Reviews

 

Publishers Weekly Starred Review   “The eyewitness accounts of great and trivial events are fascinating.  Olson illuminates shipboard details readers need to know.  His book is an impressive accomplishment.

Naval History, U.S. Naval Institute  This book tells the remarkable story of the USS Dale (DD-353).   She was at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 moored with her class sisters.  By war’s end the destroyer had earned 12 battle stars.  Despite her enviable record of being present at critical Pacific naval operations while surviving typhoons, torpedoes, and kamikazes, at her decommissioning the Dale’s crew could incredibly boast that her service was completed without a single casualty.  The author, the son of one of the Dale’s sailors during this period, has done a masterful job of preserving the crew’s personal accounts, which are effectively interwoven to present a highly personal and compelling story of a destroyer at war.   Tales from a Tin Can is an authentic narrative of the daily life of heroic men– iron men in ships of tin.”                                                                                                      

Roger Welsch, CBS Sunday Morning   “One hell of a book!  A sublime example of a social history well integrated with scholarship.  This could have been another dreary personal memoir, yet another tribute to a beloved father, a re-recitation of the same old dates and names….  But no!  This book is a triumph!”

William McGee, author, The Solomons Campaign   “Tales from a Tin Can is one of the best books I’ve read on Tin Can History– one hell of a good read and difficult to put down.” 

Billings Gazette   “Olson’s book is like being right there with the young sailors aboard the vessel during Japan’s harrowing attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, then through many of the major battles of WWII.  The explosions, fires and ship sinkings come alive in vivid and emotional descriptions by those who heard and saw them. Many books have been written about WWII, but this one brings the reader more strongly into the action and emotion than most others.  A compelling read.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer   “The past 10 years have brought us many books about World War II, but Michael Keith Olson’s “Tales from a Tin Can” is the first oral history of one ship’s entire wartime service in the Pacific Theater. Olson has crafted a readable tribute to modesty, teamwork and dedication. For readers drawn to this bygone era, his work will provoke old-fashioned admiration.”

Destroyers.org   “The author has done the men of the USS Dale proud.  Their take on the action in World War II just makes a good read.” 

World War II History Magazine   “Tales from a Tin Can is the first oral history of one combat ship’s adventures, sometimes comic, sometimes mundane, sometimes heart wrenching, over the entire course of America’s involvement in the Pacific. An impressive accomplishment and highly recommended.”

Daniel Moran, Professor of History, US Naval Post Graduate School   “I think any historian of the war in the Pacific would be glad to have Tales from a Tin Can on his shelf.  It’s a wonderful source if you’re looking for the authentic voice of the fighting sailor.  They are pushed along by the tide of war, do their best to stay afloat and help their friends, fight the enemy; but telling their story is not really about capturing the logic of decisions, it’s about grasping the emotional texture of what it was like to have been there and really done it.  Great read!”

Midwest Book Review  “Told through the narratives of 44 of the ship’s crew, this fascinating book captures not only the furious clashes with the Japanese but also the humdrum days in between and the heart-stopping encounters with typhoons that could be as lethal as any engagement with the enemy. Anyone interested in stories from World War II will find this well illustrated account of the naval campaign in the Pacific fascinating.”

Subsim.com   “Olson intertwines well-researched historical background and war events throughout the Dale stories, providing the reader an understanding of the scope of war and Dale’s role in it. The men of the USS Dale faced a broad range of adversaries– sharks, mines, enemy subs, typhoons, kamikaze planes, battleships– even a skipper who terrorized the crew more than the enemy. But the men of Dale survived it all, and their accounts make informative and interesting reading. I recommend this book.”

New York Military Affairs Symposium  “Tales from a Tin Can tells the USS Dale’s (DD-353)story in the words of her crew. The author put together a gripping account of what the men saw and thought and felt. And its quite a story, as the Dale had a busy war barely hinted at in the book’s subtitle. A good book for anyone interested in the sailor’s view of the Pacific War.”