Robert D. Ballard Dared to Go ‘Into the Deep’ and Resurfaced a Legend [REVIEW]

Oceanographer Robert Ballard has conducted more than 150 underwater expeditions and made countless significant scientific discoveries during more than six decades of ocean exploration. (Photograph by Gabriel Scarlett, National Geographic)

We’ve always been big fans of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt and NUMA books because the idea of having underwater adventures, locating sunken ships and digging up buried treasure is just so darn cool. But you know what is even better? Knowing that there are actually people in this world who actually get to have similar escapades in real life! Enter Robert D. Ballard. If you don’t recognize the name, you know what he’s capable of. Don’t think so? Well, have you ever heard of Titanic? He’s the one who discovered the ship at the bottom of the sea! Yet he has also done so much more, a fact his mom doesn’t want you to forget! Now you can read all about his life and exploits in his brand new memoir, Into the Deep, which he co-wrote with Christopher Drew.

Robert D. Ballard's INTO THE DEEP
National Geographic

This isn’t Ballard’s first book. And if they made a movie about his life, it wouldn’t be the first time his story has been told on screen, since he has been featured in numerous documentaries over the years. But Into the Deep tells the story behind the story, as only Bob could write it!

Although he found famous shipwrecks like the Nazi warship Bismarck and the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown, he is also responsible for revolutionizing science when he discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and the unusual creatures who live within them. But it is always Titanic that people seem to wonder about, and he reveals how he got the chance to search for it due to a top-secret assignment for the U.S. Navy.

A man doesn’t accumulate so many triumphs without a few tragedies along the way, and he candidly talks about those here too, including: the heartbreaking loss of his son, the end of his first marriage, what it is like to be a media darling when you are first and foremost an academic, and his personal battle with dyslexia.

Ballard is a national treasure, the kind of man many of us can only aspire to be. He’s lived a life that is the stuff of legend, and Into the Deep is a genuine gift to readers everywhere. Despite his scientific background, he doesn’t get bogged down in science so much that we lose sight of Ballard’s real passions, and what it has cost him to pursue them.

He delivers a book that is highly readable, honest, authentic, and inspiring. Reading it, I was constantly amazed at how many dreams he realized, what pushed him ahead in life, how he summoned unbelievable courage, and how even in advancing years his ever inquisitive mind never fails to set new goals. Hence, he really reminds us that we are never too old to chase a dream.

Into the Deep is a book that will surely hook both the casual reader and the most devoted scientific mind. But in true National Geographic style, this is a book that challenges us to see our planet from a new vantage point, and to examine our place in it. This book shows us how ingenuity, dedication, perseverance, and a touch of good fortune can change our destiny forever, and ultimately galvanize the world.

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Robert D. Ballard
Robert D. Ballard
(Photograph by Emily Shur, National Geographic)


Robert D. Ballard is a world-renowned pioneer in deep-ocean exploration. Best known for finding Titanic, he also discovered hydrothermal vents, ancient ships and artifacts in the Black Sea, and other historic shipwrecks including Bismarck, Lusitania, and PT-109.

Since 2008 he has managed E/V Nautilus, his flagship for exploration. The veteran of more than 150 expeditions, author of 25 books, and subject of dozens of television specials, he lives in Lyme, Connecticut, with his wife Barbara.

For more information, visit Ballard’s website, like him on Facebook, subscribe to him on YouTube, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

An investigative reporter and editor at the New York Times for 22 years, Christopher Drew co-wrote the bestselling book Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage.

He also has worked for the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal and now holds the Fred Jones Greer Jr. Endowed Chair at the Manship School of Mas Communication at Louisiana State University.

He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife, Annette.

By Robert D. Ballard and Christopher Drew
336 pp. National Geographic. $30.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

Purchase Into the Deep direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, or Walmart.

Into the Deep is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Robert D. Ballard Dared to Go ‘Into the Deep’ and Resurfaced a Legend [REVIEW]

  1. Sara Strand says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. Pingback: Robert Ballard, author of INTO THE DEEP, on tour May 2021 | TLC Book Tours

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