Admiral Spruance -- who won the battle of Midway and seized the Gilbert, Marshall and Mariana Islands, then Iwo Jima and Okinawa -- this last an undertaking equal to the Normandy invasion -- commanded the greatest and most powerful fleet in the history of the world. Never heard of him? Many haven't. A shy, keenly intelligent Navy pro who let his medals molder in a cardboard box, he was ""forged by his mother's fiery intellect and tempered by his father's serenity."" Even more, he embodies the midwestern virtues of Tarkington's Indiana, a man who will charm many readers very much indeed. Only once did Spruance reveal his deepest feelings during World War II, when he wept before his wife and daughter over the ships he saw destroyed in Pearl Harbor. He conducted his campaign against Japan with no evident hatred or sense of vengeance. After the war he became president of the Naval War College, then ambassador to the Philippines. This biography is warmly and intimately alive and calls forth unexpected admiration for a genuinely good man glimpsed in the midst of havoc.