Stuff Reviewer

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  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

  • The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
  • By: James D. Hornfischer
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 662
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657

Told from the point of view of the men who waged this steel-shattering battle, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors captures Navy pilots attacking enemy battleships with makeshift weapons and sacrificial valor, a veteran commander improvising tactics never taught in Annapolis, and young crews from across America rising to an impossible challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding

  • By John on 04-17-04

Little Guys fight BIG!

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-03-18

Amazing story, even more so because it is history! The self-sacrifice of these men serving on the smallest surface combatants for their fellow sailors and shipmates was incredible.

The behind the scenes dealings of some of the leaders was also eye-opening.

Overall another great book by Hornfischer.

  • Chasing New Horizons

  • Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto
  • By: Alan Stern, David Grinspoon
  • Narrated by: Alan Stern, David Grinspoon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 232
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 232

On July 14, 2015, something amazing happened. More than three billion miles from Earth, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons screamed past Pluto at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focusing its instruments on the long-mysterious icy worlds of the Pluto system, and then, just as quickly, continued on its journey out into the beyond. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great Topic ... not great coverage

  • By Stuff Reviewer on 06-19-18

Great Topic ... not great coverage

3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-19-18

The good...First let me say I love the topic of this book. The achievement that the New Horizon's team made was a great one. Low budget outer planet mission that was on budget and that accomplished the great majority, if not all, of their objectives. The description of the mission planning was great. The trade offs they had to make, again great. Just wish that part of the book was longer.

The interesting....The story of the long and winding road to get the mission off the ground. However it was too much of the book, more than half. The competition with JPL was also interesting and I believe most of what they said was plausible but they actually provided very little proof that JPL was working behind the scenes to sabatoge their mission. Also they seemed to have no qualms about using behind the scenes political shinanigans when it benefitted their cause.

The of the book were over the top. Comparing path to getting the mission approved to the Battan Death March... REALLY!That was just ignorant. I understand that this was their story and passion but there was not even an attempt to be take into account other opinions. Constantly comparing their accomplishments to Voyager and Apollo actually seemed like grand standing and just plain repatitive. How many times did they mention that the mission cost 1/5 as much as Voyager and that they had instruments that were so much better. You launched more than a quarter century after Voyager after all the technological advancements is it really that surprising that you had better instruments and a much lighter spacecraft? Mentioning it once or twice would have been fine but over and over? The underdog angle was over done. The public's enthusiasm was also over emphasized. Yes, they were able to take advantage of social media but then again cats playing the pianio have millions of views too.

For me the worst part we that the book was very light on technical details.

Overall it was not bad book but it could have been so much better and befitting of the accomplishments that they actually acchieved instead of trying to elivate their accomplishments to an almost absurd level.

But that's just one person's opinion.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful