Sara's Reviews > Left for Dead

Left for Dead by Pete Nelson
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's review
Apr 05, 2012

really liked it
Read from March 15 to April 05, 2012

Fascinating book. I read this book after discussing with a friend Robert Shaw's (Quint's) "Jaws" monologue on being a survivor of the USS Indianapolis. [You know the scene: "...eleven hundred men went into the water. 316 men come out, sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945....Anyway, we delivered the bomb." Definitely in the pantheon of Best Film Monologues of All Time.]

Eleven-year-old Hunter Scott finds himself in the living room with his dad, watching "Jaws." The kid can hardly believe what Shaw's character describes actually happened. He ends up researching the episode for a history fair and, ultimately getting the court-martial of the Indy's Captain Charles McVay overturned when evidence suppressed by the U.S. Navy for more than 50 years comes to light.

I give this 4 stars not for great writing (although author Pete Nelson writes clearly and well, conveying some incredibly byzantine maneuverings on the part of the U.S. Navy to make McVay a scapegoat in the tragedy) but for making me CARE so much about this episode in U.S. history.

Please read this book. At fewer than 200 pages long, it's a quick read, a history you'd find in a middle school history section. Learn what happened in the waters of the Pacific in 1945, what was hushed up to keep the U.S. Navy from having to admit systemic failure, and then rise cheering from your seat for this kid. I sure did.

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