Monday, January 17, 2022

Five top books to know the sea

Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.) is a retired four-star officer who led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander with responsibility for Afghanistan, Libya, the Balkans, Syria, counter piracy, and cyber security. He served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-9. Admiral Stavridis earned a PhD in international relations and is Dean Emeritus of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Stavridis's newest book is The Sailor's Bookshelf: Fifty Books to Know the Sea.

At Shepherd he tagged five of the best books to know the sea, including:
The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

A novel about a rusty old destroyer minesweeper, a supremely difficult captain, a mixed bag officers in a dysfunctional wardroom, a horrific typhoon, and a nail-biting court-martial. The seagoing and combat portions of the novel are very realistic, reflecting Wouk’s time in uniform on a similar class of ship in the Pacific during WWII. In my hand as I write this is a battered 1951 first edition of the novel, with a slightly tattered cover, which I treasure above almost any book in the five thousand volumes in my personal library. Over the years of my career, I’ve returned again and again to The Caine Mutiny, and the fundamental lesson of this sea novel is what both leaders and followers owe each other, especially in the demanding crucible of the sea.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Caine Mutiny is among Anthony Horowitz's six favorite books for teens and Richard Snow's five best books on World War II.

"Each time I revisit [The Caine Mutiny] I’m more awed than the last," writes Dawn Shamp. "The manner in which he develops the character of Willie Keith is nothing short of brilliant. Wouk’s style is spare yet complex. Every word counts."

--Marshal Zeringue