Customer Reviews


45 Reviews
5 star:
 (34)
4 star:
 (8)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The single most important man in U.S. Naval History
I bought this book at the Navy Exchange on a whim. Two pages into this book and I was hooked. After 20 years in the Navy after reading this book, I can see Nimitz's impact everywhere I look.

Most biographies are written by hero worshiping sychophants, or worse written by the subject of the biography whose recollection of events are always flattering. Potter...
Published on November 8, 2005 by M. Anderson

versus
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great subject; less than stellar execution
E.B. Potter's Nimitz is an adequate depiction of the Navy's preeminent leader of WWII. Adequate, vice great, as Potter did not seem willing to criticize, although Nimitz was evidently a man who did provide few episodes worthy of criticism. He was loved by the troops, respected by his peers and immediate subordinates, and worked well with superiors (King, Knox, and...
Published on February 25, 2007 by W. P. Bringham


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The single most important man in U.S. Naval History, November 8, 2005
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
I bought this book at the Navy Exchange on a whim. Two pages into this book and I was hooked. After 20 years in the Navy after reading this book, I can see Nimitz's impact everywhere I look.

Most biographies are written by hero worshiping sychophants, or worse written by the subject of the biography whose recollection of events are always flattering. Potter tackles the single most important man in U.S. Naval history with appriciation, but not at the expense of his detachment.

You begin with the Admiral's family history, how his grand father came to America. You then follow his lack luster school performance that explodes into focused determination to pass the Naval Academy's entrance exams. Because the Admiral's claim to fame was his leadership during WW II, the lion's share of the book covers his assumption of command U.S. Forces Pacific and follows it through his presence at the signing of the Japanese surrender at Tokyo bay. However; the last few chapters covering his dedicated work to maintain the U.S. Navy as a seperate and powerful force is eye opening and gives the reader (especialy if your a sailor) a scare at how close the U.S. Navy came to being dismantled like it had been after every war.

The thing I took away from the book was as you look around the Navy, many officers are detail minded. The higher the rank, the more of a bean counter they become. I used to be disappointed that we no longer had officers like Perry or John Paul Jones, that they had all become accountant politicians. However; reading this book, I now see that men like Jones, Perry, and Halsey might win battles. It was the detail minded officers like Nimitz that win wars. It is very obvious that in today's Navy officers are trained in the shadow of Nimitz. Many of our ceremonies are now patterned after the way that Nimitz conducted ceremonies. The way we refuel, the submarine, the way we detail sailors, so much of the Navy was forged by Nimitz.

This book covers not only his triumphs but his defeats, his short commings. It deals honestly with the subject, with out elevating him to super human. You see a man. This book should be mandatory reading for every sailor on earth. I highly recommend this book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a Biography, a Classic Study in Leadership, December 26, 2002
By 
Michael S. McBeth (Williamsburg, Virginia United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
This book is a well written biography that also presents many lessons of leadership. Starting with how Nimitz "conceived the image of an ideal officer and consciously molded himself to conform to that image;" to his introduction of the circular formation to the fleet; to the way he ran planning sessions for World War II Pacific Theater operations. Nimitz was a master storyteller who used stories to convey knowledge and share humor. His political acumen in handling disputes between the Army and the Marine Corps on Saipan and, later, as Chief of Naval Operations testifying before congressional committees over unification of the services provide case studies in executive leadership. Although Nimitz's service in World War II is widely known, I was surprised to learn of his efforts in the late 1940's to mediate the dispute between India and Pakistan over Kashmir---an area that remains a hot spot today!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best read on one of the true gentelman/leaders this century, June 25, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
As student of WWII Pacific Theater, found this to be the best of available, factual reviews of same and the man - The Admiral - who so often put his country before his personal life and was able to make a major difference in a world at war. A true gentelman, this leader set standards for all who would follow, both in his professional and private lives.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great subject; less than stellar execution, February 25, 2007
By 
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
E.B. Potter's Nimitz is an adequate depiction of the Navy's preeminent leader of WWII. Adequate, vice great, as Potter did not seem willing to criticize, although Nimitz was evidently a man who did provide few episodes worthy of criticism. He was loved by the troops, respected by his peers and immediate subordinates, and worked well with superiors (King, Knox, and Roosevelt) that demanded excellence in all of their subordinates. The reader may wonder why there are so few narratives dedicated to Nimitz during WWII, as compared to the plethora available depicting the wartime exploits of MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower, and Patton. It would appear that his quiet competence, as compared to the showmanship of some of the others, did not lend itself to a flashy best-seller, thus Potter is the only one who has attempted to tell his story.

Potter did a good job, but his personal friendship with Nimitz appears to have rendered him incapable of criticizing the man. While Nimitz did apparently have few faults, Potter did a disservice to the reader by failing to scrutinize some of Nimitz's faults, such as his apparent indecisive streak when it came to strategic decision-making (for instance deciding the correct avenue of approach to Japan, whether the Philippines, Taiwan, or the Bonins, especially in discussions with Roosevelt and MacArthur).

Also, as a practitioner, I felt that the lack of discussion of the specifics of operational planning and decision-making under Nimitz's command, missed an opportunity for comparison with the methods that the military uses, successfully or not, in today's formulation of strategy and operational construction.

Finally, I would have liked to have read a little bit more of the leadership philosophy that made Nimitz successful during his years at sea. The chapter on his command aboard AUGUSTA went a long ways toward scratching this itch, but what the Navy leader of today needs is a discussion, through framework or anecdote, of what made a successful career.

Despite my criticism, I have to say that Nimitz's life is one worth studying, and as discussed above, there are few choices of books dedicated to Nimitz's life, so I do recommend Potter's work. I would just like to see another biography written through a cynical twenty-first century eye, so that we can reap the benefit of a critical discussion of his mistakes, as well as his triumphs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding bio of an outstanding leader, June 22, 2005
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
Some WWII commanders. such as Patton, Ike or MacArthur, seem to have a new book written about them every year or so. For no particular reason, others, no less important, seem to be virtually ignored. Nimitz is one of these men, and it is fortunate that the one biography (as far as I can tell) written about him is quite excellent. Potter writes very well, did some outstanding research, and has an enormous love for his subject, letting Nimitz's natural charm, humor, professionalism, and common sense come through on every page. My only real complaint is that the author's near worship of his subject precludes any real discussion of the admiral's strategy, decisions, and mistakes. Some nice maps, footnotes, an excellent bibliography. Definitely one of those books worth purchasing and reading over and over.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ideal foil to MacArthur, November 24, 2008
This review is from: Nimitz (Paperback)
Potter's Nimitz could not have presented a better foil for that other top commander in the Pacific, Douglas MacArthur. I read Potter shortly after Manchester's American Caesar and found Nimitz's humility and simplicity of character a refreshing change from MacArthur's pomp.

In 1905, we see the young Nimitz meeting Admiral Togo shortly after the Battle of Tsushima, and Togo accepts an invitation to join Nimitz and his companions at their table, an ideal foreshadowing scene for any historical novelist.

Nimitz's command decisions in WWII were almost always accurate and timely. He dealt expertly and dispassionately not only with overall strategy and logistical concerns, but with difficult personalities as well, like Holland Smith and William Halsey. However, I would have liked Potter to discuss more the decision by Nimitz to pursue the Palau operation against Halsey's advice. He says "Halsey was grumbling" because although Ulithi would be a valuable base, the Palau invasion would be "a waste of time and lives." Then one final sentence on the topic in the next chapter mentions that "It is questionable whether the advantages gained offset the terrible cost."

It is to Nimitz's credit that after the war he wrote the affidavit on unrestricted submarine warfare which was submitted to the attorney for the German Admiral Karl Doenitz at Doenitz's attorney's request.

Even if someone is already well acquainted with the events of Nimitz's command in WWII, the bio of Potter's is highly recommended in order to flesh out the life of this brilliant, hard working admiral who has received scant attention from biographers due to his lack of flamboyance or controversy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful portrayal of Admiral as well as WW2, May 3, 1998
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
Potter's biography is an insightful book into Admiral Nimitz's character. It portrays Admiral Nimitz from both a public and private perspective. It goes over many of the events of WW2 through a naval persepective as well as the numerous conflicts that Nimitz faced from both subordinates as well as the War Department.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Hero, September 24, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
This is a wonderfully done work! The best account of the war in the Pacific I have read. The overblown accounts of MacArthur and Halsey over shadowed the real brains, the true hero of the victory. It depicts Nimitz as a strong, but caring man whose tactical and strategic skills are not widely known. It should be required reading for high school/college literature courses.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Study Of Character And Leadership, December 18, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
With this book historian E. B. Potter has written the best biography ever of Admiral Chester Nimitz. Originally published by the Naval Institute Press in 1976, it is now available in paperback which will hopefully allow it widespread distribution. I have always admired Nimitz for his calm in crisis and his unassuming manner which gave credit to his men before taking any for himself. Even though Potter was personally friendly with Nimitz, I don't believe that his personal relationship with the Admiral degraded this book or led him to be improperly biased in favor of Nimitz in this work.

The book itself is quite compendious (my hardback edition is 507 pages long) and serves not only as a biography of Nimitz foremost, but as essential reading on the nature of leadership, both specific to naval operations, and generalized to other facets of life. After reading the book I appreciated Nimitz in contrast to the bombastic MacArthur even more than I previously had. I came to appreciate his ability to handle delicate negotiations, and to respect the feelings of subordinates, even when discipline was in order. His views on other leaders are clarified, and especially enlightening are learning his views on Halsey, Spruance, King, Kimmel, and of course, MacArthur. The more I read the more I understood and agreed with Nimitz, although to be fair, his views more or less confirmed previous views I had held, therefore readers with differing predispositions may not be as convinced as I was.

I appreciated the coverage of World War Two most, but also of his life outside of the conflict. His leadership style is applicable to all military officers and to civilians as well, and this book is insightful and inspirational. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone interested in history, leadership, or naval warfare on the grandest scale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular, December 10, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Nimitz (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book to use in contrasting the biographies of Halsey, Nimitz, Spruance, and other Admirals of WWII. The Battle of Leyte Gulf is a primary example of a topic to contrast between Nimitz and Halsey. Potter writes wonderful biographies.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Nimitz
Nimitz by E. B. Potter (Paperback - March 15, 2008)
$32.95 $22.78
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.