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Stalking the Red Bear: The True Story of a U.S. Cold War Submarine's Covert Operations Against the Soviet Union Paperback – Mar 16 2010

2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (March 16 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312605536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312605537
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 399 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #525,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“An exciting and realistic journey deep into the cold black waters of covert submarine espionage during the Cold War era.” ―Kenneth Sewell, New York Times bestselling author of Red Star Rogue and All Hands Down

“No submariner has ever served aboard a boat called Blackfin, and every submariner has. For nukes especially, Stalking the Red Bear is a cross between finding a covert diary and coming home.” ―Sherry Sontag, coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage

About the Author

Peter Sasgen, who worked closely with the sub's commanding officer on this project, is an expert on submarines. He has written both fiction and nonfiction on the subject, including several thrillers and a nonfiction book, Red Scorpion, on World War II submarine warfare. He lives in Florida.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its an interesting topic, but its poorly written and the technique of making up an individual and his conversations hurts the idea of non-fiction. Between the bad writing and this structure, it makes for a very disappointing book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9af80594) out of 5 stars 83 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae0dbf4) out of 5 stars Nice Memories Jan. 1 2010
By submariner in Arizona - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I also served on a 637 class attack submarine and agree with most of the sentiments of the prior reviews. I did find the book fun to read and very informative. It created a great source of memories for something I experienced almost 40 years ago as a junior nuclear trained officer. I feel that the author did a great job of surmising what was happening on the Russian side of the equation. This was something we did almost everyday while on patrol. I am giving this book to my friends who really want to know what we did back in the day . As the former CO said, it wasn't flashy but it was an interesting job. I am very happy that I purchased this book. The author did a nice job.
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae0de40) out of 5 stars NUCLEAR STRIKE SUBS: STALKING THE U.S.S.R. FROM UNDER THE SEAS. April 28 2009
By RBSProds - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Five COMPELLING Stars! In "Stalking the Red Bear", author Peter Sasgen investigates highly-classified U.S. Navy nuclear attack submarine operations that were conducted under the code name "Holystone", which according to the author encompassed clandestine Navy "covert submarine espionage operations against the Soviet Union". It began in the late 1940's and continued through the remainder of the Cold War and beyond. But this book is not a work of documented history, although it addresses incidents like the "Thresher" and the "Scorpion": it takes the reader on a fascinating, sometimes hair-raising journey made up of reconstructed operations, procedures, scenes, and conversations based on unlimited, unclassified access by the author to an actual 'Holystone' attack submarine commander: the payoff is that the reader follows a notional crew on a step-by-step spine-tingling deployment to the Barents Sea. it's a risky literary approach for a real-world book, but as one gets caught up in the undersea action, it works. A prodigious amount of information, 'word pictures', and history is imparted to the reader using this convention. Antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and intelligence gathering are major parts of thls book, but the hardships, tenacity, and dedication of the heroic 'submariner' personnel and their families are the real story. The U.S.S.R. once threatened to "bury" America, this book shows how seriously we took the threat of all-out war and how our un-trackable nuclear subs were the hammer the Soviets feared most of all. You may never forget the experiences of the pseudonymous "Captain Roy Hunter" and the "USS Blackfin". And do read the appendices which are loaded with anecdotes, such as some of the heroic exploits of "Lucky" Fluckey and Street, both Congressional Medal of Honor winners: well worth the time. My Highest Recommendation. Five HUGE Stars! (This review is based on a Kindle download.)
34 of 41 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae0de04) out of 5 stars Stalking the Red Bear Aug. 31 2009
By C. M. Wood - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I am a retired submarine commander. This book is technically accurate, but not very thrilling reading. (Our patrols were not very thrilling most of the time, either.)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae0e318) out of 5 stars A Cold Warrior's Thoughts April 6 2010
By Wtfdnucsailor - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very revealing book. It is an outstanding depiction of a routine Cold War Submarine Special Operation. If I wrote such a book I would be in jail. Thanks for a great read on submarine ops and a trip down memory lane. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what really happened when the sleek black sub left port in the late sixties and early seventies.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae0e1b0) out of 5 stars Incredibly Average May 3 2010
By Daryl Carpenter - Published on
Format: Paperback
As someone who reads a lot of naval literature, I'm bound to come across books that are masterpieces, and books that are utter trash. "Stalking the Red Bear" is somewhere in the middle of the spectrum: It's so profoundly average I can't remember much about it, despite having just finished reading it two days ago.

Despite being mildly interesting in parts, and being mercifully free of technical errors (a Submarine Launch Ballistic Missile is referred to as an "ICBM" in a couple places, but that's my only gripe), this book fails on it's promise of being a gripping thriller. The fictional USS Blackfin and it's commander "Roy Hunter" transit to the Barents Sea, snoop around Russian exercises, collect intelligence data, and tries not to be detected. There's plenty of historical exposition, not much character development, and halfway through, I just didn't care about anyone.

Stalking the Red Bear tries to cover a lot of ground - Cold War submarine espionage, the effects of long deployments on families, the life of a typical Soviet Submariner, but the author's stale writing style gets in the way of the fascinating subject matter. It's not a "bad" book by any stretch of the words, but as Cold War submarine stories go, it's pretty average.