SEALAB Reviews

“…as captivating as an adventure novel.”  – Parade

“…brings this long-shuttered program back to life.”  — Discover

“…a deft account of deep diving history.”  – New York Review of Books

“…combines the work of a diligent investigative reporter with that of a feature writer who loves a good sea story.”  – Naval History

“Required reading.”  – New York Post

“. . . descriptions of underwater danger are as arresting as the surreal images of groups of stoic grouper fish . . .” 
– A.V. Club

” . . .so profoundly interesting and thrillingly told that anyone, within the diving industry and otherwise, will find this book
simply hard to put down.”
– UnderWater

“. . . perilous incidents supply Hellwarth’s dramatic peaks, while, overall, his assemblage of living memory about Sealab constitutes important historical preservation of its place, possibly as cover for deep-sea espionage activities, in the annals of the U.S. Navy.” – Booklist

“Intriguing account of a relatively unknown program for undersea exploration.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The physiological effects of deep-sea diving, the gradual improvement in equipment, the tragic deaths of several of the aquanauts, and the personalities of all involved are vividly depicted.” – Library Journal

“Intelligently and accurately recorded, Ben Hellwarth’s Sealab finally brings the historically significant story of America’s daring aquanauts out of the long shadow of the nation’s astronauts. Jules Verne himself would have been proud to tell this tale of teamwork and raw courage, with its colorful cast of divers boldly attempting to go far deeper into a hostile ocean and stay down far longer than ever before. Sealab is a magnificent book that honors those who risked all for science and their country.

— Leslie Leaney, Founder and Publisher, The Journal of Diving History

“A thrilling, true-life adventure that transports the reader to a place as foreboding, exciting, and dangerous as outer space.  Ben Hellwarth’s Sealab is more than a great history of unsung American explorers.  It is a tale of man’s deepest desires and grandest ambitions, and his willingness to risk it all for dreams as vast as the ocean floor itself.”

— Robert Kurson, author of Shadow Divers

Sealab is a must read for anyone who wants to know the true story behindAmerica’s Man-in-the-Sea Program, complete with all of its triumphs and tragedies.”

— Dr. Robert D. Ballard, Deep Sea Explorer and author of The Discovery of the Titanic

“I grew up with Sealab and Conshelf.  Our decisionmakers need to focus on the importance of one of our vital life support systems–the ocean, 70% of our planet.   This incredibly detailed, precise book should be read by those who care about our future so they can start planning by basing their passion and decisions on solid foundations.”

— Jean-Michel Cousteau, founder and president, Ocean Futures Society

“A remarkably stirring narrative filled with an awe-inducing cast of scientific adventurers who risked life and limb to not only explore the ocean’s depths, but to make them their own. What Tom Wolfe revealed in such riveting detail of the space program in The Right Stuff, Ben Hellwarth matches here for underwater discovery.”

— Neal Bascomb, author of The Perfect Mile and Hunting Eichmann

“Ben Hellwarth’s engrossing, meticulously researched chronicle of America’s quest to live underwater doesn’t merely recount a forgotten chapter in contemporary history.  It reminds us of a time when the country had big, larger-than-life ideas–and the Right Stuff-sized characters to plunge into them.”

— David Browne, author of Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970

“Painstakingly reported and beautifully written, Sealab is proof that American literary journalism is alive and well.  How deep under the water can man go, and how long can he stay there?  Sealab is Ben Hellwarth’s fascinating answer.”

— Robert S. Boynton, Director of Literary Reportage Concentration, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, New York University