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Publisher's Summary

William Halsey was the most famous naval officer of World War II. His fearlessness in carrier raids against Japan, his steely resolve at Guadalcanal, and his impulsive blunder at the Battle of Leyte Gulf made him the "Patton of the Pacific" and solidified his reputation as a decisive, aggressive fighter prone to impetuous errors of judgment in the heat of battle. In this definitive biography, Thomas Hughes punctures the popular caricature of the "fighting admiral" to reveal the truth of Halsey's personal and professional life as it was lived in times of war and peace.

Halsey, the son of a Navy officer whose alcoholism scuttled a promising career, committed himself wholeheartedly to naval life at an early age. An audacious and inspiring commander to his men, he met the operational challenges of the battle at sea against Japan with dramatically effective carrier strikes early in the war. Yet his greatest contribution to the Allied victory was as commander of the combined sea, air, and land forces in the South Pacific. Skillfully mediating the constant strategy disputes between the Army and the Navy, Halsey was the linchpin of America's Pacific war effort when its outcome was far from certain.

©2016 the President and Fellows of Harvard College (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Smartly written... [It] deserves to supplant E. B. Potter's 21-year-old Bull Halsey as the standard life of its subject... Hughes is an entertaining writer and an incisive observer." ( Wall Street Journal)

What members say

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  • Donna
  • Brighton, CO, United States
  • 06-18-17

Greatness From An Ordinary Person

This tale of the life of Admiral Halsey shows us that ordinary people can rise to accomplish great tasks if given the chance and if they surround themselves with people who will strive with them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A fascinating & thorough portrait

A fascinating and thoughtful look at one WWII's great Admirals. I've read many biographies of Halsey but this is the best written by far.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Book

Nice Follow up to :"The Admirals". Reader was a bit dull and took time to get used to.

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very good and thoughtful biography

a good book about a very effective human being thrown into a war,that all of us should be very thankfull. the author did a good job of telling you about the admiral and the man. actually very thoughtful. He was a true war hero.

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Admiral Bill Halsey

A writing that I will re-visit many more times. I applaud this as an even handed approach to a life of service.

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great book narrator Uggla!

very interesting book but I just could not handle this narrator I don't know how other persons said this was an exciting book he made it a chore to listen to just not my style of a narrator

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sea dog

A great admiral of the US navy. like many of the great military leaders of WWII served at right time at the right time.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful