PARIS – Jerome Preisler of Bath, co-author of “All Hands Down, The True Story of the Soviet Attack on the USS Scorpion,” will speak and sign copies of the book at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 15, at the West Paris Historical Society.

Kirkus Reviews rates “All Hands Down” as “a great historical whodunit,” but it is also a memorial to the 99 crew members aboard the submarine who perished 40 years ago in May of 1968 under mysterious circumstances.

Sales of the book, published by Simon & Schuster in April, will benefit the building fund for the Arthur L. Mann Memorial Library (West Paris Public Library).

The book of courage with a backdrop of Cold War secrets, co-authored by Kenneth Sewell, takes the reader to the ocean floor to meet the crew of the USS Scorpion. The reader can’t help but come to care deeply about their fate. Capt. Francis Atwood Slattery, who grew up on Pioneer Street in Paris, was distinguished at age 37 as the youngest officer at that time to command a nuclear submarine.

The West Paris Historical Society and Slattery’s relatives and friends helped Preisler with his research for the book, as did relatives of USS Scorpion crew members across the country.

“‘All Hands Down’ presents a convincing argument that the sinking of the Scorpion, long considered an accident, was the result of a Soviet attack. Preisler and Navy veteran and nuclear engineer Sewell make a compelling case, buttressed by research in Soviet archives and interviews with retired officers. Espionage plays a central role in the Scorpion disaster, thanks to traitorous spy John Walker. The authors deliver an engrossing overview of American and Soviet submarine operations,” according to Kirkus Reviews.

Although there has been controversy about the authors’ conclusions that the Scorpion was sunk, Preisler wants the story of the Scorpion, its crew and their families to be told, and invites readers to make up their own minds.

Preisler is the author of more than 20 books, including the best-selling “Tom Clancy’s Power Plays” series. He is also a baseball commentator whose work appears on the New York Yankees’ YES Network Online.

West Paris Historical Society is on Main Street. For more information, call 674-2004.

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