- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First American Edition edition (September 15, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0230613616
- ISBN-13: 978-0230613614
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Troubled Water: Race, Mutiny, and Bravery on the USS Kitty Hawk First American Edition Edition
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“Even though the U.S. government continues to deny it, Gregory Freeman has dug out the true hidden story of the first mutiny in the history of the U.S. Navy. You'll enjoy this high seas thriller.” ―James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers, Flyboys, and The Imperial Cruise
“This is a real nail-biter, a genuine page-turner. Just when you thought you had heard everything about carrier operations during the Vietnam War, here is the story of the mutiny that the US Navy didn't want you to know about. Page, by agonizing page, you are below deck as everything unravels and everything you thought you knew proves to be wrong. It's always exciting to read a book that provides new or overlooked information about events you thought were set in stone within the historical record, but in Troubled Water, Gregory Freeman not only tells you about it, he takes you there -- aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, as mutineers gradually alter the course of an American warship from measured precision to chaos and anarchy.” ―Bill Yenne, Author of Aces High, the Heroic Saga of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of WWII. and Rising Sons: The Japanese-American GIs Who Fought for the US in WWII
“Gregory Freeman is a master of riveting and thoughtful examinations of military sagas that no one else has the courage to take on. Troubled Water is his finest book in a distinguished career.” ―Gregg Olsen, author of Heart of Ice and A Wicked Snow
About the Author
Gregory A. Freeman is an award-winning writer with more than 25 years experience in journalism and historical nonfiction. He has won over two dozen awards for his writing, including the coveted Sigma Delta Chi Award for Excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists. His books include The Forgotten 500: The Untold Story of The Men Who Risked All for the Greatest Rescue Mission of World War II, Lay This Body Down: The 1921 Murders of Eleven Plantation Slaves, and the acclaimed Sailors to the End: The Deadly Fire on the USS Forrestal and the Heroes Who Fought it. He lives in Roswell, Georgia.
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The book contains the routine distractions you have to expect from a journalist who is not a military writer, like repeatedly locating NAS Oceana in "California," or claiming that the F-4 Phantom had a "three-man crew." The most tedious of these is the incessant protestation that Kitty Hawk had a "long," "legendary" career in 1972. No, she was 11 years old in 1972; the point was she was new and big. The supercarriers only came slowly to the Pacific Fleet which leaned heavily on small, old Essex 27C decks for a long time. I attribute the "legendary" stuff to the author's wish to honor the Kitty Hawk reunion groups he spent time with and the fact that the book was published in 2009, the year she was decommissioned. The author (or his editor) also exclusively uses, "THE Kitty Hawk" as popular journalists are wont to do, instead of simply and correctly, "Kitty Hawk."
If you accept the fact going in that the story is limited to 11 personal accounts plus some economy-of-force research, the book provides an interesting account of what can be known from those 11 points of view. It is especially interesting to be immersed in how limited was the information, perspective, and perception in a compartmentalized (literally) 5000-man "city at sea," and the utter isolation and fear experienced by groups of men. The author does a good job conveying how in a modern purportedly unified warship crew it can be so impossible to determine ground truth. What really mars the book is the way it starts to stack up portentous foreshadowing about ring-leaders, that this wasn't spontaneous, but following "a plan." A quick flip to the sources at the back of the book shows the 11 interview subjects, and since they've all already been introduced in the narrative we know it's not one of them, so there is NOT going to be a pay-off to all of this foreshadowing. That's disappointing, but it does not stop the false foreshadowing and suspense from piling up deeper and deeper to its inevitable non-conclusion. We don't know how it started, if there were ringleaders and a plan, and neither does Freeman. The fact that he kept talking about it is a weird inverse perversion of Chekhov's musket over the mantel law, and makes the book feel like something of a cheat before you even finish it. Given that "the plan" premise gets right at one of the book's main topics: "was this just a riot or a full mutiny?" this failure undermines the book. Bloodied sailors cowering in compartments thinking, "this is a mutiny!" does not make it one, no matter how many participants the author quotes.
Nonetheless, the insights and first-person perspectives in this book are worthwhile, if only because there is no other place to get them. Recommended with caveats.
I went into the Marine Corps part of the first women to be accepted it was late seventies so I served with many people that went through this. Women at the time that I went into the core more frowned upon and hazed but I don't think to the extent of this story
Thank you for writing this book and thank you to all the veterans that got caught up in this situation and like I said it breaks my heart to know that you had to do this