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Blind Man's Bluff Audiobook

Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage

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Publisher's Summary

No espionage missions have been kept more secret than those involving American submarines. Now, Blind Man's Bluff shows for the first time how the navy sent submarines wired with self-destruct charges into the heart of Soviet seas to tap crucial underwater telephone cables. It unveils how the navy's own negligence might have been responsible for the loss of the USS Scorpion, a submarine that disappeared, all hands lost, 30 years ago. It tells the complete story of the audacious attempt to steal a Soviet submarine with the help of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes and how it was doomed from the start. And it reveals how the navy used the comforting notion of deep-sea rescue vehicles to hide operations that were more James Bond than Jacques Cousteau.

Blind Man's Bluff contains an unforgettable array of characters, including the cowboy sub commander who brazenly outraced torpedoes and couldn't resist sneaking up to within feet of unaware enemy subs. It takes us inside clandestine Washington meetings where top submarine captains briefed presidents and where the espionage war was planned one sub and one dangerous encounter at a time. Stretching from the years immediately after World War II to the operations of the Clinton administration, it is an epic story of daring and deception. A magnificent achievement in investigative reporting, it feels like a spy thriller but with one important difference: Everything in it is true.

©1998 Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew with Annette Lawrence Drew (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (214 )
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4.7 (194 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Frank Mx 04-03-17
    Frank Mx 04-03-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding"

    A must read for anyone interested in submarines, espionage or the cold war. Do not pass on this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Newcomer 03-04-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "proud submariner"

    I read this book while underway in the late 90's. I enjoyed it all over again hearing it this time.
    I loved it!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ron mars, Pa 01-13-17
    ron mars, Pa 01-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    "must read for anyone living during cold war"
    If you could sum up Blind Man's Bluff in three words, what would they be?

    S.M.F


    What other book might you compare Blind Man's Bluff to and why?

    not sure


    Which character – as performed by George Wilson – was your favorite?

    ALL


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    its not about reaction. its about action taken by people dedicated to our country and its cold war spy game. I retired after 20 years in military. this is a great book and what the public never realizes what goes on daily in security of our country


    Any additional comments?

    My hats off the those who are in the book and those who worked for the military and contractors! I mean that. unless you were in some of these classified projects in the book or others not ever to be told. you would never understand the lives lost, games played and dedication of an ordinary kid becoming a hero in a moment and not by choice,, by reaction to their fellow military brothers and sisters and never thinking about their own safety and in some cases losing their own lives.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 11-22-17
    Dan 11-22-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Starts out promising, but becomes tedious."

    If you are looking for an exciting adventure yarn like I imagine "The Hunt for Red October" might be, I'm afraid this is not it. The first chapter, about a certain especially tense mishap aboard a submarine, seems like a promising start. But few other chapters come close to this level of excitement. This is a broad overview of submarine espionage spanning the decades following World War II. You will be introduced to numerous submarines, and scores of naval officers. There are a few riveting scenes along the way, but much of the text is a rather dry accounting of bureaucratic fighting over which projects should get priority, who should be in charge, etc. I found the later chapters especially tedious. There is no real story here -- no narrative arc that I could see. There are too many characters to really feel much connection to any of them. In the end, I stopped listening. Perhaps some folks in the Navy or intelligence services might like this book, but it did not do that much for me. I suspect that many of the one-sentence reviews that sing the praises of this book are fake, but I suppose I could be wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mikhail Kojoukhine 11-15-17
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    "best Cold War documentary..."

    I seldom write reviews, but this book is an exception...
    Growing up during Cold War Era in Soviet Union few people knew what's going on, on ether side...
    Attempts to raise my generation with ideology of US as an enemy failed miserably, this book confirms gut feelings of young kids of 70s and 80s...
    Very well written, excellent narration, captivating story, I just couldn't put this one down...
    Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-08-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Top Notch!"

    This is one of those books where you look for an excuse to drive around some more so you can keep listening. The episodes are told very well, and this is one of the best narrators I've heard on Audible. At the end you get a special bonus, a lengthy interview with one of the authors. Best audiobook of the year for me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Lambert 09-29-17 Member Since 2016
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    "WOW!!!"

    I served in the Navy in the early 80's and I had no idea this stuff was happening! This is a fantastic and compelling work. I highly recommend this read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    travisbjr Meridian, TX USA 04-17-17
    travisbjr Meridian, TX USA 04-17-17 Member Since 2012
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    "It's BAREnts not BARents Sea"

    The pronunciation of Barents Sea thru out the book really bugged my. Otherwise its a very good read and brought back a lot of memories from that period riding submarines.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nickolas S Rudolph 03-27-17 Member Since 2013
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    "fantastic read/listen"

    very interesting history of intrigue, politics, and heroism. another fascinating portion of the efforts during the cold war.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rickey 12-18-16
    Rickey 12-18-16
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    "Fascinating"

    I had no idea what our subs were capable of nor did I realize how advanced our Naval Submersible fleet is becoming. Truly enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Alwrites
    9/9/17
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    "Excellent"

    Fascinating, well-written, demands re-creating. Arguably the best cold War submarine espionage read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew P.
    7/25/17
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    "Good history story"

    Enjoyed this book and some of the stories were eye opening and good to hear historical accounts of the submarine missions

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • S. Morris
    London, UK
    2/9/17
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    "On These Battlefields, Warriors Whisper"

    I've been wanting to get this title on audio for ages and so snapped it up as soon as I came across it by accident during a search. As a submarine buff this is a "must have" book and even for those not so inclined this book sheds fascinating light on the covert and very secret spying and trailing missions during the Cold War.

    The book covers the story of a different submarine and its crew and their involvement in the undercover missions in its own chapter which makes for a nice simple and logical structure. In addition, the events appear to be in chronological order as far as I can recall which also is useful.

    There is a lot of information presented here and some of it I knew already, a lot of it I had no details on until reading this and a good portion was unknown to me. Of particular interest to me was the chapters covering the loss of the USS Scorpion and the recovery of the sunken Soviet Golf class submarine which I think was actually K-129 although, strangely, this book does not specify this. This recovery effort, referred to as Project Jennifer but also known as Project Azorian (not mentioned by the authors which would have been useful to clarify or connect the recovery effort to the official Jennifer project name) was perhaps the most audacious undertaking by the U.S Navy during the Cold War.

    What I found useful in this book for the two incidents mentioned above was how the facts as related by the authors here go a long way in the case of the Scorpion tragedy to putting to rest the varied and very speculative books written about the loss of this submarine that suggest the theory that the Soviets sunk her. Although conspiracy theory books might seem more appealing and seductive to the imagination, they can often be platforms for the authors personal beliefs rather than based on available and verifiable facts. I was carried along by this a few years back and thought that maybe the Soviets did sink the Scorpion in retaliation for the loss of the aforementioned K-129 but upon reading the concise and logical chain of events and expert opinion set out so well, I am satisfied that the perhaps mundane but nonetheless most likely cause of the loss was to do with a defect in the Mk 37 torpedo battery.

    The narrator did a decent job of reading this book but he did badly pronounce some of the Russian place names I noticed. That very minor gripe withstanding, the narration was excellent.

    As ever with me in my nit picking nature, I did spot an error in the Appendix A, I think it was where the hull number of the USS Sam Houston was misquoted. Again, perhaps only a submarine geek like me might notice such a mistake but I just had to point that tiny detail out.

    Now, what I want to know is when there is going to be a follow up book! Almost two decades has passed since the publication of this book and so I imagine there is plenty of material waiting to be unearthed for a second instalment. Incidentally, there is an interview with one of the authors at the end of the book which is a nice bonus and interesting and insightful.

    Blind Mans Bluff is a prime example of how fact can be so much more amazing than fiction and if you had no real idea what went on during the Cold War with respect to the underwater spying game then this book will be a huge and exciting eye opener to you.

    Well written in a compelling narrative style, I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chris M
    UK
    12/12/16
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    "Get it - get it now, you won't be dissapointed"

    Put simply this is one of the best cold war espionage books I have read. It was recomended to me by a submariner.

    Dont hesitate. Get it - it's great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D
    9/30/16
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    "007 meets 'Q' in a nuclear powered chariot"
    Where does Blind Man's Bluff rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great real world cold war techno-thriller.
    The Russians want to kill you, the Sea wants to crush you like spam in a can, and the technology wants to kill you, crap-out on you, or both...


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    007 meets 'Q' in a nuclear powered chariot


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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