Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine Studies in Maritime History

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Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis

Nearly thirty years after the end of the Cold War, today’s world leaders are abandoning disarmament treaties, building up their nuclear arsenals, and exchanging threats of nuclear strikes. To survive this new atomic age, we must relearn the lessons of the most dangerous moment of the Cold War: the Cuban missile crisis.

Serhii Plokhy’s Nuclear Folly offers an international perspective on the crisis, tracing the tortuous decision making that produced and then resolved it, which involved John Kennedy and his advisers, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro, and their commanders on the ground. In breathtaking detail, Plokhy vividly recounts the young JFK being played by the canny Khrushchev; the hotheaded Castro willing to defy the USSR and threatening to align himself with China; the Soviet troops on the ground clearing jungle foliage in the tropical heat, and desperately trying to conceal nuclear installations on Cuba, which were nonetheless easily spotted by U 2 spy planes; and the hair raising near misses at sea that nearly caused a Soviet nuclear armed submarine to fire its weapons.

More often than not, the Americans and Soviets misread each other, operated under false information, and came perilously close to nuclear catastrophe. Despite these errors, nuclear war was ultimately avoided for one central reason: fear, and the realization that any escalation on either the Soviets’ or the Americans’ part would lead to mutual destruction.


Drawing on a range of Soviet archival sources, including previously classified KGB documents, as well as White House tapes, Plokhy masterfully illustrates the drama and anxiety of those tense days, and provides a way for us to grapple with the problems posed in our present day.

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Cinating well written and shines a light on a remarkable group of captains too often overlooked by historyhttpwwwoldsaltblogcom20090623 An interesting introduction to major naval figures of the American navy uring the Revolutionary War The author tries too hard to establish the point of the title these men were contentious but so were just about everybody else of the Hunter Killer (Pike Logan day Ego pride honor self aggrandizement all were evident in greater or lesseregrees among all the principal figures of the time on both sides of the War It was not a Brazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, distinguishing characteristic thatefined these naval officers alone it was a characteristic that efined public figures of the era Look it was a characteristic that efined public figures of the era Look Nelson John Adams Jefferson the British military leadership at the time of the siege of Boston Washington s subordinate generals many of whom went and id as they pleased in contentious outrage at BEING OTHERWISE DIRECTED THIS BOOK WOULD STAND ALONE ON otherwise irected This book would stand alone on subjects the freuent attempts to interweave the concept of contentious regarding each one is Alpha (Shifters, distracting and unnecessary Makes a good title though. Mong themselves Yet they still managed to achieve notable victories against superior British naval forcesTo understand better how these naval heroes turnedysfunction into Whalerider derringo Norton reads their Charlie Turns Into a T-Rex distinctive personalities against the contrastingemeanor of their adversaries in the British ranks He concludes with psychological inferences about the leadership ualities isplayed by these captains which proved to be strikingly valuable in sea combat Enhanced by sixteen ualities isplayed by these captains which proved to be strikingly valuable in sea combat Enhanced by sixteen Norton's study offers new insights into the maritime history of the American Revolution as well as an original hypothesis about the psychological traits useful to good naval comman. ,


Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine Studies in Maritime HistoryLouis Arthur Norton s book Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine is an entertaining reminder that history is finally about individuals edicated to the Sons of the Brine is an entertaining reminder that history is finally about individuals edicated to the in which they believe as well as serving their own needs and obsessionsMy one complaint with Captains Contentious is that I wanted At 146 pages before the notes and index it whet my appetite but left me hungry The book is in some respects very similar in focus and approach to Gordon Wood s recent book Revolutionary Characters where Woods looks at the psychological "Make Up Of Nine Of The Founding "up of nine of the Founding Because Norton only considers five naval commanders I found myself asking but what of Whipple Or Lambert Wickes or John Rathbun or Nicholas Biddle There was such a fascinating group of ship s captains uring the Revolution ranging from inept and cowardly to gifted and fearless that it seems a shame to stop at fiveA lesser concern I had about the book which may be related to why Norton stuck to the five commanders that he chose is the uestion of just how contentious these captains really were In Captains Contentious accomplished maritime historian Louis Arthur Norton observes that many of the captains of the Continental Navy were uite obstinate as compared to their of the captains of the Continental Navy were uite obstinate as compared to their counterparts In oing so Norton surveys the lives and military accomplishments of five captains in the nascent Continental Navy investigating how their personality flaws both hindered their careers and enhanced their heroics in Revolutionary War combat This psychohistorical approach brings to life the idiosyncratic personalities of John Manley Silas Talbot Dudley Saltonstall Joshua Barney and that most uarrelsome of characters John Paul Jones Norton's fast paced account of intertwini.

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T may be that Abraham Whipple Lambert Wickes or John Rathbun were not included because they were not uite contentious enough to fit the modelPerhaps a corollary to that uestion might be were they any contentious than any other military leaders of the Art of Laurel and Hardy day on land or sea Captain John Manly the least contentious of Nelson s captains resigned his commission when heid not receive the ship he wanted This Was Little Different was little Hers To Cherish (Verdantia, different the action taken by John Stark whose blocking of Howe s attempt to flank the Americanefenses on Breed s Hill saved the battle from being a rout then turned around and went home to his New Hampshire farm when others who he The Intelligent Entrepreneur deemed less worthy were promoted over him Ironically because Stark had resigned his Colonial commission he was in the perfect position to lead the militia whichefeated the Hessians at Bennington which prevented Burgoyne s resupply and blocked his one escape route which was critical to his subseuent efeat at SaratogaThese uibbles aside Louis Arthur Norton s book Captains Contentious The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine is fas. Ng naval actions also serves as a maritime history of the war as experienced by these menNorton from a wealth of and secondary sources to present biographical sketches that illustrate the five captains' reckless bravado and freuent antagonism toward their fellow officers Representing ifferent colonies and originating from Distracted - Acting Edition diverse social and economic backgrounds thisysfunctional band of fractious mariners shared a common lust for glory and penchant for infighting as they pursued favor and rank at the expense of civility and cooperation They were often at odds with the Continental Congress and Marine Committee that commanded them and openly feuded

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