Tom Clancy: 1947 – 2013

With the recent passing of Tom Clancy this week at the age of 66 I decided to take a look back at his body of work and the various movies that have been inspired by them. His influence continues to shape Hollywood as a new Jack Ryan film, ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’, is soon to be released, in fact a new poster and trailer were released this week (poor timing?). Take a look at the books and movie trailers below.

The Hunt for Red October (1984)

Clancy’s first published novel. CIA analyst Jack Ryan assists in the defection of a respected Soviet naval captain, along with the most advanced ballistic missile submarine of the Soviet fleet. The movie (1990) stars Alec Baldwin as Ryan and Sean Connery as Captain Ramius. Captain Mancuso is introduced here. Nearly every book after has Mancuso in ever increasing command of U.S. submarine forces. The Hunt for Red October (Book) | The Hunt for Red October (Movie)

Red Storm Rising (1986)

War between NATO and USSR. The basis of the combat game of the same name, this book is not a member of the Ryan story series (although the protagonist of the story has many similarities with Jack Ryan). Cowritten with Larry Bond. Red Storm Rising (Kindle)

Patriot Games (1987)

Patriot Games chronologically predates the first book that Clancy wrote, The Hunt for Red October. Jack Ryan foils an attack in London on the Prince and Princess of Wales by the “Ulster Liberation Army”. The ULA then attacks Ryan’s Maryland home while he is hosting the Prince and Princess for dinner. The movie stars Harrison Ford as Ryan and Samuel L. Jackson as Robby Jackson. Patriot Games (Book) | Patriot Games (Movie)

The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)

The sequel to “The Hunt for Red October.” First appearance of John Clark and Sergey Golovko. Ryan leads a CIA operation which forces the head of the KGB to defect. Other elements include anti-satellite lasers and other SDI-type weapons, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Major Alan Gregory is introduced here. (He appears later, updating SAM software in The Bear and the Dragon). Colonel Bondarenko also is introduced here. (He appears in later books offering advice to Golovko in “Executive Orders” and commanding the Russian Army defenses against China in its sequel “The Bear and the Dragon”.) The Cardinal Of The Kremlin

Clear and Present Danger (1989)

The President authorizes the CIA to use American military forces in a covert war against cocaine producers in Colombia. The operation is betrayed. Ryan meets John Clark as they lead a mission to rescue abandoned soldiers. Domingo “Ding” Chavez (Clark’s protege in later novels) is one of the rescued soldiers. The 1994 film stars Harrison Ford as Ryan, Willem Dafoe as Clark, and Raymond Cruz as Chavez. Clear and Present Danger (Book) | Clear and Present Danger (Movie)

The Sum of All Fears (1991)

Arab terrorists find a nuclear weapon that had been lost by Israel, and use it to attack the United States. This nearly triggers a war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, due to the incompetence of the new President and his mistress with an anti-Ryan agenda. Ryan intervenes to avert the war. The 2002 film stars Ben Affleck as Ryan and Liev Schreiber as Clark, and changes the identity and motivation of the terrorists to neo-Nazis. The Sum of All Fears (Book) | The Sum of All Fears (Movie)

Without Remorse (1993)

Without Remorse takes place during the Vietnam War, when Jack Ryan was a teenager. Ex-SEAL John Clark (then John Kelly) fights a one-man war against drug dealers in Baltimore, attracting the attention of Jack’s father Emmett, a Baltimore police detective. He also helps plan and execute a raid on a prisoner-of-war camp in North Vietnam. Clark joins the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Without Remorse

Debt of Honor (1994)

A secret cabal of extreme nationalists gains control of Japan (having acquired some nuclear weapons), and start a war with the U.S. Ryan, now National Security Advisor, and Clark and Chavez, agents in Japan, help win the war. The Vice President resigns in a scandal, and the President appoints Ryan to replace him. A vengeful, die-hard Japanese airline pilot then crashes a jetliner into the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress attended by most senior U.S. government officials, including the President. Ryan thus becomes the new President through succession. Debt of Honor

Executive Orders (1996)

This is the immediate sequel to Debt of Honor. President Ryan survives press hazing, an assassination attempt, and a biological warfare attack on the United States. Clark and Chavez trace the virus to a Middle Eastern madman, and the U.S. military goes to work. Executive Orders

SSN: Strategies for Submarine Warfare (1996)

Follows the missions of USS Cheyenne in a future war with China precipitated by China’s invasion of the disputed Spratly Islands. Also not a Ryan universe book, SSN is actually a loosely connected collection of “scenario” chapters in support of the eponymous video game. SSN : Strategies of Submarine Warfare

Rainbow Six (1998)

Released to coincide with the video game of the same name. John Clark and Ding, who is now Clark’s son-in-law, lead an elite multi-national anti-terrorist unit that combats a worldwide genocide attempt by eco-terrorists. Ryan is the U.S. President and only mentioned or referred to as either ‘The President’ or ‘Jack’. Rainbow Six

The Bear and the Dragon (2000)

War between Russia and China. Ryan recognizes the independence of Taiwan, Chinese police officers kill a Roman Catholic Cardinal, and the American armed forces help Russia defeat a Chinese invasion of Siberia. The Bear and the Dragon

Red Rabbit (2002)

In the early 1980s, CIA analyst Ryan aids in the defection of a Soviet officer who knows of a plan to assassinate Pope John Paul II. Red Rabbit

The Teeth of the Tiger (2003)

Jack Ryan’s son, Jack Ryan, Jr., becomes an intelligence analyst, and then a field consultant, for The Campus, an off-the-books intelligence agency with the freedom to discreetly assassinate individuals “who threaten national security”, following the end of the Jack Ryan Sr. presidential administration. This book of the Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy introduces Ryan’s son and two nephews as heirs to his spook-legacy. The Teeth Of The Tiger

Dead or Alive (2010, with Grant Blackwood)

The story picks up where The Teeth of the Tiger left off with Jack Ryan, Jr. and The Campus trying to catch a terrorist known as “The Emir”. Dead or Alive

Against All Enemies (2011, with Peter Telep)

A terrorist bombing in Pakistan wipes out Max Moore’s entire CIA team. As the only survivor, the former Navy SEAL plunges deeper into the treacherous tribal lands to find the terrorist cell, but what he discovers there leads him to a much darker conspiracy in an unexpected part of the globe — the United States/Mexico border. Against All Enemies

Locked On (Dec 2011, with Mark Greaney)

While Jack Ryan Jr. trains to become a field operative within The Campus, his father campaigns for re-election as President of the United States. A devout enemy of Jack Sr. launches a privately funded vendetta to discredit him, while a corrupt Pakistani general has entered into a deadly pact with a fanatical terrorist to procure nuclear warheads. Locked On

Threat Vector (Dec 2012, with Mark Greaney)

Jack Ryan has only just moved back into the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted coup in the People’s Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke Quiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning an invasion of Taiwan. The Ryan administration is determined to thwart China’s ambitions, but the stakes are dangerously high as a new breed of powerful Chinese anti-ship missiles endanger the US Navy’s plans to protect the island. Meanwhile, Chinese cyber warfare experts have launched a devastating attack on American infrastructure. Threat Vector

Command Authority (December 2013, with Mark Greaney)

There is a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The clue to the mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan. Command Authority

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