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Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr.

Zumwalt: The Life and Times of Admiral Elmo Russell "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr. Harper: HarperCollins. Oct. 2012. c.528p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780061691300. $29.99. BIOG
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Admiral Elmo "Bud" Zumwalt was one of the more colorful, beloved, and perhaps controversial figures in recent U.S. naval history. Berman (Univ. of California, Davis; Planning a Tragedy: Lyndon Johnson's War) provides an insightful look into Zumwalt's life and career. Zumwalt spent 32 years in the navy, including serving as the leader of all naval forces in Vietnam, before concluding his career as the youngest chief of naval operations (1970–74), for which he is largely credited with integrating and modernizing the navy. Later, Zumwalt was active in promoting veterans' issues, especially the fight for those exposed to Agent Orange, a struggle that was deeply personal when his son succumbed to illnesses related to exposure (and the subject of Zumwalt's My Father, My Son).
VERDICT Berman presents a well-researched study, although far stronger on the details of Zumwalt's naval career and political battles than on his personal life. This will appeal to those interested in 20th-century naval or political history or the Vietnam War in particular.

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