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The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made A Difference Paperback – October 28, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Rockwell, Rickover's former technical director, has written a notable, anecdote-rich biography of the controversial "father of the nuclear navy." In 1951 Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986), then an obscure captain in the navy's Bureau of Ships, set himself the task of creating an atomic submarine. Four-and-a-half years later, USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear sub, joined the fleet. In lay language, Rockwell explains how he accomplished this amazing feat. For one thing, Rickover gave new meaning to the concept of industrial quality control. Rockwell also makes clear why his former boss was widely hated and feared, and provides examples of his unique ability to infuriate as well as inspire. Most prominently, Rockwell demonstrates Rickover's genius for getting things done. Finally, he relates the strange story of Rickover's enforced retirement in 1982 at the instigation of Navy Secretary John Lehman, who accused him of accepting favors from contractors. If this fine biography has a flaw, it is the author's failure to explain adequately why Lehman was so implacably hostile to the man who immeasurably strengthened the United States Navy. Illustrations.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Author Theodore Rockwell is a nuclear engineer, with nearly sixty years experience in nuclear power. He worked directly for Admiral Rickover for 15 years as the program was just getting under way. He was Rickover?s Technical Director for the last ten of those years, and kept in touch with the Admiral until his death in 1986.
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Rickover defines how one man, with a vision can do anything. Rickover was always driven to do quality work and do the best work possible no matter what job he was given. The book has many humorous quips about Rickover. You really get to see the man behind this massive new industry that changed the way we looked at the Atom.
Mr. Rockwell provided many personal experiences with Admiral Rickover all the way to the end of his life. I am sure I will read it again.
Rockwell's account is a personal one and isn't a complete survey of the Naval Reactors program during its early years. It does provide an excellent view into the leadership and character of Hyman Rickover, who set a very high standard for Naval and civilian personnel and contractor firms.
A good read for those interested in: Naval history, with an emphasis on technology; and, in the history of technology.
But really a good read and the feat of getting something so comlex operational in 10 years is almost unimaginable. And the author allows those of us not well versed nuclear physics to still get to the heart of the Rickover's accomplishment.
If you're in management, this book is a must.