Vendor
Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Simon & Schuster (2018-07-10)
Original language
English
Themas
Politics & government
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INDIANAPOLIS

The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man

by Vincent, LynnVladic, Sara

A human drama unlike any other the riveting and definitive full story of the worst sea disaster in United States naval history.

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, days after delivering the components of the atomic bomb from California to the Pacific Islands in the most highly classified naval mission of the war, USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the center of the Philippine Sea when she is struck by two Japanese torpedoes. The ship is instantly transformed into a fiery cauldron and sinks within minutes. Some 300 men go down with the ship. Nearly 900 make it into the water alive. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, the men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive.

For the better part of a century, the story of USS Indianapolis has been understood as a sinking tale. The reality, however, is far more complicated and compelling. Now, for the first time, thanks to a decade of original research and interviews with 107 survivors and eyewitnesses, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic tell the complete story of the ship, her crew, and their final mission to save one of their own.

It begins in 1932, when Indianapolis is christened and launched as the ship of state for President Franklin Roosevelt. After Pearl Harbor, Indianapolis leads the charge to the Pacific Islands, notching an unbroken string of victories in an uncharted theater of war. Then, under orders from President Harry Truman, the ship takes aboard a superspy and embarks on her final world-changing mission: delivering the core of the atomic bomb to the Pacific for the strike on Hiroshima. Vincent and Vladic provide a visceral, moment-by-moment account of the disaster that unfolds days later after the Japanese torpedo attack, from the chaos on board the sinking ship to the first moments of shock as the crew plunge into the remote waters of the Philippine Sea, to the long days and nights during which terror and hunger morph into delusion and desperation, and the men must band together to survive.

Then, for the first time, the authors go beyond the men's rescue to chronicle Indianapolis's extraordinary final mission: the survivors fifty-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking. What follows is a captivating courtroom drama that weaves through generations of American presidents, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush, and forever entwines the lives of three captains McVay, whose life and career are never the same after the scandal; Mochitsura Hashimoto, the Japanese sub commander who sinks Indianapolis but later joins the battle to exonerate McVay; and William Toti, the captain of the modern-day submarine Indianapolis, who helps the survivors fight to vindicate their captain.

A sweeping saga of survival, sacrifice, justice, and love, Indianapolis stands as both groundbreaking naval history and spellbinding narrative and brings the ship and her heroic crew back to full, vivid, unforgettable life. It is the definitive account of one of the most remarkable episodes in American history.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

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Comments

It was the worst sea disaster in U.S. naval history and Indianapolis, by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic, tells the grisly story without flinching. Their tale has almost everything. There's a secret mission, an honorable enemy and a scapegoated captain. There's madmen, heroes and cannibals. There's enough in this tale for several movies.

Review: San Diego Union-Tribune

Simultaneously a gripping narrative, a convincing analysis, and a pitiless exposure of institutional mendacity . . . The systemic oversights and misjudgments that enabled this tragedy remained obscure until this investigation, which drew upon new sources clarifying how the file was amended. This exposé will be valuable for scholars and general readers alike.

Review: Publishers Weekly

Simply outstanding . . . Indianapolis is a must-read . . . Sea battles, adventures, the secret mission to deliver materials for the assemblage of the atomic bomb to the Pacific Islands, tragedy, disaster, an epic ordeal - sharks included - in the open ocean, courtroom drama, political intrigue, and the uphill battle by the band of survivors to exonerate the ship's captain will all have readers unable to put this book down. . . . Vincent and Vladic have produced a tour de force of true human drama.

Review: Booklist, starred review

Gripping . . . This yarn has it all . . . Stories of courage, cowardice, and sharkslots of sharks . . . The disaster has been the subject of numerous books . . . [and] you wouldn't think there would be much left to say. But, as it turns out, there is. Vincent and Vladic have delivered an account that stands out through its crisp writing and superb research. Indianapolis also goes where past books haven't, to the full story behind the decades-long movement to clear the captain's besmirched name. . . . Somehow, Vincent and Vladic manage to weave the story of the fateful voyage with events occurring fifty-five or more years later, making for taut action throughout the book. Is this the definitive and final narrative of the Navy's worst sea disaster? Indianapolis is sure to hold its own for a long time.

Review: USA Today

The story of USS Indianapolis is movingly and vividly captured in this visceral account, the result of more than a decade's research and interviews conducted by its authors. . . . This is an eye-popping book, with as many twists and turns as an airport thriller. . . . Vincent and Vladic's extraordinary book morphs from high seas adventure to courtroom drama and congressional hearing. . . . It is a work of serious naval history and a detective story, told with passion.

Review: The Times (London)

Chilling . . . The facts are more horrible than fiction.

Review: New York Daily News

Sharks, torpedoes, deadly secrets . . . In Indianapolis, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic expose what really happened that day in 1945 when a Japanese submarine torpedoed the Navy cruiser.

Review: New York Times Book Review

This is a brilliant, highly readable, and ultimately groundbreaking account of a proud ship's life and times, not simply a rendering of her tragic ending. Absolutely superb.

Quote: James Stavridis, U.S. Navy Admiral (Ret.)

Enthralling . . . Meticulously researched . . . A gripping study of the greatest sea disaster in the history of the U.S. Navy and its aftermath.

Review: Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Vividly detailed . . . In a brisk, fact-based narrative, Indianapolis mixes horror and scandal. . . . With diligent reporting and sharp writing, Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic have accomplished a daunting chore facing writers of historic nonfiction: take a story whose outline is known to the public and craft an account that is compelling yet comprehensive.

Review: Los Angeles Times

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