War of the Whales is the gripping tale of a crusading attorney who stumbles on one of the US Navy’s best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound - and drives whales onto beaches. As Joel Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth.
When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Waged in secret military labs and the nation’s highest court, War of the Whales is a real-life thriller that combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.
©2014 Joshua Horwitz (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
A gripping, brilliantly told tale of the secret and deadly struggle between American national security and the kings of the oceans. At once thrilling and heartbreaking, this is a landmark book of deep, original reporting which could alter forever how we view our role as stewards of the seas.Horwitz delivers a powerful, engrossing narrative that raises serious questions about the unchecked use of secrecy by the military to advance its institutional power.In this gripping detective tale,science writer Horwitz recreates a day-by-day account of the quest to find thereasons for the mass strandings; the Navy’s resistance and cover-up of theiruse of sonar in the area; and the drawn out struggles between Balcomb, JoelReynolds, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Navy. . . .Riveting.A page-turning plunge into deep seas and deep secrets. A finely braided, tautly constructed narrative full of science, suspense and unexpected reversals. This is an awe-inspiring book, and an enraging one. You won't be able to put it down.A stunning true story that delivers us into beautiful and mysterious depths – of great oceans, top-secret military operations, and the hearts of underdogs who risk it all to save the most extraordinary creatures in the world. In War of the Whales, Joshua Horwitz has written a tale of passion and courage with all the intrigue of the best mystery novels.[a] real-life thrillerFrom severed whale heads to top-secret Naval warfare ops, from the blue waters of the Bahamas to the inner corridors of the Pentagon, War of the Whales is a true-life detective story, military drama and legal procedural of the first order. Joshua Horwitz channels John Grisham and Jacques Cousteau in a way that will leave the reader inspired, outraged and deeply satisfied.War of the Whales takes us deep inside the soundscape of our acoustically complex seas, where whales have evolved to communicate, navigate and hunt with sound. It's the true story of the underwater collision between life in the ocean and an acoustic storm of military sonar -- and of citizen activists holding accountable the world's most powerful Navy. For anyone who wants to save marine life from drowning in man-made noise, this is a must-read book.Seneca said it best: 'He who is brave is free.' War of the Whales tells the astounding true story of how brave men and women, free from fear, spoke truth to the most powerful military on earth to save the most majestic creatures in the oceans.War of the Whales is the surprising and untold story of how two individuals united in a desperate fight to protect dolphins and whales from the deadly acoustic assault of navy sonar. Deeply researched, and brimming with colorful and interesting detail, Joshua Horwitz's gripping book reads like a thriller but, in the tradition of the best non-fiction writing, brings to light the secret history of military sonar and its devastating connection to traumatized whales and dolphins stranding and dying on beaches around the world.[A] compelling account of what happens when animal and human interests collide—and a sobering look at the suffering caused by increasingly noisy oceans.
This is the most informative audio book I've ever listened to. While it's a great dramatic story and and an interesting read, it also provides a wealth of information about whales, how they are being endangered by both commercial and military underwater sonar technologies, and the dedicated whale researchers and environmental activists that are working hard to save them. It is both fascinating and heart-breaking.
Holter's style brings to life all the drama, mystery,sadness and wonderment that this story contains.
That whales are being endangered and killed by human-produced sonar systems, that this has been going on for several decades, and how the Navy and even the Supreme Court has turned a blind eye to their plight.
While this book is a true story and very informative, it's a great page-turner and reads more like a dramatic fiction.
This is not a 5 star for just this reason; the book jumps through many different time frames to tell anecdotes and give background, all of which are useful and appropriate, but which are harder to pull off in an audio format.
Legal drama, like it really is. Its all about risk, shades of grey and hard work.
This "story" never took off. The extreme detail and lack of any character development made it a chore to listen. I was interested in whales. I like science. This story just didn't have any characters that I could relate to or find any human interest in their adventure.
I enjoy a wide range of books.
The narrator did a good job with boring material.
The characters were not interesting in the least
Having worked in antisubmarine warfare for the Navy, I was especially interested in this book. Except the part about Naval testing off Cape Hatteras, Delaware. I live in Delaware and it's Cape Henlopen, Delaware. I don't know what is in the printed book but I have to question what exactly is the job description of editors these days?
Otherwise, a fascinating listen.
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