Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story Of American Submarine Espionage [NOOK Book]

Overview

Over the course of five years, investigative reporters Sherry Sontag and Chris Drew interviewed hundreds of men who had never spoken about their underwater lives—not even to their wives and children. They uncovered a wealth of classified information: the tapping of undersea Soviet telephone cables, the stealing of Soviet weapons, the tragic collisions of enemy submarines. They tell of medals awarded in secret and deaths disguised with disinformation. Blind Man's Bluff is a critical work of history that reads with...
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Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story Of American Submarine Espionage

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Overview

Over the course of five years, investigative reporters Sherry Sontag and Chris Drew interviewed hundreds of men who had never spoken about their underwater lives—not even to their wives and children. They uncovered a wealth of classified information: the tapping of undersea Soviet telephone cables, the stealing of Soviet weapons, the tragic collisions of enemy submarines. They tell of medals awarded in secret and deaths disguised with disinformation. Blind Man's Bluff is a critical work of history that reads with all the excitement of a Tom Clancy novel and all the tragedy of Das Boot.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586486785
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 38,455
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Sherry Sontag is a former staff writer for the National Law Journal and has written for The New York Times.

Christopher Drew is a special projects editor at the New York Times and has won numerous awards for his investigative reporting.

Annette Lawrence Drew, the book's researcher, has a Ph.D. from Princeton.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 50 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2011

    Highly recommended

    Provides a very good history of the evolving submarine war and espionage after WWII. History buffs will like it. Gives an insight on what goes on that the public is not aware of. Puts on display those unsung heroes of this country.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

    Must read from someone that served on the USS Parche and continues to serve in the Silent Service...

    All I have to say about this book is thank you Sherry and Chris, for being our voice on the things we cannot say because we are bound by secrecy but wanted to say all along. A MUST READ!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I spy a submarine story unlike no other....

    Unlike the movies which center on submarine tales from either the US, Soviet or German perspective the book really delves into the history and politics of the events that have occurred over the years underwater and above. It is interesting how the spy missions were more and more ramped up during the cold war and the book details this in many respects. A page turner I would not call this book but a very good read if you're into the stories of submarine events between the US and the Soviets from an American perspective. In addition the author does an excellent job in describing the evolution of the subs and the men commanding them as well as those who shaped the policies that ensured the submarine's place in history.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage

    I finished reading Blind Man's Bluff this week. A departure from my traditional fiction based novels, this book details submarine based spying and counter-spying during the Cold War. Throughout the book I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn't an outlandish functional accounting of American and Soviet naval activity, but in fact entirely fact based. So many of the missions detailed seemed larger than life and too far fetched to be reality. But, just the same they were real.

    This is where the book shines. Each chapter is the result of a mountain of research conducted by the three authors. Declassified Navy reports, political documents, new coverage, and person to person interviews were all used to flush out the facts needed to properly document the history of submarine warfare throughout the Cold War.

    It was shocking to read what the Navy allowed to be reported in the book. It only makes me wonder what else happened out there that no one will ever read about. Chapters cover the entire history of submarine spying staring in 1949 as an early CIA operative joins the crew of the Cochino as it heads for Soviet waters carrying a new antenna design to pull intelligence secrets out of the air.

    Other chapters cover the race for dominance of the worlds oceans as the arms race pits Russia and the United States in a competition to build quieter, faster, and more heavily armed submersible weapon platforms. None of this happens without the loss of life and the authors do an admirable job of educating the reader about the human element every step of the way. Undersea collisions, battery problems, fires, missing ships- you name it, its in there.

    Simply put, you have to read this in order to believe it. Amazing stuff. If America had been aware of the recklessness of many of the Cold War undersea missions, tensions of the time would have been even more intense.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2008

    A must read if your interested in submarines.

    I am really enjoying this book. I look foreward to going to bed every night just so I can lay down and turn a few more pages. I don't want it to end. It has been so interesting that I just ordered 4 more submarine books about subs of the cold war area from B&N. Very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    Well Written, Well researched

    The history buff who says this book is not well written sounds like 'sour grapes' to this writer and literary consultant. The writing is very well done, the pacing is exact, the research is superb and the stories obtained are uniquely placed upon the pages of the book. Not well written - Bah!!!!!!!! Go find a book that ISN'T well written and we'll listen to you, maybe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2008

    Better Than Fiction

    I am appalled that someone would find fault with the technical writing of this book - I am in awe of the research that had to have taken place in order to write this book. I have worked for the U.S. Government and am aware of the twists and turns that go into the flawed bureaucratic decision-making processes which unfortunately guide our policy administrators. All told, the book is about human beings sending other human beings into harm's way, with the information they had at the time. The amount of money spent on government programs run amok amongst agency conflict and competition was jolting. The book was stunning - I couldn't put it down. (And as a woman, I am pleased that several of the writers of this detailed and technical book about what was essentially a 'man's world' are women!)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2005

    Cold War Danger Lurking Beneath the Seas

    Starting with the nascent Cold War in the late 1940s and closing with recently declassified post-Cold War releases, the book traces American submarine espionage episodes with energy and humor. American submarines were literally on the front lines of the Cold War, where more than a few were lost at sea. The authors follow the first disastrous exploits of American diesel submariners in 1949 as they eavesdrop just off the Soviet coasts for signs of Soviet nuclear testing. Though this first publicly-known incident ended in miserable and tragic failure, American submarine espionage would become a huge endeavor by the Cold War's end. Starting where the Germans left off with snorkeling diesel subs, the American navy began rapidly rebuilding its submarine fleet using nuclear power under the highly controversial Admiral Rickover. Nuclear power largely relieved submarine crews of having to surface in hostile Soviet waters, which allowed them to avoid detection and 'push the envelope' ever further. The authors present most important personalities (such as John Craven, John Bradley, Bobby Inman, Waldo Lyon, and many of the top sub commanders) and their contributions during this critical time. Among the most exciting episodes are the first ever multi-week trailing by Cdr Whitey Mack of the Yankee-class Soviet sub, tapping of undersea Soviet military phone cables, extended depth charging of the USS Gudgeon, and the CIA's misguided epic attempt of lifting an entire sunken Soviet attack sub to the surface from miles beneath the ocean. This book also explains how quickly disaster can strike at sea either between rival subs 'playing chicken' under the sea or how fishing trawlers can be instantly sucked under by subs roaming the deep. An excellent read that will opens our eyes to all we DIDN'T see during the Cold War.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Excellent

    Dont know why i even picked up this book... much less pay good money for it. Im not a military history fan. Damn glad I did. Fascinating and worth keeping for a second and third read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    My dad found out he qualified for a Meritous Unit Commendation a

    My dad found out he qualified for a Meritous Unit Commendation after reading this book and its back pages. He applied to the Department of Defense, and they sent him the medal.  He says he still has no idea what it's for, but talking about it made him raise his chin a little, and gave his eye a gleeful gleam.  For that gleam alone, I am thankful to the writers for this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    A great page turner

    This book relates the long-hidden, and presumably true, history of US submarine espionage before and during the Cold War. How the authors gathered what in large part would seem to be highly classified inside stories remains a mystery, but the suspense, action, and humor that they have put together makes Hunt for Red October seem almost tame. A fascinating and entertaining eye opener.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    A Good Read

    My husband is a retired submariner and a fan of this book. It gives a good look at these sailors' bravery--some might say foolhardiness-- and the sacrifices they and their families made for their country. Well worth the time it takes to read it.

    If your spouse is a submariner, you might want to wait until retirement to open it. Or brace yourself.

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A really good and surprising look at what our navy can do. I rea

    A really good and surprising look at what our navy can do. I really enjoyed this book, even if it came off a little like propaganda at times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    Exellent book

    The stories featured in this book seem like something right off the pages of Tom Clancy...but the surprising fact is that they are all true. The book details the secret missions of US Navy submarines against the Russians during the Cold War. It is a great read and will have you rivited until the very end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2005

    Decent

    This is a pretty good book. It gets a little uninteresting at times, but it has exciting moments too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    Interesting topic - Badly Written

    I'm not one for pontificating about standards but I purchased this book as I was interested in its subject matter; as a teenager, the Cold War seemed very personal. The idea of ballistic missiles off the English Coast and destroying my local town was something I was acutley aware of. What we have here is a great piece of historical detective work ruining by some shoddy and sloppy English. This was obviously written by a New York Journalist that doesn't translate outside of the US - I've had to e-mail friends in Michigan to ask then about some of the terms and expressions used in this book! Thanks to the Internet again! Someone in the US ought to read books like this and edit them for the mass English International market and cut out the bad grammer and Americanisms. Then we would have had a book that would have made a significant contribution to the history of the Cold War.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003

    Just a great book!

    Recently I have joined the Navy and volunteered for submarine duty. After having a discussion with a sergeant in my local police force, a former chief of the U. S. Navy who served on a submarine, he advised me to read Blind Man¿s Bluff. This was the first book about the Navy that I have read so I have nothing to compare it to, but I have to say it was very entertaining and I enjoyed it very much. If you¿re having second thoughts about buying this book ¿ just buy it, you won¿t regret it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2003

    Truly Awesome Book!!

    This book is an awesome book! Blind Man's Bluff takes you inside some of the most secret submarine missions of the Cold War, from the diesel days of Cochino to the nuclear submarines. It includes a great list of submarine awards from 1958 - 1998! If you like espionage stories or just a great nonfiction novel, you will love this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2001

    90% Accurate, But Only 60% of the Story

    A good account of part of the story. My dad got me a copy after he had read it and said he 'finally understands why I don't talk about the Navy'! My boat is mentioned in the book by name several times, and I was there for much of it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2001

    Finally someone says what we have not been able to say!!

    If you want to know the truth this is it. Wow and they missed alot. Submariners have long been quiet about what we did now some one can speak. If you truley want to know what the submarine community did for the United States during the Cold War this book is a must!!!

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