For thriller fans of the 1980s, there’s one name that became a must-read: Tom Clancy.
With a fascination for espionage, military and and the geopolitical players that are trying to control the planet, Clancy’s first book was The Hunt for Red October, published in 1984, which told the story of a Soviet naval captain who wanted to defect.
Published by the US Naval Insitute Press, this first novel is still one of their most successful publishing projects to date. The book was publicly endorsed by US President Ronald Reagan.
In this first novel, Clancy introduced Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst, who would become his long-running character in his books, as well as US Navy Captain Mancuso, who rises in the ranks in subsequent novels.
Clancy continued his streak in the 1980s, with the publication of Red Storm Rising in 1986, Patriot Games in 1987, The Cardinal of the Kremlin in 1988 and Clear and Present Danger in 1989.
With each book, fans grew and the legend of Jack Ryan and Captain Mancuso also grew, which led Clancy to Hollywood’s doorstep. In 1990, The Hunt for Red October was made into a film, starring Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan and Sean Connery as Soviet Captain Ramius.
In addition to the steady stream of novels, Clancy has also written several non-fiction books, all related to his favourite themes of espionage, history and military.
His passion for showing the CIA pursuing the bad guy has consequentely fueled millions of readers to follow his characters, as well as many movie fans to watch his characters on the big screen, well into the 21st century.