Rick's Reviews > Fall from Glory: The Men Who Sank the U.S. Navy
Fall from Glory: The Men Who Sank the U.S. Navy
by Gregory L. Vistica
by Gregory L. Vistica
May 19, 12
The American military departments in the Pentagon including their service academies have been in the news at one time or another for uncharacteristic behavior – let’s call it conduct unbecoming. Aberrant activities happen in every facet of American life from time to time; it is just a function of being human that people sometimes go off the ranch and make big mistakes. Vistica’s Fall from Glory is the story of the U.S. Navy suffering through just such a period; while the episode covers some shameful events, Vistica’s narrative style makes for an entertaining read with a nice pace and easy access. Focusing on the decade of the 1980s and centered on the Reagan Administration’s choice of John Lehman as Secretary of the Navy, the tale spotlights the actions of this overaggressive SECNAV in striving to rebuild a depleted Navy. Lehman began his tenure with a grab for power, effectively neutering the highest ranking uniformed naval officer - the Chief of Naval Operations; the secretary later forced Admiral Hyman Rickover into retirement. Some of Lehman’s other questionable personnel decisions led to provocation of the Soviet Union and Iran. John Lehman’s self-aggrandizing style found him flaunting questionable aviation wings (he earned them by training part time); instigating tiffs with defense contractors (he spearheaded a major argument with General Dynamics); and attending the raunchy naval aviator Tailhook conventions in Las Vegas (one of the last of which would include the assault of women aviators). While the Navy tried to cover-up the Tailhook peccadillos, reports of this would spread across the newspapers in all the lurid detail and would result in the resounding crash of a few Navy careers, especially a few on-the-move admirals. While reading Fall from Glory is more like reading about a Fall from Grace, if one looks behind all the shenanigans and cover-ups and scandals they will find a nice summary of the rebuilding of the U.S. Navy.
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Fall from Glory.sign in »