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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
“On a bright Tuesday morning on June 21, 1966, many events affecting the United States were taking place around the world.” This understated Cold War context makes for a fascinating and revealing account by Charles Cranston Jett in his book Super Nuke! As a man, Jett’s personal combination of interests, curiosity, intelligence and drive led him – almost serendipitously – to become a Navy submariner; not on just any submarine, but aboard the first operationally active member of “the most modern and powerful nuclear attack submarines ever built.” The Ray was the ultimate weapon.
In Super Nuke! Mr. Jett tells his story with clarity, precision, and an intensely interesting sense of spy-like intrigue natural to such Top Secret revelations about a supremely secretive and dangerous time in U.S. history. Strangely and concurrently, his narrative also sounds like any young man finding his way to learning and employment, and ultimate service to mankind. The difference is revealed in specifics that even now cannot be revealed fully, and in the vital contribution made by this submarine in bringing about an acceptable, non-nuclear ending to the doomsday-driven scenarios so prevalent during the Cold War.
Amazingly, Mr. Jett not only turns this finely written work into an historically important document, but also into a kind of primer for how to succeed in life, both in one’s job and in the area of one’s expertise. His own summary says it best: “The primary lessons I learned serving in the nuclear navy were as follows: If you are going to do something, then do it well…to the best of your ability. If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. Whatever you do in life, do things that contribute to the betterment of your fellow man, and for your country.” One more time in his own life, Mr. Jett in Super Nuke! leads us by example.