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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 listeners say about Admiral Bill Halsey

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  • Overall
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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.

2 people found this helpful

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Finally a fair assessment

I appreciate a great recapitulation of an imperfect hero (aren't they all?) and his enormous contribution to the US Navy legacy.

My only critique of the book was the narrator's mispronunciations of Japanese surnames and places. I'm a former Navy linguist who lived in Japan for many years. My educational prissiness was jarred but it didn't interfere with being captivated by this book.

Still a grand slam.

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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

1 person found this helpful

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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 person found this helpful

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Great read. This book is a true World War Classic!

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! PLEASE CONSIDER IT. IT I LEARD A LOT ABOUT STRATEGY AND CONFIDENCE!

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The cost of War

This book reflected the cost of capital and lifes that had to be expended in Pacific Theatre as reflected from Admiral Halsy perspective. It gave a very humbling experience to look back from my comfortable living room to what the very young men and women indure. I strongly recommend this book

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Tough difficult here painful life

Honest full description of a complex driven WWII hero. His pain was evident, his brilliance in war commanded the Pacific war, at his end his devotion to his country will be his legacy.

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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.