Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDRs Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of of Her Survivors Audiobook, by James D. Hornfischer Play Audiobook Sample

Download Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of of Her Survivors Audiobook

Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDRs Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of of Her Survivors Audiobook, by James D. Hornfischer Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: James D. Hornfischer Narrator: Marc Cashman Publisher: Random House Audio Audio Length: Release Date: November 2006 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781415931349

Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Son, we’re going to Hell." The navigator of the USS Houston confided these prophetic words to a young officer as he and his captain charted a course into U.S. naval legend. Renowned as FDR’s favorite warship, the cruiser USS Houston was a prize target trapped in the far Pacific after Pearl Harbor. Without hope of reinforcement, her crew faced a superior Japanese force ruthlessly committed to total conquest. It wasn’t a fair fight, but the men of the Houston would wage it to the death. Hornfischer brings to life the awesome terror of nighttime naval battles that turned decks into strobe-lit slaughterhouses, the deadly rain of fire from Japanese bombers, and the almost superhuman effort of the crew as they miraculously escaped disaster again and again–until their luck ran out during a daring action in Sunda Strait. There, hopelessly outnumbered, the Houston was finally sunk and its survivors taken prisoner. For more than three years their fate would be a mystery to families waiting at home. In the brutal privation of jungle POW camps dubiously immortalized in such films as The Bridge on the River Kwai, the war continued for the men of the Houston—a life-and-death struggle to survive forced labor, starvation, disease, and psychological torture. Here is the gritty, unvarnished story of the infamous Burma–Thailand Death Railway glamorized by Hollywood, but which in reality mercilessly reduced men to little more than animals, who fought back against their dehumanization with dignity, ingenuity, sabotage, will–power—and the undying faith that their country would prevail. Using journals and letters, rare historical documents, including testimony from postwar Japanese war crimes tribunals, and the eyewitness accounts of Houston’s survivors, James Hornfischer has crafted an account of human valor so riveting and awe-inspiring, it’s easy to forget that every single word is true.

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Customer Reviews

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  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Nothing new here! "

    - Annmbray, 2/15/2014
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " An important and compelling story, just not written well. "

    - John, 2/10/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I only read the first half. The part until they get captured. It was really cool. It talks about the history of the ship and the fleet it was with. Very interesting. "

    - Michael, 2/4/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " great story of courage. "

    - Joe, 1/25/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A lot of random things tacked on to a genuinely riveting story about the brutal construction of the Burma-Thai railroad. "

    - Thomas, 1/6/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " So far a great book in honor and memory of the Sailors of the USS Houston and all the endured in POW camps through out the South Pacific. "

    - Medic, 12/29/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " How anyone could survive such a hell is a testament to the strength of human endurance. One just did not want to be captured by the Japanese during the war. The many that did are true heroes! "

    - Robert, 12/25/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " One of the best books about WWII I've read. Very well written. "

    - Janette, 11/23/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Great account of the USS Houston during WWII "

    - Wendy, 11/16/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Pretty intense. It's about the men who built the bridge made famous in The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Great for WWII nuts but there are other more engaging reads for the casual military history reader. "

    - Ron, 10/16/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Learned many things about WWII that I did not know. "

    - Katherine, 9/16/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A tremendous account of the price that was paid for our freedom! "

    - Wes, 8/25/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " An amazing story of courage and survival. Fans of WWII will eat this up. Epic saga is right! "

    - Greg, 6/28/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Slow read but pretty good "

    - Shawn, 5/30/2012
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " To read this book is a life changing experience. "

    - Mike, 4/30/2012
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Some of the greatest men that I have gotten to know if my life. "

    - Sean, 2/20/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " A powerful and well written book on the Pacific theater during WWII. "

    - Michelle, 1/19/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Not really an uplifting story but certainly a tale of terrible things that humans do to each other during war. "

    - Zach, 7/27/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " If you ever read "Bridge on the River Kwai" or saw the movie this book will tell you the back story about the Americans that endured that hell. "

    - David, 4/18/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Not typically my type of book, but an excellent account of the ship my grandfather was on during WWII. Unfortunately, the author did not write about the Chinese sailors on the USS Houston, but it is a well written book nonetheless. "

    - Jocelyn, 4/11/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Some of the greatest men that I have gotten to know if my life. "

    - Sean, 9/23/2010
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Great account of the USS Houston during WWII "

    - Wendy, 4/13/2010
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " One of the best books about WWII I've read. Very well written. "

    - Janette, 5/23/2009
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Learned many things about WWII that I did not know. "

    - Katherine, 9/30/2008
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " An amazing story of courage and survival. Fans of WWII will eat this up. Epic saga is right! "

    - Greg, 9/2/2008
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " So far a great book in honor and memory of the Sailors of the USS Houston and all the endured in POW camps through out the South Pacific. "

    - Medic, 6/5/2008
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Not really an uplifting story but certainly a tale of terrible things that humans do to each other during war. "

    - Zach, 6/5/2008

About the Author

James D. Hornfischer is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Neptune’s Inferno, Ship of Ghosts, and The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, and others. A native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Texas School of Law, he lives in Austin, Texas.

About the Narrator

Marc Cashman, Earphones Award–winning narrator, was named one of the “Best Voices of the Year” by AudioFile magazine. His voice can be heard on radio, television, film, and video games. He also instructs voice actors through his classes, The Cashman Cache of Voice-Acting Techniques, in Los Angeles.