Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr.

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9780061691300: Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell

“Painstakingly researched and crafted, Larry Berman’s Zumwalt is a compelling and rich portrait of one of the nation’s great patriots.”
—Walter Anderson, former editor and CEO of Parade

Zumwalt is a compelling portrait of the controversial military man who is widely regarded as the founder of the modern U.S. Navy, Admiral Elmo Russell “Bud” Zumwalt. Chief of Naval Operations during the decades-long Cold War crisis, Zumwalt implemented major strategic innovations that endure to this day, especially in his campaign against racism and sexism throughout the fleet. Larry Berman, the author of Perfect Spy, offers a fascinating, detailed look at an extraordinary man—winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom—an inspiring portrait of leadership that is essential in these troubled times.

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From the Back Cover:

Admiral Elmo Russell Zumwalt, Jr., the charismatic chief of naval operations (CNO) and "the navy's most popular leader since WWII" (Time), was a man who embodied honor, courage, and commitment. In a career spanning forty years, he rose to the top echelon of the U.S. Navy as a commander of all navy forces in Vietnam and then as CNO from 1970 to 1974. His tenure came at a time of scandal and tumult, from the Soviets' challenge to the U.S. for naval supremacy and a duplicitous endgame in Vietnam to Watergate and an admirals' spy ring.

Unlike many other senior naval officers, Zumwalt successfully enacted radical change, including the integration of the most racist branch of the military—an achievement that made him the target of bitter personal recriminations. His fight to modernize a technologically obsolete fleet pitted him against such formidable adversaries as Henry Kissinger and Hyman Rickover. Ultimately, Zumwalt created a more egalitarian navy as well as a smaller modernized fleet better prepared to cope with a changing world.

But Zumwalt's professional success was marred by personal loss, including the unwitting role he played in his son's death from Agent Orange. Retiring from the service in 1974, Zumwalt spearheaded a citizen education and mobilization effort that helped thousands of Vietnam veterans secure reparations. That activism earned him the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today Zumwalt's tombstone at the U.S. Naval Academy is inscribed with one word: "Reformer." Admiring yet evenhanded, Larry Berman's moving biography reminds us what leadership is and pays tribute to a man whose life reflected the best of America itself.

About the Author:

Larry Berman has written four previous books on the war in Vietnam: Planning a Tragedy: The Americanization of the War in Vietnam; Lyndon Johnson's War: The Road To Stalemate in Vietnam; No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam and Perfect Spy: The Incredible Double Life of Pham Xuan An, Time Magazine Reporter and Vietnamese Communist Agent. He has been featured on C-SPAN Book TV, Bill Moyers' The Public Mind and David McCullough's American Experience. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fellow in residence at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He received the Bernath Lecture Prize for contributions to our understanding of foreign relations and the Department of the Navy Vice Admiral Edwin B. Hooper Research Grant. Berman is Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis and Founding Dean of the Honors College at Georgia State University. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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