged a water intake valve. The author must have put considerable effort into editing that section and others to make it accessible to readers who, though likely educated, are not necessarily well versed in the technical aspects of nuclear reactors, propulsion systems and so on.
The narration by Tom Weiner is excellent.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful