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U.S. NAVY SEABEES SINCE PEARL HARBOR
by Jay Kimmel, large format paperback, 208 pages, with many photos. 1998, Corystevens Publishing, Portland, OR.

This large format picture book is filled with enthralling narrative and crisp black-and-white photos that follow the history of the Seabees from their start in World War II up until the 1990s, covering aspects of Seabee service in every major war in between. One of the most complete histories of the Navy's Naval Mobile Construction Battalions available!

AHAB'S TRADE: THE SAGA OF SOUTH SEAS WHALING
by Granville Allen Mawer, hardcover, 393 pages, some illustrations. 1999, St. Martin's Press, New York, NY.

A worthy diversion from the military side, for all those interested in maritime affairs. At one stage in U.S. history, whaling was vital to our national economy, and defined the very culture and lifestyle of seaports on the northeastern coast. This non-fiction treatment of the world of "Moby Dick" is hard to put down. It will provide an informative background as well, for the modern debate about the continuing whaling industry as practiced by some countries like Japan and Russia.

CASINO MOSCOW: A TALE OF GREED AND ADVENTURE ON CAPITALISM'S WILDEST FRONTIER
by Matthew Brzezinski, hardcover, 317 pages. 2001, Free Press, New York, NY.

A hair-raising first-person account by a Canadian journalist who lived through the Former Soviet Union's experiment with Western-style capitalism. At times intriguing, shocking, funny, scary, revealing, disturing, and tragic, this book will make you question your preconceptions about whether Russia ever succeeded as a democracy after the Cold War. If you've read and liked novels about the Russian "mafia," you'll want to devour this, because CASINO MOSCOW is about the real thing and blows away any novel. Also gives a thought-provoking take on Vladimir Putin's rise to power, from a former KGB operative to president and commander-in-chief of an increasingly authoritarian "New Russia." Not for the faint-hearted! But you need to read this anyway!

RIG SHIP FOR ULTRA QUIET
by Andrew Karam, trade paperback, 313 pages. 2002, Sid Harta Publishers, Hartwell, Victoria, Australia.

Memoir by an American nuclear submariner on patrol "up north" against the Soviet Union late in the Cold War. Fascinating details of submarine operations and life on board. An important compliment to other non-fiction books on the subject, such as BLIND MAN'S BLUFF and THE SILENT WAR. The author was a senior enlisted man, and his experiences are described with a grit and frankness always best found, in naval writing, from authors who personally worked "at the deck-plate level." Some of what Karam discusses is fictionalized to protect classified information, but this isn't really a novel in the conventional sense -- it's much too real. Highly recommended!

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