A publisher in Beijing surprised me this week. They acquired the rights to issue a Chinese language copy of Against the Tide. I have often idly wondered what would be the motivation to go to the immense effort of translating a non-technical book. English is a very complex language in itself, and Against the Tide is full of emotional history and idioms. It will be a difficult task.
I believe there are three possible scenarios that might explain this Beijing decision. They might have decided the book was a literary classic, along the lines of Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth.” That is a possibility. Or, perhaps more likely, the Chinese find Admiral Hyman G. Rickover even more memorable and interesting than do the admiral’s American counterparts.
Even more likely, China is most serious about developing their nuclear submarine capability. In working to be the best that is possible they, just as Admiral Rickover did in 1933 when he translated Das Underseeboot from the German, are deliberately making resources about submarines available for their officer corps.
If my mother were still alive, she would at least tell me she believed in my literary merit.
Dear Admiral Oliver. I am John Ireland. I was the Naval Reactors Representative in San Diego when you were COMSUBGRP FIVE. We didn’t interact a lot, but we had a good working relationship. I retired in 1997 after 37 years in the program – 20 years active duty and 17 years civil service.
I just read Against the Tide yesterday. It was interesting to relive some of my career through your writings. It was particularly interesting because I have been writing a memoir of my career with the submarine navy, thus much of the history you cover was fresh in my mind.
I would enjoy re-establishing contact with you. I notice your bio states you are retired in Northern California. I live in Nampa, Idaho near Boise and visit California a few times each year to see family.