War of the Whales

War of the Whales

A True Story

Book - 2014
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Winner of the 2015 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award: "Horwitz's dogged reporting...combined with crisp, cinematic writing, produces a powerful narrative.... He has written a book that is instructive and passionate and deserving a wide audience" (PEN Award Citation).

War of the Whales is the gripping tale of a crusading attorney who stumbles on one of the US Navy's best-kept secrets: a submarine detection system that floods entire ocean basins with high-intensity sound--and drives whales onto beaches. As Joel Reynolds launches a legal fight to expose and challenge the Navy program, marine biologist Ken Balcomb witnesses a mysterious mass stranding of whales near his research station in the Bahamas. Investigating this calamity, Balcomb is forced to choose between his conscience and an oath of secrecy he swore to the Navy in his youth.

When Balcomb and Reynolds team up to expose the truth behind an epidemic of mass strandings, the stage is set for an epic battle that pits admirals against activists, rogue submarines against weaponized dolphins, and national security against the need to safeguard the ocean environment. Waged in secret military labs and the nation's highest court, War of the Whales is a real-life thriller that combines the best of legal drama, natural history, and military intrigue.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014.
ISBN: 9781451645019
Characteristics: xviii, 426 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


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ArapahoeKati Jun 28, 2017

I love whales and I love history, so to read about what the government has done/is doing made me angry. I'm glad to know that there are people out there who are willing to write about events like this. Highly recommend if you love the ocean.

Dec 08, 2015

Eye-opening and insightful. You get a strong sense of the effects of sonar-pollution on creatures whose hearing is vital for their existence.

Oct 10, 2015

A very well researched and written book. While the author clearly sympathizes with the whales (and the people who try to protect them) it makes strong efforts to present the Navy's point of view fairly. It's humbling how much the people who sought to protect the whale suffered - financially, personally, and otherwise.

Oct 28, 2014

An extremely disturbing look at how the navies of the US and its allies are using sonar to kill off whales and dolphins in the name of "national security." Especially when it comes to maritime wildlife, you make enemies you don't want very quickly if you're on the side of the animals.


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Oct 28, 2014

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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