Your audiobook is waiting…

Sailing True North

Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character
Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From one of the most distinguished admirals of our time and a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, a meditation on leadership and character refracted through the lives of 10 of the most illustrious naval commanders in history

In his acclaimed book Sea Power, James Stavridis reckoned with the history and geopolitics of the world's great bodies of water. Now in Sailing True North, he offers a much more intimate, human accounting: the lessons of leadership and character contained in the lives and careers of history's most significant naval commanders. Admiral Stavridis brings a lifetime of reflection to bear on the subjects of his study - on naval history, on the vocation of the admiral with its special tests and challenges, and on the sweep of global geopolitics. Above all, this is a book that will help you navigate your own life's voyage: the voyage of leadership of course, but more important, the voyage of character. Sadly, evil men can be effective leaders sailing toward bad ends; ultimately, leadership without character is like a ship underway without a rudder. Sailing True North helps us find the right course to chart. 

Simply as epic lives, the tales of these ten admirals offer up a collection of the greatest imaginable sea stories. Moreover, spanning 2,500 years from ancient Greece to the 21st century, Sailing True North is a book that offers a history of the world through the prism of our greatest naval leaders. None of the admirals in this volume were perfect, and some were deeply flawed. But from Themistocles, Drake, and Nelson to Nimitz, Rickover, and Hopper, important themes emerge, not least that there is an art to knowing when to listen to your shipmates and when to turn a blind eye; that serving your reputation is a poor substitute for serving your character; and that taking time to read and reflect is not a luxury, it's a necessity. 

By putting us on personal terms with historic leaders in the maritime sphere he knows so well, James Stavridis has in Sailing True North offered a compass that can help us navigate the story of our own lives, wherever that voyage takes us.

©2019 Admiral James Stavridis (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“[An] earnest mixture of biography, memoir, and pop psychology...readers will absorb some significant naval history...Stavridis, the former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and current chairman of the U.S. Naval Institute, has done his research in the works of popular historians...[These] the biographies make good reading.” (Kirkus)

“With these fascinating and timely profiles, Admiral Stavridis offers lessons about character and leadership that apply both at sea and on land. This study reminds us that strong leaders are built, not born, and that before we can inspire those around us we must first take a hard look at ourselves.” (Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright)

“In Sailing True North, James Stavridis, one of the nation’s most distinguished admirals and a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, has given us a  timely and deeply revealing meditation on character as it informs decision-making throughout naval history. A compelling reflection on the lives of history’s most significant naval commanders, and how their leadership choices can help us find the right course to chart in our own lives. Great insights from a trusted and valued colleague at NBC News, where we rely on his views not only on security and diplomacy, but on leadership and character.” (Andrea Mitchell, NBC News’ Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    27
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pat.feeney@cbre.com

Excellent book to listen to on long walks. Inspirational and thought provoking.
Go for it...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Solid

The ten summary ideas at the end could have saved time by skipping right to them. The lessons that each admiral went through seemed to get weaker and weaker. The story of the Chinese admiral was probably the most valuable in terms of perseverance and resilience. The stories themselves could have been better. Not bad, not great. Glad I read it, wouldn’t read it again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great stories, weak narrator.

When Adm Stravridis is speaking, as he does in the forward and final thoughts sections, this this is fantastic. The narrator’s performance is not very enjoyable but does not over shadow the outstanding message of this book.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Poor audio, poor reader

As a retired fire captain I’ve been a student of leadership and character. I respect the Adm and enjoy seeing him on TV. I’m only partially into the audio book but the audio and the reader are disappointing. The Adm opens up the book and his voice is clear and crisp. When the reader speaks his voice sounds muffled. Frankly, the reader’s style is boring and doesn’t bring any life to the book. It’s often disappointing when someone other than the author presents the audio version of a book, this reader falls way short.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful