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My Navy Too Paperback – November 1, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Hollow Press; 1st edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965857808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965857802
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,813,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is must reading for anyone interested in understanding the struggle women have had over the last 30 years in attaining some measure of equality in the navy and the difficulties that patriotic gay men and lesbians, whose sexual orientation is given not chosen, have in trying to serve their country. All of those "wrong headed" military leaders, bureaucrats and politicians, who are trying to roll back the gains women have made and prevent openly gay men and lesbians from serving their country would also do well to walk in Tucker Fairfield's shoes. Maybe then they would realize that for women and gays, like Beth Coye, it is "my [their] navy too." (Dr. Lawrence Korb, PhD, Brookings Institution, Naval War College Review, Summer issue 1998.) The book not only gives a fairly good history of the Navy over that past 30 or so years, but it is also a good story -- what many folks like to call a good read. Coye uses an epistolary style to convey the viewpoints of Tucker and several other characters. The letters help draw the reader into the minor characters' everyday lives, while the entries from Tucker's journal create a sense of intimacy that is so often lacking in major novels....My Navy Too comes together as a book about justice. (Jim Van Slyke, Soundings, The Independent Navy Newspaper for Hampton Roads, March 4, 1998) Many of the incidents in the novel ring true to life to anyone with military service. Women especially will find echoes of their own experiences in Fairfield's career...No matter where you stand on the issue of gays in the military, this book is worth reading. The team-style writing approach allows the several sides of each issue to be explored, and also makes for a surprisingly enjoyable read. (Victoria Raun, Coronado Eagle, Oct 22-28, 1997) ...events related run from the heroine's early days in the navy and attendance at officers' school in 1960, through her romance with a navy man she refuses to marry because of her attraction to women, to her eventual lesbian liking with life partner Jennie and her retirement from "Big Daddy Navy" in 1980 with the rank of commander. Whether this novel is, as it seems, highly autobiographical is never answered, but talented, intelligent young women considering naval service -- indeed, service in any of the armed forces -- might do well to read Coye Booklist, and company's ultimately cautionary tale before enlisting. (Whitney Scott, November 15, 1997) My Navy Too is an engaging and challenging political novel that takes the reader into the inner world of the modern U.S. Navy. (MidWest Book Review, January 1998) A book written by committee can be a recipe for literary disaster. Beth Coye has managed not only to avoid disaster, she has produced a compelling novel that, because of the very real different perspectives of her co-authors, is balanced and nuanced. (Frances Werner,Russian River Monthly, April 1998). Not many souls in the service are brave or bold enough to challenge or expose the reality of military life. Or, to tell all about the antiquity, ambiguity, and double standard behavior which purports to be disciplinary control over the armed forces of the United States....A well-written, entertaining novel recently introduced by retired Navy Commander Beth Coye is an eye opening look at the inside we civilians never get to view. -- Rita Glabas, The Jefferson Banner, Nov-Dec 1997

From the Author

Given the confluence of my life experience with the current political issues of gender and homosexuality in the military, this book was destined to be written. I began the work alone, but quickly discovered the story would be more powerful, more real, with others to help me. I asked specific friends whose personal experiences and beliefs would be directly significant to the storyline to write letters for individual characters who would be friends and "family" of the major protagonist, Commander Tucker Fairfield, U.S. Navy. I'm grateful we had the right people for our endeavor. While the characters within our book are fictitious, the stories and situations are based on the authors' experiences.

Only I know each of the other authors. They came to know each other through correspondence and e-mail. Some issues required consensus, and for those times I deeply appreciated their willingness to struggle with, and to accommodate, diverse views. For other issues, just as this book's characters see questions and solutions differently, and as the American public and government have reached no consensus, so too the authors maintained their differences.

My experiences and those of many military friends in the last 37 years took place under the old paradigm that supported strictly white male values. Now the armed services are undergoing a painful, piecemeal shift to more culturally diverse systems. Throughout this paradigmatic transition, these military systems will demand high standards of integrity and readiness.

Sir John Robert Seely, the nineteenth-century historian, insisted on the principle that an appreciation of history, especially recent history, is essential for the politician. He wrote, "Politics without history has no root; history without politics has no fruit." I strongly believe that the American public and government policy makers, as they examine and evaluate policy issues, need to review the relevant history before jumping to conclusions based on current newspaper headlines. My hope is that My Navy Too is both entertaining as an historical novel and useful as an educational tool toward understanding what's truly behind today's media frenzy centered upon gender and homosexuality in the military, as well as the military's policies and attitudes about sex.

Early on in our project, Admiral Duke Bayne and I talked about the comparison of Tucker Fairfield's story with that of Stockton's The Lady or the Tiger. While the individual characters within My Navy Too write their own views on sensitive, public issues, we intended that, after reading it, the reader would be part of the resolution and make a choice between the Lady or the Tiger.

For those readers unfamiliar with military terminology, a brief Glossary and Acronym List can be found at the end of the book. Beth F. Coye

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
I'd call this a fictionalized memoir, allowing the author to take some liberties with her characters. The lives of the author, Commander Coye, and her lead character, Tucker Fairfield, seem to run in parallel. The inclusion of letters from friends and family brings out many political perspectives about the navy and in some degree the rest of the military, adding greatly to the read. Though many readers will have diverse opinions about the various issues raised, Coye is to be admired regarding the way these issues are handled. Those of us who were in the navy during those years can truthfully disagree with few of the author's conclusions. Women were second class personnel, very limited in their careers. Things are better today and career paths are much more open. Military gays and lesbians were, and still are, open to blackmail, not because of their military performance, but because of policy. Yet today the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is, as Tucker says, a wrong headed one-I firmly believe it's an ostrich approach to a fact of life. Gays and lesbians can and do honorably serve their country, so why this unpolicy hanging over their heads daily? Commander Coye has done a masterful job creating a book that should be required reading for any young person going into the military. Young women can see that the past wasn't roses and young men can learn why new policies concerning equality in the ranks are in place. I would strongly recommend this book. In plain terms, It's a Damn Good Read! Tom Williams, Chief Warrant Officer, U.S.Navy, Retired
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joe Murphy on July 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was very impressed with the author's writing style. Her story is one that needs to be told and she shows much courage in the telling. The Navy, like all our institutions, must move into the 21st Century and away from the "good ol' boy" management style that has prevailed far too long. Beth Coye gives a sound and eloquent discussion of the problems involved. Her story draws the reader in with each event. She is to be applauded for her fine book. I recommend it highly.
joemurphy33@yahoo.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a middle class, under educated, white male: It is neigh on impossible for me to compete with the highly professional reviews previously submitted by such an impressive array of readers. Never the less; perhaps my perspective, as a former enlisted RD1, Naval Instructor, Recruiter and retired police lieutenant, may serve to reinforce the importance and impact of "My Navy Too" in causing others of similar backgrounds to rethink their position on the issues addressed by CDR. Coye.
Through out my entire career, I've never entertained the notion that women were, or should be considered, second class citizens. On the issue of "Gays in the military" however, I must admit to ambivalent feelings.
My concerns were never related to antipathy toward gays, but rather security risks and unit cohesion. With women and gays, housing/berthing, on naval vessels were of major concern.
With the "Outing" of many gays, the security issue seems to have been put to rest. If they "Come out" the specter of black mail should no longer exist. As for the rest; I agree with the author, that job performance, and any overt conduct that detracts from it, should be the sole criteria for disciplinary action, retention and fitness reports. Merit, training prerequisites and the physical ability to perform the tasks, required of a particular career path, should be the only controlling factors in recruitment and advancement.
MNT is a well written, thought-provoking tract. It should be required reading for all, students and executives alike. The exclusion of so much talent and skill from mainstream America can only perpetuate the continued "Dumbing down" of our country and its great institutions, military and civilian.
My thanks to the author for both "MNT" and her arduous devotion to duty, honor, country.
George W. Dean Akron, Ohio 1/11/99 USN `57-`66
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
"Commander Coye's message is aimed at the US Navy, but her story could easily be set in a corporate boardroom or in the upper hierarchy of a religious denomination. Coye reminds us that some still see the Earth as flat and the center of the universe, but we must see facts for what they are, and when antiquated values and injustice become apparent, proper remedies must follow...Yet for females and minorities, social justice continues to be steeped in white male hypocrisy. One of the strengths of this book is its objectivity, clearly recognizing the Navy's point of view through the eyes of CDR Tucker Fairfield's mentor and even those of RADM Fairfield, her father...a display of fairness, by the way, not granted to Tucker. "My Navy Too" is a sensitive and well written book enabling the reader to observe the pain of an exceptional officer competing to be all she could be, but with one hand tied behind her back. Finally, there are many ways to enjoy a book, but I think the most telling is when the reader experiences the author's feelings; there were many passages when I felt anger and frustration (and joy). Richard Boich, former U.S. Army officer and retired banker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diane Diekman on June 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the historical perspective of reading about female officers a decade before I came along. The unique letter format of this book is well done and easy to follow, if a bit too long. But the whiny attitude got to me. It seems the protagonist spent her whole career thinking about her future and running to her admiral buddy for help. She also slams naval aviators. For those interested in learning about the next generation of female Navy officers, my memoir, "Navy Greenshirt: A Leader Made, Not Born," offers a different perspective. "My Navy Too" does not represent all women officers.
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