Admiral Hyman Rickover: Engineer of Power
March 20, 2022
Marc Wortman joins us to discuss his new book.
Known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy,” Admiral Hyman George Rickover (1899–1986) remains an almost mythical figure in the United States Navy. A brilliant engineer with a ferocious will and combative personality, he oversaw the invention of the world’s first practical nuclear power reactor. As important as the transition from sail to steam, his development of nuclear-propelled submarines and ships transformed naval power and Cold War strategy. They still influence world affairs today.
His disdain for naval regulations, indifference to the chain of command, and harsh, insulting language earned him enemies in the navy, but his achievements won him powerful friends in Congress and the White House. A Jew born in a Polish shtetl, Rickover ultimately became the longest-serving U.S. military officer in history.
In this exciting new biography, historian Marc Wortman explores the constant conflict Rickover faced and provoked, tracing how he revolutionized the navy and Cold War strategy.
Marc Wortman is an independent historian and award-winning freelance journalist. His books include 1941: Fighting the Shadow War: A Divided America in a World at War, The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta, and The Millionaires’ Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power.