Clancy, Tom: Red Storm Rising
(researched by Chris Dixon)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

G.P.Putnam's Sons 200 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 1986

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

Trade Cloth

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

652 leaves,pp.1-652 Putnam 1st, 1986 8VO,bds,652pp. Typeset by Fisher Composition, Inc.

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

not applicable

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

not applicable

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The book is in mint condition. The typography is in 12 font dark with larger, bold chapter headings, which enables the reader to clearly view the text without having to strain the eye.

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The book appears to be brand new, therefore the quality of the paper used for the book seems to be high. As for the paper's ability to hold up physically over time, it cannot be determined due to the shear freshness of the pages. The pages do however seem to be a bit thin compared to other hard cover novels, which may suggest a faster deterioration rate over time.

11 Description of binding(s)

The binding is black, hardbound fine with the title, "Red Storm Rising" in gold and the author's name in the same color, only smaller font beneath it.

12 Transcription of title page

RED/STORM/RISING/___________/Tom Clancy/G.P. Putnam's Sons

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

could not find information

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)


Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

Yes, although I haven't been able to locate exactly what edition it is and the date it was published. The cover has a black background and reads TOM CLANCY across the top in a hunter green with block letters. In small white print below the author's name, it reads, A NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER. Lastly, the title RED STORM RISING is written along the bottom of the cover in red, with flames coming out of the bottom in the background. From this information alone, we can only assume that this was a much later edition, after the book had already spent near a year on the bestseller list.

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

3 that I have gathered so far:
The original, first edition
The largeprint edition (April 1991) ISBN: 0896218856 1.91x8.86.5.83
The unknown edition mentioned in question one.

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

US Paperback ISBN: 0-425-10107-X Berkeley - Berkeley Publishing August, 1987, 725 pages
UK/AUS/NZ Hardcover London: Collins [month?] 1987, 652 pages
UK/AUS/NZ Paperback ISBN: 0-00-617362-4 Fontana/William Collins and Sons Co., Ltd. - Glasgow 1987, 830 pages

6 Last date in print?

July 1997

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

As of the 1987 publication of Bowker's, 1,025,020 copies had been sold. (Bowker's, 1987)

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

could not find

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

Upon searching through Publisher's Weekly, The New York Times, The Bookseller, and many other sources, I did not come across any ads for Tom Clancy novels. Clancy, however, consistantly remained on the be
st seller list which was printed weekly, so one may assume that this was Putnam's primary advertising. Also, frequently, advertisements for other war writers would have a comment by Tom Clancy, and it would be noted that he was the author of RED STORM R
ISING. This is another subtle form of advertisement.

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

see #9

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

Video Game - RED STORM RISING MicroProse for Commodore 64 and Amiga

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

Dutch Operatie Roche Storm ISBN: 90-229-7728-5 translated by Jan Smit A.W. Bruna Vitgerers B.V. - Utrecht 1987, 423 pages
French France - Marie Walkins w/ Jean Sabbagh Copyright Editors Albin Michel, S.A. 1987
German Im Sturm ISBN: 3-7645-068104 (Hardcover) December, 1994 by Blanvalet
ISBN: 3-442-09824-6 (paperback) May, 1996 by Goldmann

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A


15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A


Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Tom Clancy is perhaps one of the most well known bestselling authors of the 1980s and 1990s. He has written 7 bestsellers thus far, 3 of which have been made into major motion pictures. Anyone who has ever read or seen an interview with Clancy knows that he is a rather eccentric individual, who, besides all his given eccentricities, maintains a tight stronghold on the amount of information regarding his personal life that is allowed to reach the public. Therefore, the information contained in this biographical sketch reflects all that he is willing to allow to reach the public ear or eye. Although we don't know much about Clancy, we do know that Thomas L. Clancy, Jr. was born on April 12, 1947 at the Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He was raised as a Catholic and attended 8 years of Jesuit high school education at the Loyola high school, in Towson, Maryland. He went on to major in English at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland and eventually pursued a career as an insurance broker. Having always been an enthusiast in the study of war, Clancy decided to realize his dream of publishing a novel and suceeded, at the age of 37, in 1984. It was this year that the famed "Hunt for Red October" was pressed by a small naval academy publishing syndicate. Although only 17,000 copies were originally released by this publisher, "The Hunt for Red October" would prove to be Clancy's vehicle to stardom. Praised by President Ronald Reagan himself and hailed by critics, "The Hunt for Red October" soon soared to the top of the best seller list, thus enabling Clancy to retire his position as an insurance broker and pursue his career as a novelist. He went on to write 9 more suspence war thrillers; "Red Storm Rising," "PatriotGames," "The Cardinal of the Kremlin," "Clear and Present Danger," "The Sum of All Fears," "Without Remorse," "Debt of Honor," Executive Orders," and "Rainbow Six," as well as several nonfiction titles as well; "Submarine: A Guided Tour of a Nuclear Warship," "Armored Cav: A Guided Tour of an Armored Cavalry Regiment," "Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing," "Into the Storm: A Study in Command," "Airborne: A Guided Tour of an Airborne Task Force," and "Marine: A Guided Tour of a Military Expeditionary Unit." As well as manifesting his fascination and knowledge of the military in literature, Clancy founded the Red Storm Entertainment Computer Company, which has produced computer war games with such titles as, "SSN," "Politika," and "Rainbow Six." He has also invested the capital earned from his novels and computer company into partial ownership of the Baltimore Orioles and full ownership of the Minnesota Vikings. Clancy's success as a novelist has also made him a successful scholar. He has gained access to top secret military facilities and often attends luncheons and gives lectures to the military elite. His novels are extremely popular with the personnel of the pentagon and some of his nonfiction are required reading at military education facilities. Tom Clancy currently resides in Prince Frederick, Maryland with his wife Wanda and his four children.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Below is a list of all IMPORTANT contemporary reviews of Tom Clancy's, "Red Storm Rising."
American Spectator v. 19 - D '86 - p. 28 Booklist v. 82 - Je 15 '86 - p. 1474 Best Sellers ('85 - '87) v. 46 - O '86 - p. 243 Book World (Washington Post) v. 16 - Jl 27 '86 - p. 1 Book World (Washington Post) v. 17 - D 6 '87 - p. 19 Christian Science Monitor - v. 78 - Jl 31 '86 - p. 22 Kirkus Reviews v. 54 - Jl 1 '86 - p. 953 Library Journal v. 111 - s 1 '86 - p. 212 London Review of Books v. 9 - s 3 '87 - p. 14 Newsweek v. 108 - Ag 25 '86 - p. 64 Newsweek v. 112 - Ag 8 '88 - p. 61 New York Times v. 135 - Jl 17 '86 - p. 19 New York Times Book Review v. 91 - Jl 27 '86 - p. 7 Policy Review - Fall '86 - p. 84 Publisher's Weekly v. 230 - Jl 11 '86 - pp. 53-54 Publisher's Weekly v. 231 - Je 26 '87 - p. 69 School Library Journal v. 33 - Ja '87 - p. 90 Time - v. 128 - Ag 11 '86 - p. 64 USA Today v. 4 - Jl 18 '86 - p. 4D West Coast Review of Books v. 12 - S '86 - p. 34 Wall Street Journal v. 208 - Ag 18 '86 - p. 19
The net opinion of these reviews can be deduced by these three examples:
"The strength of [the novel] is its crisp, matter of fact language, which has the punch of a special news bulletin on network television." Christian Science Monitor p. 22 - Jl 31 '86 by Sam Cornish
"Mr. Clancy's undistinguished prose is serviceable enough not to impedge the flow of his narrative. His characterizations are on a Victorian boys' book level. All the Americans are paragons of courage, endurance, and devotion to service and country .
. . The enemy is almost equally virtuous . . . Don't get me wrong. Occasional longeurs aside, I enjoyed this rattling good yarn for the same reasons I used to curl up with one of C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower adventures. Lots of action. Good men
in tight spots. The comforting certainty that our side will win. Mr. Clancy has left the world in sufficiently tidy shape so that, if he is so inclined, he can favor us someday with the story of World War IV" New York Times Book Review p. 7 Jl 27 '86 by Robert Lekachman
"The book has a variety of heroes and villains in its complex weave of plot strands, but the diffuse locales and the lack of an appealing main character make for a somewhat choppy narrative . . . For too much of Red Storm Rising, the humans are obscured b
y the afterburn of their weapons systems. Oddly enough, it is this very flaw that enhances the book's credibility . . ." Time 128:64 Ag 11 '86 by Walter Isaacson.
The general consensus of these reviews is that Tom Clancy's, "Red Storm Rising" is by no means a canonical masterpiece. His language is colloquial, his literary worth virtually nil, however his novel, a soon to be bestseller would serve its purpose most
sufficiently . . . to be a bestseller. They agree that while "Red Storm Rising" isn't the next "Paradise Lost," per se, it is an entertaining, action packed novel that is indeed credible due to the amount of research that Mr. Clancy put into it.

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

e is no available subsequent reception history.

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

Tom Clancy's, Red Storm Rising hit the bestseller list virtually upon publication in August of 1986 and it remained at the top of the bestseller list well into the end of 1987. As of the 1987 publication of Bowker's, 1,025,020 copies of the novel had
been sold and since then the number has escalated to well over 3 million. If the number of sales is not startling enough, then perhaps the fact that Red Storm Rising was Clancy's second novel is. But how can we account for such a phenomenon, especially
taking into consideration the infancy of Clancy's career? In examining the reviews of Red Storm Rising, we see the reviewers praise the novel, dubbed a "techno-thriller" as being action packed and technologically accurate, but what made Red Storm Risin
g a success was not merely its content, which appealed to a worldwide audience, but more importantly, its timing. When placed into historical context, we see that the effects the cold war and the rise of terrorism in the year preceding the novel's publi
cation created an overwhelming market for a novel dealing with World War III, which was at that time, a seemingly plausible possibility. The extensive media coverage of these topics only fueled the fire. While public interest in the democracy vs. commun
ism and the United States vs. The Soviet Union motifs was always present, this interest intensified with the rise of the blockbuster action film, which often dealt with US/Soviet conflict (i.e. "Top Gun" and "Red Dawn"). Red Storm Rising was merely a mor
e apocalyptic, literary version of such blockbusters. Lastly, Clancy as an individual undoubtedly spurned a public interest in his novel, for as he was not only a peculiar individual to begin with, he was also embraced by the Pentagon and even President
Reagan as a confidant, which also made Clancy, as an author, fascinating. We can first account for the overwhelming success of Red Storm Rising by examining its reviews. The December issue of the American Spectator hailed Clancy's, Red Storm Rising, "the best read of the year." The June 26, 1987 issue of Publisher's Weekly
called Red Storm Rising, a "fascinating and totally credible story, told with authenticity and great suspense." Both Publisher's Weekly and The American Spectator seem to reiterate the overall reception of Clancy's work, and from merely scanning these
short but laudatory reviews, it is no wonder why the public ran out by the droves to purchase the novel. Not only was the novel supposedly entertaining, but its realism must have peaked the interest of the public. Even the negative reviews of Red Storm Rising reflect its good attributes. Robert Lekachman of the New York Times Book Review wrote:
"Mr. Clancy's undistinguished prose is serviceable enough not to impede the flow of his narrative. His characterizations are on a Victorian boy's book level. All the Americans are paragons of courage, endurance, and devotion to service and country . .
. The enemy is almost equally virtuous . . . Don't get me wrong. Occasional longeurs aside, I enjoyed this rattling good yarn for the same reasons I used to curl up with one of C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower adventures. Lots of action. Good men
in tight spots. The comforting certainty that our side will win. Mr. Clancy has left the world in sufficiently tidy shape, so that, if he is so inclined, he can favor us someday with the story of World War IV." p.7 - July 27, 1986
While Lekachman proclaims that Red Storm Rising is, by no means, a canonical masterpiece, the faults that Lekachman outline (i.e. colloquial language, the portrayal of Americans from a nationalistic viewpoint, and the fact that the novel ends shipshape) a
re what make the novel a bestseller. The fact that the novel's prose was "easily accessible" merely allowed a wider range audience to be able to read it. Naturally, the American public would want to find the characters representing their country as cou
rageous and virtuous, especially in light of the current events of the 1980s. And of course, the fact that Clancy leaves the world in "sufficiently tidy shape so that, if he is so inclined, he can favor us someday with the story of World War IV" reflects
the true nature of the American blockbuster, be that in literature or film, which always leaves its viewers in want of a sequel. All in all, Clancy's formula proves to be a recipe for a bestseller. Since the reviews reveal why Tom Clancy's, Red Storm Rising became a bestseller (i.e. its readability, its action, its credibility), we must know account for the numbers of sales, for rarely does a bestseller reach such an overwhelming success as did thi
s novel. First, we can attribute some of Red Storm Rising's success to Clancy's first novel, The Hunt for Red October, as it in essence, paved the way for Clancy's super-hit. Clancy, an insurance salesman from Maryland, published The Hunt for Red October throu
gh the Naval Institute Press, and while its initial pressing amounted to only 14,000 copies, the novel took off nevertheless and became Clancy's first bestseller. Not only were hundreds of thousands of copies printed to supply the demand for the novel,
but the movie rights were sold soon after it reached the bestseller list and novel was made into a blockbuster film, starring Sean Connery and William Baldwin. President Reagan stated, with regard to The Hunt for Red October, that it was "non-put-downabl
e" and even went as far as inviting Clancy to the White House for dinner. Needless to say, with this popular president's support, the film version in the works, and the fact that Tom Clancy's success was the embodiment of the American Dream - a virtual
overnight success story, his next novel was greatly anticipated. That novel was Red Storm Rising. But The Hunt for Red October cannot account for all of Red Storm Rising's success. We must also place Red Storm Rising within historical context. The cold war, which had raged on since the 50s between democratic and communist countries, while on its de
cline, still remained at the forefront of every American's mind during the 1980s, as the threat of nuclear war seemed very possible. Communism appeared to be on the rise. In its January 6th issue of 1986, Time magazine named Deng Xiaoping, the dictator
of China, "man of the year," due to China's prosperity under Xiaoping's socialist regime. Time also reported the communist success stories of Hungary, Yugoslavia, and the Philippines. Not only was communism on the rise, but terrorism from Middle Eastern Islamic Fundamentalist groups showed a strong increase in 1986 with cult of personality giants like Gaddafi and Abu Nidal. Airports were bombed in West Germany, France, and London, El
Al jets were hijacked and hostages were killed several times, and the Achille Lauro cruise ship was seized as well - all by Islamic terrorist organizations. It is no wonder then why Clancy chose to catalyze his story of World War III with the bombing of a Soviet oil refinery by an Islamic Fundamentalist group, and likewise, feeding off the cold war mentality, why the Soviet Union retaliated against NATO. Other world conflicts were set in motion as well, during the mid 80s, which would offer Clancy a reason to involve the entire world. Iran and Iraq had been in conflict for nearly a decade, South American governments were being seized by guerilla revoluti
onaries, Apartheid in South Africa led to an all out racial war, the Soviet Union was pitted against Afghanistan, Israel was constantly at odds with its Middle Eastern Arab neighbors, especially Syria, and the conflict between Lebanon and Palestine rekind
led over religious issues. The United States was in economic conflict with Mexico and military conflict with Lybia, which was vehemently protested in France and Italy. The whole world during the mid 80s was in a state of conflict. But here lies only the beginning. To add to this whole mess, the Star Wars race between the United States and the Soviet Union had taken on nuclear capacities. Likewise, several disasters concerning nuclear power and space race occurred. For the United States, the spaceship Challenger e
xploded, killing an entire team of astronauts. In the Soviet Union, the infamous Chernobyl meltdown occurred, which allowed radiation to seep into neighboring countries. The Soviet Union attempted to cover up the disaster, which only produced more suspi
cion between the US and the USSR. On the national forefront, AIDS was on the rise, the stock market had crashed several times, Ronald Pelton was tried for espionage, a new form of cocaine called "crack" became popular on the streets and all in all, it was a time of political and economic
turmoil. And as we have seen from history, it was the perfect climate for war. Although the expected World War III never came to be, Clancy seized the opportunity during this time of upheaval to present a "what if?" scenario and capitalized from it. The fact that his novel dealt with the current events of the 1980s and the path to
which these current events would inevitably lead, undoubtedly fascinated people. People had the desire to see what would happen if World War III actually did break out. This desire was not limited to the United States either. Since the novel deals with
a World War, the novel had to be published in Dutch, French, and German as well, for most likely, people of other countries had the same intrigues. Likewise, the technology involved within the novel fascinated the public as well. The mid 80s was a period marked by technological revolution. The Star Wars race between the United States and the Soviet Union fueled much of this advancement, as well as
the onset of the computer age. Much of this technological advancement occurred within the military. In the January 13, 1986 issue of Time Magazine, Evan Thomas wrote an article entitled, A Warrior Elite for the Dirty Jobs, which focused on the United St
ates Special Operations Units, like army rangers and navy seals. In the May 5, 1986 edition of time, an article on super-carriers was highlighted. Clancy uses both the special operations units and aircraft carriers extensively throughout his novel. His
research was so extensive and his portrayal so accurate, that the Pentagon feared that Red Storm Rising would declassify some of the military's top secret weaponry information. Red Storm Rising even mentions the stealth bomber, which the government had
not yet revealed had actually existed. The public's fascination with this technology and the accuracy in which Clancy portrays it was yet another enticing aspect to draw readers. Clancy was not alone, however, in his media portrayal of the cold war mentality and the possible conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Mid 80s also marked the real onset of the action blockbuster, which often dealt with similar top
ics and gave birth to this new genre. Perhaps the most popular of these blockbusters was released in 1986 and was entitled, "Top Gun," which deals with air craft carriers and navy fighter jets. "Red Dawn," released in 1985, portrays the Soviet invasion
of the United States. Other notable titles include "Iron Eagle," and "Commando," which portray the wrongs of communist governments and the use of US technology to battle and conquer these communist regimes. While an onslaught of these blockbuster hits r
eached the movie screens, as well as a plethora of B movie titles dealing with the same subject, Clancy was the only writer to delve into the matter on a literary basis. He in essence, pioneered the genre of the "techno-thriller" as a novel. Since Clanc
y faced no opposition, the action blockbuster only bolstered the public's interest in the subject and steered them to Clancy's work. Finally, Clancy, as an individual, undoubtedly spurned public interest in his novels. He is a notoriously peculiar man and often comes across as very cynical but overwhelmingly intelligent in his interviews, book signings, and even a Jeopardy appearance.
The August 8, 1988 article on Clancy in Newsweek reads:
"A devout and conservative Roman Catholic, he is an unapologetic homophobe. Clancy is a gun lover and constantly vows to "blow away" anyone who would harm his loved ones. "I have a romantic notion that if you hurt someone you should suffer for it," he s
ays. "Anyone who hurts a kid should be shot in the head and left to rot in the gutter."
Clancy owns his own tank and has recently purchased ownership of the Minnesota Vikings football team. While little is known of Clancy's personal life, as he refuses to reveal any particulars, it is this mysterious quality which fascinates viewers. The
fact that the Pentagon has embraced him as a confidant and a lecturer makes him all that more intriguing. Thus, it is no wonder why Tom Clancy's, Red Storm Rising reached the overwhelming success that it did. Not only did the reviews reflect its shear entertainment value, but the current events of the mid 80s spurned enormous interest in the subject of Worl
d War III, as it was, a real possibility. Clancy combines the cold war mentality with technology to create a new genre, dubbed the "techno-thriller," which was followed by an enormous onslaught of blockbuster action films dealing with similar subjects, w
hich also fueled the interest of the public. Lastly, Clancy as an individual undoubtedly drew some attention to his novel, as he is a notoriously peculiar fellow, while at the same time, amazingly intelligent and valued as a resource within the military

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