The Taking of K-129 – Josh Dean

Happy belated release!

Thanks to Dutton Books for the copy in exchange for my honest review #PRHPartner

THE TAKING OF K-129 by Josh Dean (released September 26th)

American history and espionage – two things this girl loves.


My Thoughts: 5/5 stars!


Are you a fan of nonfiction? Espionage? Well, if you are, then you need to pick up Josh Dean’s THE TAKING OF K-129. I personally LOVED this book. This is a topic that has always interested me. As a Political Science and International Relations major in college, this was what we focused on. My senior project was on espionage (specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis) and it always fascinates me to read about the lengths people would go to in order to complete a mission without detection.

On February 25, 1968, there was a Russian submarine armed with nuclear ballistic missiles that was on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii from Siberia. That submarine never arrived to its destination. The Soviet Navy searched for the lost vessel with no luck, meanwhile, a highly classified and top secret American operation found it (with the help of highly sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment). Wrecked on the ocean floor at a depth of 16,800 feet, the CIA was determined to recover the vessel because it contained valuable information in the form of nuclear warheads, battle orders, and Russian cryptological machines.

This was the birth of the Project Azorian – a top-secret mission that took over six years, cost around $800 million, and was the largest and most daring operation in CIA history. While this quickly became apparent that the CIA would have to go outside of the military to retrieve this sub (as the Navy deemed the mission to be impossible) they sought out the help of the Directorate of Science and Technology. They soon commissioned the most expensive ship ever built with Global Marine Systems. How were they going to covertly conceal this? Simple. The CIA said that it belonged to the eccentric and reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Why would he need this monstrosity? To mine rare minerals from the ocean floor, of course.

This is definitely reminiscent of Argo. It will always amaze me the planning and attention to detail that goes into these types of missions. You never truly understand how many people are involved either – spies, scientists, politicians, and even Howard Hughes. The fact they were able to do this under the careful watch of the Soviets blows my mind.

Overall, if you want to read about a great piece of American history, and espionage piques your interest, then you need to pick this one up! Remember, it is nonfiction, so it’s very factual and not written like a suspense novel would. There is, however, lots of suspense.


I hope that you give this a chance if any kind of history piques your interest 🙂


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