کتاب های مرتبط
- نقد و بررسی
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نقد و بررسی
July 30, 2012
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.
September 15, 2012
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 detente. 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.
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October 1, 2012
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
Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
October 1, 2012
Fairly or not, few of the top military brass emerged from the Vietnam era with their reputations enhanced. Perhaps the most notable exception was the late Elmo Bud Zumwalt. Berman, professor emeritus at the University of CaliforniaDavis, is an unabashed admirer of Zumwalt, and this detailed, complimentary but fair biography shows his subject worthy of that esteem. Zumwalt commanded all U.S. naval forces in Vietnam from 1970 to 1974. Although he harbored serious doubts about the feasibility of military victory in the war, he showed remarkably innovative skills, especially in shifting responsibility to South Vietnamese naval forces as part of the Vietnamization policy. He also earned the admiration of both superiors and subordinates for his constant concern for the welfare of ordinary seamen. Then, as chief of naval operations, Zumwalt carried out dramatic reforms that helped the U.S. meet new Soviet challenges as well as confront embedded racism in the navy. This is a fine tribute to a man of high achievement and character.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)