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Extended Audio Sample Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine, by James F. Calvert Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (80 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James F. Calvert Narrator: Kevin Patrick Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Imagine yourself in a World War II attack submarine. These are not today's war subs, with advanced radar, roomy space, and the general safety awarded by modern-day military weapons. This is a tin can, practically, in comparison, bobbing around the ocean like food for a shark. In this riveting tale, James Calvert takes you on a journey like no other as he recounts his days as a WWII submarine officer.

Calvert vividly describes both the exciting and the relatively tedious as he takes the reader through battles, missions, and even the day-to-day monotony intrinsic to being on a battle submarine. Calvert himself begins to shift, and as young boy grows into striking man, his crew grows as well--from a ragtag group of young'ns to a fully-fledged commando fleet. It is a riveting tale about survival and perseverance, set on the backdrop of a classic American war story, that is sure to please any discerning reader.

James Calvert was an American war hero and author famous for his recounts of WWII submarine life. He was born on September 8, 1920, and was an only child. He was appointed later to the United States Naval Academy, where he graduated in 1942. He then went on to serve in several US navy submarines during WWII, the backdrop for most of his stories. He has been married twice, the first marriage ending with his wife's death in 1962. He went on to be a decorated war hero and died in 2009 after a long and fulfilling life.

In this riveting personal account, an authentic American hero relives the perils and triumphs of eight harrowing patrols aboard one of America’s most successful World War II submarines. Courageous deeds and terror-filled moments as well as the endless maintenance work are vividly recalled in Calvert’s candid portrait.

But Silent Running is more than a masterful collection of war stories. The greatest drama takes place within Jim Calvert himself, as his values, his training, and his courage are put to the test daily, both at sea and ashore. He must come to terms with a forbidden love, overcome fear and self-doubt, cope with the loss of comrades, and face the constant reality that each and every day at sea might be his last.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] exciting memoir…Calvert’s book ranks with Edward Beach’s Run Silent, Run Deep as an accurate, detailed, suspenseful account of submarine operations in the Pacific.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Patrick’s reading is easy to understand and a fine match for the text. He convincingly expresses the many emotions that a crew experiences during a combat cruise—the thrill of the chase, the excitement of the captain’s description of torpedo hits and sinking ships, and the tension of the officers’ discussions.”


  • “Excellent reading…[Calvert] describes [his adventures] vividly and with what can best be called the qualities of an officer and a gentleman, which he certainly is.”


  • “[A] page-turner as good as any war novel…Calvert’s memoir should be at home in any type of library.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Del Simmons | 1/17/2013

    " Excellent narrative history of one man's experience on a WW2 submarine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Emily | 12/30/2010

    " A lot more descriptive and informative than most adventure stories - but it's really an adventure/drama behind all the fascinating WWII insights. I loved his tone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides | 12/25/2010

    " Dates approximate. Possibly the best American submarine memoir out there; certainly the best one that I've read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gordon | 6/26/2010

    " This was a great book. Loved the tone of the author. I listened to the audiobook a couple times because I enjoyed it so much. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author

James F. Calvert (1920–2009) Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.), one of the Navy’s most decorated officers in World War II, commanded a U.S. nuclear-powered submarine, served as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, and headed the First Fleet in the Pacific.