VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 3 CATEGORY: Science & Technology POSTED ON: 6/22/2010
710pp. $65 The U.S. Navy that patrolled the world's oceans with such unquestioned dominance in the 1990s did not spring into existence full-blown, nor was its creation a smooth evolution based on dispassionate analysis and national consensus. Among the more dramatic accounts is the tale of how Secretary of the Navy Charles Thomas fired Admiral Robert B. Carney, who, as Chief of Naval Operations, had tangled with the secretary of state, infuriated President Eisenhower, and refused to exchange message traffic with Thomas.
BOOK REVIEWS 151 Yet Graham also well portrays Rumsfeld as a complex man who got things accomplished. A tenacious colle- Barlow, Jeffrey G. From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. giate wrestler at Princeton and a Navy Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945–1955. pilot, Rumsfeld was elected to Congress Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 2009. at age thirty. He served four terms be- 710pp. $65 fore President Richard Nixon ap- The U.S. Navy that patrolled the pointed him as head of the Office of world’s oceans with such unquestioned Economic Opportunity and then as am- dominance in the 1990s did not spring bassador to NATO. Under President into existence full-blown, nor was its Gerald Ford, Rumsfeld would serve as creation a smooth evolution based on White House chief of staff and as the dispassionate analysis and national con- youngest-ever secretary of defense. In sensus. The early years of that postwar Rumsfeld’s business career, he was a Navy, particularly its first, crucial de- CEO responsible for the successful cade, were marked by storms, impas- turnaround of several major corpora- sioned debate, and bitter political tions. With his appointment in 2001, he battles. This turmoil had started before would also become the oldest to serve the end of the Second World War and as secretary of defense. In all of his would continue into the mid-1950s. many appointments and responsibili- Unfortunately, there has been far too ties, Rumsfeld comes across as an in- little written about this period in the tense, capable, and ambitious operator U.S. Navy’s history. with a “deep moral streak.”
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