Synopses & Reviews
Few know how close the world has come to annihilation better than the warriors who served America during the tense, forty-six-year struggle known as the Cold War. Yet for decades their work has remained shrouded in secrecy. Now, in this riveting new history, W. Craig Reed, a former U.S. Navy diver and fast-attack submariner, provides an eye-opening, pulse-pounding narrative of the underwater struggles and espionage operations between the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that brought us to the brink of nuclear war several times.
Red November is filled with new revelations and never-before-reported stories that take you deep beneath the surface and into the action during the entire Cold War period from 1945 through 1992. Reed served aboard submarines involved in espionage operations, and his father was a top naval intelligence specialist intimately involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Reed is one of the first authors to obtain in-depth interviews with dozens of navy divers, espionage operatives, submariners, and government officials on both sides (including several Soviet submarine captains), who describe the most daring and decorated missions of the conflict, including the top-secret Ivy Bells, Boresight, Bulls Eye, and Holystone operations. Other events, whose full details have not been made public until now, include:
- The harrowing underwater cat-and-mouse chase in October 1962 that almost resulted in the firing of nuclear-tipped torpedoes by Soviet Foxtrot subs and could have started World War III
- The alarming collision between the submarine USS Drum and a Soviet Victor IIIclass sub (an incident the author experienced firsthand), the American boat's remarkable escape, and the all-out effort by enemy forces to hunt her down in 1981
- The role the author's father played in developing a highly classified, state-of-the-art system for detecting enemy subs that was instrumental in helping President Kennedy force Premier Khrushchev to back down at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis
- And the storm and resulting engine failure that trapped the USS Seawolf on the sea bottom during an espionage mission in Soviet waters that nearly took the lives of 190 sailors in 1981
Transcending traditional submarine, espionage, and Cold War accounts with its level of detail and first-person perspective, Red November is an up-close examination of one of the most dangerous periods in world history and an intimate look at the lives of those who participated in our country's longest and most expensive underwater war.
“Red November delivers the real life feel and fears of submariners who risked their lives to keep the peace. Smart, detailed, and highly entertaining, this is a story everyone should read.” Steve Berry, author of < i=""> The Paris Vendetta <>
“Red November is a terrific, real-life thriller, filled with larger than life warriors, technological wizardry, undersea games of chicken, and a civilian world perched unknowing on the brink of push-button nuclear destruction.” Barry Eisler, author of < i=""> Fault Line <>
“If Tom Clancy had turned The Hunt for Red October into a nonfiction thriller, W. Craig Reeds Red November might be the result…. Not to be missed!” James Rollins, bestselling author of < i=""> The Doomsday Key <>
“This is an astonishing and important book…. Red November is a book that anyone with an interest in espionage or clandestine naval operations should read.” George Friedman, author of < i=""> America & #8217;s Secret War <> and < i=""> The Next 100 Years <>
“This history of the cold war beneath the sea reads very much like a thriller.... For serious submarine buffs, a feast.” Booklist
“Red November is palpably gripping and packs the excitement of a real-life thriller. I felt like I was literally on-board a submarine in the middle of a hair-raising mission and on the brink of World War III.” David Morrell, bestselling author of < i=""> The Shimmer <>
delivers the real life feel and fears of submariners who risked their lives to keep the peace."
--Steve Berry, author of The Paris Vendetta
W. Craig Reed, a former navy diver and fast-attack submariner, provides a riveting portrayal of the secret underwater struggle between the US and the USSR in Red November. A spellbinding true-life adventure in the bestselling tradition of Blind Man's Bluff, it reveals previously undisclosed details about the most dangerous, daring, and decorated missions of the Cold War, earning raves from New York Times bestselling authors David Morrell, who calls it, "palpably gripping," and James Rollins, who says, "If Tom Clancy had turned The Hunt for Red October into a nonfiction thriller, Red November might be the result."
With over eight trillion taxpayer dollars spent and the loss of more than 100,000 American lives, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States stands as one of the longest and costliest military conflicts in U.S. history. Many incidents from that period, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, are frightening reminders of just how close the two superpowers came to nuclear combat. But one aspect of the Cold War remains shrouded in mystery, its details long-protected by top secret classifications: submarine warfare.
In Red November, W. Craig Reed sheds new light on a side of the Cold War many at the time did not even know existed. From the espionage missions of the Holystone program to underwater collisions between U.S. and Soviet submarines, from stolen communication devices to the untold story of the Boresight project, this book explores one of the most thrilling, frightening, and clandestine sectors of U.S. military history.
W. Craig Reed served for six years as a fire control technician first class, a U.S. Navy recon diver and a special operations photographer on nuclear fast-attack submarines. He accompanied Navy SEAL teams on reconnaissance missions, and gained several commendations for completing top-secret missions during the Cold War. He was a former VP and Board Director for the Silicon Valley American Marketing Association and founded two software companies. Born into a Navy family on the island of Guam, Reed now resides in Silicon Valley, CA.
"This is an astonishing and important book." -- George Friedman, author of America's Secret War and The Next 100 Years
The world came close to annihilation during the Cold War—a sobering fact known to few besides the warriors engaged in the forty-six-year conflict. In this riveting new history, former U.S. Navy diver and fast-attack submariner W. Craig Reed provides a thrilling narrative of the tense underwater dramas and covert espionage operations that brought the United States and the former U.S.S.R. to the brink of nuclear war on several occasions.
Riveting and eye-opening, Red November offers an intimate look at the lives of those who participated in our countrys longest, most expensive underwater war during one of the most dangerous eras in world history. Reed provides never-before-revealed details about some of the most dramatic episodes of the secret conflict—from the harrowing underwater cat-and-mouse chase in October 1962 that almost kicked off World War III to the desperate hours when the USS Seawolf sat grounded by engine failure at the bottom of the sea during an espionage mission in Soviet waters.
“Red November delivers the real life feel and fears of submariners who risked their lives to keep the peace.”
—Steve Berry, author of The Paris Vendetta
W. Craig Reed, a former navy diver and fast-attack submariner, provides a riveting portrayal of the secret underwater struggle between the US and the USSR in Red November. A spellbinding true-life adventure in the bestselling tradition of Blind Mans Bluff, it reveals previously undisclosed details about the most dangerous, daring, and decorated missions of the Cold War, earning raves from New York Times bestselling authors David Morrell, who calls it, “palpably gripping,” and James Rollins, who says, “If Tom Clancy had turned The Hunt for Red October into a nonfiction thriller, Red November might be the result.”
About the Author
W. Craig Reed served as a U.S. Navy recon diver, submarine weapons technician, and special ops photographer deployed on nuclear fast-attack submarines. He earned commendations for completing top-secret operations during the Cold War and is an alumnus or member of several military, veteran, and technology associations. Born into a navy family on the island of Guam, Reed is now a partner in a technology marketing consulting firm and lives in Silicon Valley, California.
Read an exclusive essay by W. Craig Reed