The Boston Globe
By the end of the book, what begins as family lore (Gallagher was Sullivan’s great-uncle) has broadened and deepened, rippled outward to reflect our national story. Accounts of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty, especially those rendered with humility, have lately been in short supply, and we need them … worth the wait … The result is poetry and pathos … The book is a feast of details large and small … In the hands of a less capable writer, such a flood of information might overwhelm the reader. But like a water tender regulating the flow of steam that powers his ship’s screws, Sullivan releases these details so artfully that by the time Plunkett reaches Anzio, he has positioned us to recognize the implications of each new threat to the ship. Indeed, the sailors’ 25 crucial minutes at Anzio unfold with cinematic clarity … Sullivan is a journalist, and Unsinkable is marked by scrupulous fidelity to fact. Measured from his earliest recorded interviews with a great-uncle, Sullivan has been gathering background for this book for more than 20 years … the men in Unsinkable show us what it means to be larger than life.