This well-written history draws connections to an iconic novel and illuminates the lives of World War II sailors.

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A story of poor leadership in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In this debut nonfiction work, Krouse draws connections between his grandfather’s experience on the USS Partridge and Herman Wouk’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Caine Mutiny, both stories of ineffective, potentially dangerous captains who created dysfunctional environments on their ships. Krouse doesn’t claim that The Caine Mutiny’s Captain Queeg is in any way based on Adnah Caldin, captain of the Partridge, but uses Wouk’s work as a lens to guide his interpretation of the story he pieces together with help from the surviving sailors. The Partridge began life as a World War I minesweeper, and in World War II, it patrolled the Caribbean until it was transferred to Europe, where its tugboat capabilities were put to work in building the offshore infrastructure that supported the D-Day invasion. Krouse’s grandfather and the other sailors found life on the ship more difficult once Caldin took command, and they often ran afoul of his arbitrary, harsh, or nonsensical orders. When Caldin’s erratic behavior culminated in his leaving the bridge during an emergency, another parallel to The Caine Mutiny, he was removed from command while the Partridge’s construction work led it into danger. Although Caldin was effectively the story’s villain, he was not its center, as Krouse learned from his interviews: “Talking nearly 65 years after events, not one crew member could recall Caldin’s name off the top of their head.” The book tells the stories of many of the Partridge’s sailors, presenting well-rounded portraits of ordinary people in a bad situation. Krouse does a good job of maintaining the tension while slowly revealing the Partridge’s fate, and he does so without veering into melodrama. Wouk’s Navy experience and numerous excerpts from The Caine Mutiny provide a valuable context and a narrative anchor to a story filled with detailed history and persuasive analysis of how one leader failed his men.

This well-written history draws connections to an iconic novel and illuminates the lives of World War II sailors.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-62613-075-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: ATBOSH Media Ltd.

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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