Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Back from the Deep: Book Review

Review from
Reviewer: Rob Crawford

"LaVO touches on the silent service’s overall strategic picture and on the progress of the war, but he concentrates on giving the reader a sense of what motivated enlisted personnel to join the submarine service and what life in that service was generally like for them. This inclusion is one of the strongest aspects of the book: LaVO’s narration is generally accurate and thoroughly researched based on solid documentation. His reconstruction of events, including quotations of dialog between the crew, is meticulous without losing its "readability" (he includes a "bibliographical essay" in which he cites his sources for specific passages in the text). Another strength is that he examines, with surprising thoroughness, how enlisted personnel trained (officer training is completely absent) at the Navy’s submarine school in New London, Connecticut, how they practiced emergency ascents, and how much of their equipment was designed and operated, such as the McCann Rescue Bell used to rescue stranded survivors from the Squalus. Furthermore, he articulates these things without overwhelming the lay reader in technical language."

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