The Taking of K-129

The Taking of K-129

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

Large Print - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
6
An incredible true tale of espionage and engineering set at the height of the Cold War-- a mix between The Hunt for Red October and Argo-- about how the CIA, the U.S. Navy, and America's most eccentric mogul 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.
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, [2017]
Edition: First large print edition.
ISBN: 9780525501534
0525501533
Branch Call Number: 909.828 D345
Characteristics: 694 pages (large print) : illustration ; 24 cm
large print

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

c
CMcC
May 23, 2018

I found the book to be very interesting as a description of the solution to a mammoth engineering problem. The specifics given of the technology implemented was minimal but enough was described to let a little imagination fill in the blanks to suggest just how exotic the ship and the job was. The description of the management of the multiple companies involved and the lies that supported the deception was mindbending. As well, the cast of characters was epic, with many described with high praise for their personality and leadership skills. The timeline of the story also never slowed as hurdles were encountered with equipment, people, or politics, then overcome by someone injecting innovative thinking into the situation. I would think that building the ship and trying to raise the Soviet sub was worth all the effort just for the new technologies developed. To have brought up even a small section of the sub from three miles under the surface of the sea is just icing on the cake. I found the story far more exciting than any adventure novel. It would be very difficult for an author to manage to invent such a complex and exciting story. I just wish there were pictures and drawings of the ship, but it is a spy story, so clearly I cannot expect these.

m
mammothhawk229e
Mar 13, 2018

Sure it was risky for US government & CIA to use untested technology to get a sub out of ocean floor at insane timeframe from only one company who could do it or mission may not be successful. US navy say no way. Soviet Union didn't even to a rescue mission.
However, the potential intelligence was too irresistible. How the submarine was made. See an actual nuclear warhead (Soviet used dummy warhead in tests to save money). How nuclear torpedo worked. Did the crew inadvertently left any intelligence nuggets (oh, yes). What types of isotopes within ballistic missiles. How cryptography gear were made & read. In theory NSA could read all the chatter.
Soviet Union lost a massive face because they were fooled for five years by CIA despite having access to naval cables thanks to one traitorous John Walker.
CIA biggest problem was settling wrongful death from alcohol fueled party & one persistent investigative reporter on sniffing at "deep sea mining" cover story.
Yes, event caused CIA to start saying "we cannot confirm or deny"
How the Soviet Navy treated the widows & families on their deceased naval crew was shameful & a huge black mark.
Funny how Detente forced both sides to stay quiet until end of cold war...
Not totally surprised US Navy covertly killed Matador (second attempt to get rest of submarine) by alleged leak to media because Navy brass saw how CIA took over A-12 program from the air-force or that CIA taking over their turf.

s
stedder
Jan 01, 2018

The Soviets knew the alleged Hughes ship was hanging around where they suspected their wreck might be. You can be sure it didn't take them long to change their plans and codes aboard the ship. And we already knew how to build superior missiles and bombs. So it's hard to see what we might have gained from this expensive venture.

m
mhharley
Dec 30, 2017

Disregard review by "wolfman", great book throughout---was an operation by the CIA so a reference glossary would be foolish. Explains the great engineering that went into the project without becoming dull. Great read

w
wolfman_0
Dec 06, 2017

Title misleading--sub never recovered; only pieces. Major flaw in book is that the costs of project had to be unreal but at no time is there a ledger showing costs for government agencies or contractors of which there were many.

Book would benefit from a glossary of people's names and initials used to reference various organizations.

Richard Milbrodt

f
fjvalentin
Oct 10, 2017

I found this to be a very enjoyable non-fiction read. Josh Dean turns a real-life event into a thriller. He gives a good description of management styles in a vast government/private industry project. He goes into a little of history to develop the relationships between managers who had worked together on previous projects and how that benefited their current challenge. It also goes into depth about security measures in a project highly critical during the cold war.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at MCPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top