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Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations

de William H. McRaven

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3411477,081 (4.36)1
"Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Sea Stories begins in 1960 at the American Officers' Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II -- the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages."--Amazon.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 14 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Not what I expected, stories about the sea, but Seal stories and the their involvement in the battle against terrorism. Not a book I would read again, though some of the information was interesting. I will not keep a copy of this book.
  David-Block | Jul 17, 2023 |
For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: https://www.ManOfLaBook.com

Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations by William H. McRaven is a biography of the retired Admiral and Navy SEAL. In this book, he recounts some of the most headline-grabbing military missions he was part of, his training, and more.

As someone who thinks that paying attention to politics is a patriotic duty, I have heard of Admiral McRaven once he got himself a job in Washington under President Obama. Frankly, this is the reason I wanted to get this book, to check out what happens at the upper echelons of power and how decisions have been made.

I had second thoughts because I saw that Admiral McRaven is narrating his own book, and frankly, I had bad experiences with authors doing the narrations. Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly taking in to account McRaven’s reputation of excellence, he did a professional and engaging job.

The book follows McRaven from his teenage years, a mischievous young man living in a military family, to his retirement after 37 years in the military. Throughout the author recounts some famous, and not-so-famous, operations and, best of all, his way of thinking before making big decisions.

Sea Stories by William H. McRaven is not a tell-all book, and have no inside scoops. The Admiral is a meticulous planner, a great leader, and a strategic genius, which makes the stories very absorbing.

This is not a normal biography, but a collection of stories with several platitudes sprinkled in (which are in most non-fiction military books I read). The Admiral recounts his role in capturing Saddam Hussain and killing Bin Laden, however, my favorite (besides the insights into the highest echelons of power) was the rescue of Captain Phillips. To this day, I don’t think many people realize the professionalism and superb skills needed for that rescue mission. ( )
  ZoharLaor | Feb 23, 2023 |
This is an anecdotal autobiography of what the one-and-only, the legendary, Admiral William H. McRaven believes to be the life defining events of his career as a Navy SEAL. Remember that this is McRaven, the Ninth Commander of the US Forces Special Forces Command and the man who planned and executed Operation Neptune Spear: the raid which killed Bin Laden.

I have read multiple autobiographies/memoirs of countless military personalities throughout my life (so far). McRaven's have a special place in my heart. There simplicity and heartwarming effervescence retain a natural buoyancy which uplifts even the most sombre of spirits. In Sea Stories we see McRaven at his best. From his youth to hunting Bin Laden, he showcases a natural optimism and retrospective analysis of what made him successful/unsuccessful. This is a must read book for all future leaders in any field. McRaven is the best of the best and the epitome of the second greatest generation after World War II. ( )
  Amarj33t_5ingh | Jul 8, 2022 |
"Sea Stories" is very similar to McRaven's previous short book "Make Your Bed". Both are worthwhile reads. In "Sea Stories", Admiral McRaven discusses some of the important lessons he learned during his youth and in his 37-year career in the military, and describes several of his more interesting special assignments including overseeing the rescue of Captain Phillips from Somali pirates and the Bin Laden raid. In addition to the biographical aspects of the book, it is also part motivational, part inspirational, and partly a tribute to our armed forces personnel, especially those who served with Admiral McRaven in Special Ops. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
A very inspiring memoir by a great man and excellent writer. This is probably broadly accurate, but does tend toward "inspirational" vs. "strictly dry and accurate presentation of historical fact", but one of the core principles of McRaven seems to be willingness to break certain kinds of rules whenever it accomplishes the higher mission -- e.g. "losing" paperwork for mandatory medical reviews of wounded servicemembers when those reviews would have forced them to retire.

While I think a large number of the things the military has done particularly over the past 20 years have been net counterproductive, the competence and sacrifice, particularly of SOF, is unquestionable.

My personal preference in books like this is something more fact-driven and technical vs. the broadly inspirational, but this book will be much more broadly interesting to readers around the world. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
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And then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

- - Isaiah 6:8
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

- - Helen Keller
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I dedicate this book to the men and women of the Special Operations community who said, "Send me," and who have sacrificed so very much in the defense of this nation. It was the greatest honor of my life to have served with you.
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I pushed the swinging door open just a crack and peeked out into the large, smoke-filled room.
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"Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Sea Stories begins in 1960 at the American Officers' Club in France, where Allied officers and their wives gathered to have drinks and tell stories about their adventures during World War II -- the place where a young Bill McRaven learned the value of a good story. Sea Stories is an unforgettable look back on one man's incredible life, from childhood days sneaking into high-security military sites to a day job of hunting terrorists and rescuing hostages."--Amazon.

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