War of the Whales (Hardcover)

A True Story

By Joshua Horwitz

Simon & Schuster, 9781451645019, 426pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

List Price: 28.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

July 2014 Indie Next List

“The whale stranding happened on March 15, 2000, in the Bahamas, but as Horwitz writes in his fascinating book, every animal must adapt to survive: humans have been at it for over 100,000 years, but whales have been the dominant force in the oceans for 50 million years! This true story painstakingly details years of underwater experiments and other global incidents involving marine mammals and reads like a mystery that cannot be put down. Essential for any reader concerned about the ocean environment and our role as human caretakers of the mammals that inhabit the seas, this is a terrific read!”
— Kathleen Dixon, Islandtime Books & More, Washington Island, WI
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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.