Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell

Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr.

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by Larry Berman
     
 

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“Painstakingly researched and crafted, Larry Berman’s Zumwalt is a compelling and rich portrait of one of the nation’s great patriots.”
—Walter Anderson, former editor and CEO of Parade

Zumwalt is a compelling portrait of the controversial military man who is widely regarded as the founder of the

Overview

“Painstakingly researched and crafted, Larry Berman’s Zumwalt is a compelling and rich portrait of one of the nation’s great patriots.”
—Walter Anderson, former editor and CEO of Parade

Zumwalt is a compelling portrait of the controversial military man who is widely regarded as the founder of the modern U.S. Navy, Admiral Elmo Russell “Bud” Zumwalt. Chief of Naval Operations during the decades-long Cold War crisis, Zumwalt implemented major strategic innovations that endure to this day, especially in his campaign against racism and sexism throughout the fleet. Larry Berman, the author of Perfect Spy, offers a fascinating, detailed look at an extraordinary man—winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom—an inspiring portrait of leadership that is essential in these troubled times.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
There is nothing wrong with hagiographies, if they are well researched and written—and if the praise is deserved; we need more of them. Zumwalt is a fine example, an engaging book about an extraordinary sailor and human being who had an inspirational faith in the strengths of America, its people and its Navy.
—John Lehman
Publishers Weekly
Berman, professor emeritus at UC-Davis (Lyndon Johnson’s War), addresses one of the Vietnam War’s central figures. Admiral Elmo Zumwalt (1920–2000) commanded Navy forces in Vietnam from 1970 to 1974 and served as the youngest chief of naval operations in history. Both appointments were demanding in challenging times; Berman describes Zumwalt as rising to the situation. He understood that the Navy could no longer remain “oblivious to the needs of civilian society and the dignity of its personnel.” Zumwalt also understood the necessity for restoring the Navy after the wear and tear of Vietnam, and meeting an increasingly formidable Soviet maritime challenge. Berman’s solid command of archival and published sources underpins his analysis of a career that began during WWII and continued during the cold war. Berman establishes Zumwalt’s controversial efforts to reduce racism and sexism, and adjust the Navy to the changing lifestyles and attitudes of its sailors. He recognizes Zumwalt’s acumen in defense politics, especially issues of budgeting and ship construction. His underlying theme, however, is Zumwalt’s position as the conscience of an institution undergoing fundamental, comprehensive transformation. Zumwalt showed that “the navy’s not as great as it thinks it is.” His tombstone bears a fitting word: “reformer.” 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent: John Wright, John W. Wright Literary Agency. (Oct.)
George C. Herring
“A splendid biography of an extraordinary leader who commanded U.S. naval forces in Vietnam and as Chief of Naval Operations dragged the Navy into the twentieth century. The chapter on Zumwalt’s war against the paranoiac secrecy of the Nixon White House is a gem of historical research and analysis.”
Booklist
“This is a fine tribute to a man of high achievement and character.”
Adm. Mike Mullen
” Zumwalt was an iconic figure for generations of sailors who served under his command or who were motivated by his example. His dedication to his country and the US Navy was a model for those who want to serve.”
President Bill Clinton
You can’t understand today’s Navy without acknowledging Zumwalt’s role in modernizing its technology and renewing its soul. He believed in a Navy worthy of our nation...those who chose to serve in it were deserving of respect and dignity. Zumwalt is the story of a true American hero.
Ronald H. Spector
“An engaging and highly readable portrait of one of the Navy’s truly transformative figures and arguably the most innovative and controversial CNOs of the Cold War era.”
Thurgood Marshall Jr.
“Zumwalt was a visionary whose charismatic brand of leadership was grounded in an unflinching dedication coupled with a belief that barriers to equality and progress have no place in America. This volume is rich with moving details from countless individuals who were inspired by his integrity and courage.”
Admiral - Mike Mullen
" Zumwalt was an iconic figure for generations of sailors who served under his command or who were motivated by his example. His dedication to his country and the US Navy was a model for those who want to serve."
Marvin Kalb
“ZUMWALT may be Larry Berman’s best book on Vietnam. Exhaustively researched, beautifully written, here is the war through the prism of one of America’s greatest officers. I loved it and learned from it. Read it.”
Donna E. Shalala
“Bud Zumwalt was a fearless leader. He was also a fascinating, thoughtful and brilliant sailor. I learned a lot about leadership from him over the years - so will you when you read ZUMWALT.”
President - Bill Clinton
You can’t understand today’s Navy without acknowledging Zumwalt’s role in modernizing its technology and renewing its soul. He believed in a Navy worthy of our nation...those who chose to serve in it were deserving of respect and dignity. Zumwalt is the story of a true American hero.
Library Journal
Admiral Elmo "Bud" Zumwalt was one of the more colorful, beloved, and perhaps controversial figures in recent U.S. naval history. Berman (Univ. of California, Davis; Planning a Tragedy: Lyndon Johnson's War) provides an insightful look into Zumwalt's life and career. Zumwalt spent 32 years in the navy, including serving as the leader of all naval forces in Vietnam, before concluding his career as the youngest chief of naval operations (1970–74), for which he is largely credited with integrating and modernizing the navy. Later, Zumwalt was active in promoting veterans' issues, especially the fight for those exposed to Agent Orange, a struggle that was deeply personal when his son succumbed to illnesses related to exposure (and the subject of Zumwalt's My Father, My Son). VERDICT Berman presents a well-researched study, although far stronger on the details of Zumwalt's naval career and political battles than on his personal life. This will appeal to those interested in 20th-century naval or political history or the Vietnam War in particular.—MM
Kirkus Reviews
Admiring biography of Elmo Russell Zumwalt (1920–2000), who transformed the U.S. Navy and went on to an equally commendable career after retirement. Berman (History Emeritus/Univ. of California, Davis; Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, 2007, etc.) emphasizes how quickly Zumwalt impressed commanders after graduating from Annapolis in 1942 and taking part in naval engagements against Japan. Rising to admiral during the Vietnam War, he commanded the "brown water" navy that patrolled rivers and coasts and suffered heavy casualties from snipers. He approved spraying Agent Orange to defoliate the heavily forested banks, which dramatically reduced casualties but came back to haunt him when its toxicity became known and his son, who served under him, died of cancer from exposure to the chemical. In 1970, President Nixon appointed him Chief of Naval Operations, and he energized the transition away from World War II technology and hidebound personnel policies. The Navy had been integrated for 20 years, but blacks and Filipinos were deliberately given dead-end assignments. Zumwalt changed that, and he allowed beards and longer hair among enlisted men and began permitting women to serve aboard ships. Dealing with major issues, he clashed with leaders such as Adm. Hyman Rickover, who demanded nuclear power in all new ships, and Henry Kissinger over Zumwalt's opposition to détente. He remained active after retiring in 1974 but--rare among former military men--not in right-wing politics. He led the fight for victims of Agent Orange and served many humanitarian causes. Readers who tolerate Berman's frequent pauses to quote praise from letters, speeches and articles, as well as tributes during award, change-of-command, retirement and funeral ceremonies, will agree that he makes a good case that Zumwalt was an outstanding naval leader.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062198969
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
656,087
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are saying about this

Marvin Kalb
“ZUMWALT may be Larry Berman’s best book on Vietnam. Exhaustively researched, beautifully written, here is the war through the prism of one of America’s greatest officers. I loved it and learned from it. Read it.”
Donna E. Shalala
“Bud Zumwalt was a fearless leader. He was also a fascinating, thoughtful and brilliant sailor. I learned a lot about leadership from him over the years - so will you when you read ZUMWALT.”
Thurgood Marshall Jr.
“Zumwalt was a visionary whose charismatic brand of leadership was grounded in an unflinching dedication coupled with a belief that barriers to equality and progress have no place in America. This volume is rich with moving details from countless individuals who were inspired by his integrity and courage.”
Adm. Mike Mullen
” Zumwalt was an iconic figure for generations of sailors who served under his command or who were motivated by his example. His dedication to his country and the US Navy was a model for those who want to serve.”
Bill Clinton
You can’t understand today’s Navy without acknowledging Zumwalt’s role in modernizing its technology and renewing its soul. He believed in a Navy worthy of our nation...those who chose to serve in it were deserving of respect and dignity. Zumwalt is the story of a true American hero.
Ronald H. Spector
“An engaging and highly readable portrait of one of the Navy’s truly transformative figures and arguably the most innovative and controversial CNOs of the Cold War era.”

Meet the Author

Larry Berman has written four previous books on the war in Vietnam: Planning a Tragedy: The Americanization of the War in Vietnam; Lyndon Johnson's War: The Road To Stalemate in Vietnam; No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam and Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter and Vietnamese Communist Agent. He has been featured on C-SPAN Book TV, Bill Moyers' The Public Mind and David McCullough's American Experience. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow in residence at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He received the Bernath Lecture Prize for contributions to our understanding of foreign relations and the Department of the Navy Vice Admiral Edwin B. Hooper Research Grant. Berman is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis and Founding Dean of the Honors College at Georgia State University. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr. 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent description of what the Admiral did to get the Navy back on track. Tragedy of Agent Orange tugs at your heart strings.