Rickover: Father of the Nuclear Navyby Norman Polmar
Hyman G. Rickover was not long removed from his Jewish roots in Poland when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1922. After a respectable career spent mostly in unglamorous submarine and engineering billets, he took command of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program and revived his career, being retired—involuntarily—some thirty years
Hyman G. Rickover was not long removed from his Jewish roots in Poland when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1922. After a respectable career spent mostly in unglamorous submarine and engineering billets, he took command of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program and revived his career, being retired—involuntarily—some thirty years later in early 1982. He was not only the architect of the nuclear Navy but also its builder. In the process, he erected a network of power and influence that rivaled those who were elected to high office, and that protected him from them when his controversial methods became objectionable or, as critics would suggest, undermined the nation’s vital interests.
Authors Thomas B. Allen and Norman Polmar, whose full-length biography of Rickover (in manuscript in 1981) was consulted by the Reagan Administration during the decision to remove him from active duty, are eminently qualified to write an essential treatment on the controversial genius of Admiral Rickover.
“Allen and Polmar have demonstrated that Rickover’s life reflects one of the most notable American success stories of the twentieth century. From his immigrant childhood to one of the most remarkable and competent leaders of the military industrial complex, Admiral Rickover was the driving force behind making military and commercial nuclear power practical and safe. Allen and Polmar have provided a well-balanced and interesting profile of a great American.”—K. J. Moore, editor of Fire at Sea: The Tragedy of the Soviet Submarine Komsomolets and co-author of Cold War Submarines: The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines, 1945–2001
Meet the Author
Thomas B. Allen is an author and editor. For more than fifteen years he served with the National Geographic Society as associate chief of the book service. He edited the million-plus bestseller We Americans and has published numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, including War Games. Allen and Polmar have collaborated in writing seven books and numerous articles. Both live in the Washington area.
Norman Polmar is a leading expert on naval and aviation matters. An internationally known analyst, consultant, and award-winning author, Polmar has written more than 40 books, including, with K. J. Moore, Cold War Submarines: The Design and Construction of U.S. and Soviet Submarines (Brassey’s, ISBN 1-57488-594-4) and Historic Naval Aircraft: From the Pages of Naval History Magazine (Brassey’s, ISBN 1-57488-572-3). He is a columnist for the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings and Naval History magazines. Polmar lives in the Washington, DC, area.
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