Blockade: The Quarantine of Cuba by William Dempsey

four stars

blockadeAfter World War II, the conflict in Korea, and the Bay of Pigs invasion, many Americans, especially those directly responsible for the protection of the United States, are hoping for an extended period of peace. Peace that will allow them time to spend with family and friends, relaxing and enjoying the ways of life outside of the stresses of war. However, as tensions build between the United States and the Soviet Union, and missiles keep appearing in Cuba, it quickly becomes clear that peace may not be in the cards. Blockade: The Quarantine of Cuba is an incisive historical fiction novel that provides insight into the lives of those who protect the United States on board some of the navy’s finest ships. William E. Dempsey skillfully weaves together information from various government sources to create the story of Mike Stafford, the Gunner’s Mate Chief of the U.S.S. Boyington. While many days are routine and uneventful, guarding the Walnut Line and protecting American citizens from the outbreak of war is no easy task.

Dempsey’s characters are likable and his knowledge of history and the inner workings of naval ships is impressive. Altogether, Blockade is a worthwhile novel that reminds the reader of the very real threat of war and what it does to the lives of those involved. As missiles are being sent back to Russian, one can only wonder what would have happened if World War III had begun in 1962.

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