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Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole Hardcover – April 10, 2012
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William J. Perry, 19th Secretary of Defense
"Front Burner is a personal story of loss, and pain - but it is also a story of courage, determination, respect, honor, and integrity that each and every man and woman on the USS Cole demonstrated that day, on September 11, 2001 and indeed today. This book and the story of the men and women that it recounts is an inspiration.”
Lippold delivers a personal, opinionated account of the last outrage before 9/11 which should have galvanized our leaders but didn't.”
Compelling and poignant [Lippold] ends his main narrative on a high note, writing, The crew of USS Cole saved their ship and their shipmates. All of them are my heroes.' Reading this book or passing the somber Cole memorial at Norfolk Naval Station, one can feel only that they are our heroes as well.”
"Front Burner" is an important work of military history and stands as an essential recounting of a critical moment in America's battle against Al Qaeda.”
About the Author
Commander Kirk Lippold was the commanding officer of the USS Cole during Al Qaeda's attack in October 2000. Lippold's personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon, among others. He retired from the Navy in 2007 and remains active in current events and national security affairs. He lives in Carson City, Nevada.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am in a unique position to comment on Front Burner. At the time of the Cole murders (the attack in Yeman) I was assigned as the Strike and Surface Warfare assistant at Commander Destroyer Squadron TWO TWO - the Cole's Immediate Superior In Command (ISIC). I knew and know Kirk Lippold and I was not only privy to many of the events described in the book, I knew and know several of the crew of the Cole.
Part of our duty as ISIC was to arrange, facilitate, oversee and certify the training and inspections she and the rest of COMDESRON TWO TWO's 8 ships went through during the workups and preparations for deploying. As a result I had dealt with Kirk and a number of the people mentioned in Front Burner. We (slowly) found out some of what was mentioned, but I've even learned some things about the attack that I did not know.
I cannot do this book, or that crew of the COLE justice. You must read it. This was the first salvo in the 'long war' and their story NEEDS not only to be told, it MUST BE HEARD!
The story of the USS Cole is one of those events that was tragic when it occurred, but somehow was lost in the shadows of another tragic event. 9/11 unfortunately overshadowed the bombing of the Cole, even though both attacks were connected to one another. I was hoping to get more of the Geopolitical backgrounds to the attack. Maybe that's just me.
The book is well researched in regards to the events of the attack and the subsequent responses by Captain Lippold and the crew. Lippold does a fantastic job narrating in real time what happened, his thoughts, and the reactions of the crew. For me as a reader who loves Naval History, I thought this book might give you better insight to the a ship class that is largely unknown to the world. Where I began to lose interest in the story is how the author puts too much details to the rooms, how he accessed certain areas of the ship. Since I have never been on an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and unfamiliar with certain terms, I got lost and bored to where he was relative to the ship. I also thought that the Captain could've been a littler more gracious on his thoughts and judgments on the General Franks. There are other portions of the narrative where we get too much into what the captain was thinking (or over thinking) such as: the choice of music they played as the Cole was tugged out of the harbor, his inner-conflict to whether to stay with the ship, and others.
Otherwise, I enjoyed reading the book but in my opinion missed the mark on what would've been a story that is on the same level as No Higher Honor by Penniston, or The Big E by Stafford.
Front Burner: Al Qaeda's Attack on the USS Cole
The key to this book is that the dead and wounded who served onboard the COLE are finally given a heroes place. They were men and women who laid down their life on behalf of their country and they deserve our gratitude. Before 9/11 there was 10/12.