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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

SPOTLIGHT: The Taking of K-129 by Josh Dean @duttonbooks @joshdean66

The Taking of K-129:

How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History

by Josh Dean
Dutton Books

🎂 Happy Publishing Day 🎂

Truth is always stranger than fiction....  This nonfiction book of military history and espionage will leave you glued to its pages!

Goodreads Synopsis:

An incredible true tale of espionage and engineering set at the height of the Cold War—a mix between The Hunt for Red Octoberand Argo—about how the CIA, the U.S. Navy, and a crazy billionaire spent six years and nearly a billion dollars to steal the nuclear-armed Soviet submarine K-129 after it had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; all while the Russians were watching.

In the early hours of February 25, 1968, a Russian submarine armed with three nuclear ballistic missiles set sail from its base in Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. It never arrived. 

As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a top-secret American operation using sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment found it—wrecked on the sea floor at a depth of 16,800 feet, far beyond the capabilities of any salvage that existed. But the potential intelligence assets onboard the ship—the nuclear warheads, battle orders, and cryptological machines—justified going to extreme lengths to find a way to raise the submarine.

So began Project Azorian, a top-secret mission that took six years, cost an estimated $800 million, and would become the largest and most daring covert operation in CIA history. 

After the U.S. Navy declared retrieving the sub “impossible,” the mission fell to the CIA's burgeoning Directorate of Science and Technology, the little-known division responsible for the legendary U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. Working with Global Marine Systems, the country's foremost maker of exotic, deep-sea drill ships, the CIA commissioned the most expensive ship ever built and told the world that it belonged to the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, who would use the mammoth vessel to mine rare minerals from the ocean floor. In reality, a complex network of spies, scientists, and politicians attempted a project even crazier than Hughes’s reputation: raising the sub directly under the watchful eyes of the Russians. 

The Taking of K-129 is a riveting, almost unbelievable true-life tale of military history, engineering genius, and high-stakes spy-craft set during the height of the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation was a constant fear, and the opportunity to gain even the slightest advantage over your enemy was worth massive risk.

Josh Dean:

Josh Dean is a New York based journalist whose work has appeared in Popular Science, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, GQ, Men's Journal, Rolling Stone, Inc., Fast Company, ESPN the Magazine, and many others, covering subjects as diverse as pee wee go-kart racing, snowboarding in Iran, the byzantine world of small production watchmakers, and a start-up nuclear fission company. He is a correspondent for Outside, a former deputy editor of Men's Journal, and one of the founding editors of PLAY, the New York Times Sports Magazine, where he had the great fortune to work with David Foster Wallace on the late writer's classic Roger Federer profile/essay. Josh is almost certainly the first person in history to play in both the WEPA Elephant Polo World Championships and the Quidditch World Cup. (Sadly, his teams won neither.) He is the author of SHOW DOG: The Charmed Life and Trying Times of a Near-Perfect Purebred, an extremely real and yet still unbelievable trip inside the world of dog shows, and THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE STOPWATCH GANG, about Canada's infamous and prolific 1970s gang of bank robbers. His latest book, THE TAKING OF K-129, tells the incredible story of Project Azorian, the largest and most audacious covert operation in CIA history. He lives in Brooklyn (and sometimes in the Catskills) with his wife and two sons.

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