Category Archives: Historical

1917 WAR PEACE & REVOLUTION

Title: 1917 War Peace & Revolution

Author: David Stevenson

1917 was a year of calamitous events and on of pivotal importance in the development of the First World War. In 1917: War Peace and Revolution, leading historian David Stevenson examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. He shows how in this one year the war was transformed but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate.

Two developments in particular–the Russian Revolution and American intervention–had worldwide repercussions. Offering a close examination of thee key decisions, Stevenson considers Germany’s campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare, America’s declaration of war in resp9onse, and Britain’s frustration of German strategy by adopting the convoy system, as well as why (paradoxically) the military and political stalemate in Europe persisted. Focusing on the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, on the disastrous spring offensive that plunged the French army into mutiny, on the summer attacks that undermined the moderate Provisional Government in Russia and exposed Italy to national humiliation at Caporetto, and on the British decision for the ill-fated Third Rattle of Ypres (Passchendaele). 1917 offers a truly international understanding of events. The failed attempts to end the war by negotiation further clarify the underly8ing forces that prolonged it.

David Stevenson also analyses the global consequences of the year’s developments, showing how counties such as Brazil and China joined the belligerents, Britain offered responsible government to India and the Allies promised a Jewish national home in Palestine. Blending political and military history, and moving from capital to capital and between the cabinet chamber and the battle front, the book highlights the often tumultuous debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war, and the paradox that continued fighting could be justified as the shortest road towards regaining peace.

AN UNLIKELY TRUST

Title: An Unlikely Trust

Author: Gerard Helferich

At the dawn of the twentieth century,
Theodore Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan were the two most powerful men in America and perhaps in the world. As the nation’s preeminent financier, Morgan presided over an elemental shift in American business, away from family-owned companies and toward modern corporations of unparalleled size and influence. As president, Theodore “Roosevelt vastly expanded the power of his office, seeking to rein in those corporations and rebalance their interests with those of workers, consumers, and society at large.

Overpowering figures and titanic personalities, Roosevelt and Morgan could easily have become sworn enemies. And when they have been considered together (never before at book length, they have often been portrayed as battling colossi: the great thrust builder versus the original trustbuster. But their long association was far more complex than that–and even mutually beneficial.

Despite their ,many differences in temperament and philosophy. Roosevelt and Morgan had much in common– social class. am unstinting Victorian morality a drive for power. a need for order. and a genuine (though not purely altruistic) concern for the welfare of the nation. Working this common ground, the premier progressive and the quintessential capitalist were ale to accomplish what neither could have achieved alone–including, more than once, averting national disaster. In the process they permanently changed the way that government and business worked together.

An Unlikely Trust is the story of the uneasy but momentous collaboration between Theodore Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan. It is also the story of how government and business evolved from a laissez-faire relationship to the active regulation we know today. And it is an account of how, despite all that has changed in America over the past century so much remains the same, including the growing divide between rich and poor, the tangled bonds uniting politicians and business leaders, and the pervasive feeling that government is working for the special interests rather than for the people. Not least of all, it is the story of how citizens with vastly disparate outlooks and interests managed to come together for the good of their common country.

THE GREAT COWBOY STRIKE – Bullets, Ballots, & Class conflicts in the American West

Title: The Great Cowboy Strike

Author: Mark A Lause

In the pantheon of American icons, the cowboy embodies the traits of “rugged individualism,” independent, solitary, and stoical. In reality cowboys were grossly exploited and underpaid seasonal workers, who responded to the abuses of their employers in a series of militant strikes. Their resistance arose from the rise and demise of a “beef bonanza” that attracted international capital. Business interest approached the market with the expectation that it would have the same freedom to brutally impose its will as it had exercised on native peoples and the recently emancipated African Americans. These assumptions contributed to a series of bitter and violent “range wars,” which broke out from Texas to Montana and framed the appearance of labor conflicts in the region. These social tensions stirred a series of political insurgencies that become virtually endemic to the American West of the Gilded Age. Mark A. Lause explores the relationship between these neglected labor conflicts, the “range wars,” and the third-party movements.

The Great Cowboy Strike subverts American mythology to reveal the class abuses and inequalities that have blinded an nation to its true history and nature.

FIRST TO FIGHT THE U.S. MARINES IN WORLD WAR I

Title: First to Fight The U.S Marines in World War I

Author: Oscar E. Gilbert and Romain Cansiere

“Retreat, hell! We just got here!” The words of Captain Lloyd Williams at Belleau Wood in June 1918 entered United States Corps legend, and the Marine Brigade’s actions there–along with the censor’s failure to take out the name of the Brigade in the battle reports–made the Corps famous.

The Marines went to war as part of the American Expeditionary Force, bitterly resented by the Army and General Pershing. The Army tried to use them solely as labor troops and replacements, but the German spring offensive of 1918 forced the issue. The French begged Pershing to commit his partially trained men, and two untested American divisions, supported by British and French units, were thrown into the path of five German divisions. Three horrific weeks later, the Marines held the entirety of Belleau Wood. The Marines then fought in the almost forgotten Blanc Mont Ridge Offensive in October, as well as in every well-known AEF action until the end of the war.

First to Fight looks at all the operations of the Marine Corp[s in World War I, covers the activities of both ground and air units, and considers the units that supported the Marine Brigade. This is the full and dramatic story of how, during the war years, the Marine Corps changed from a small organization of naval security detachments to an elite land combat force.

ANDREW JACKSON AND THE MIRACLE OF NEW ORLEANS

Title: Andrew Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans

Author: Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeger

The War of 1812 saw America threatened on every side. Encouraged by the British, Indian tribes attacked settlers in the West, while the Royal Navy terrorized the coasts. By mid-1814, President James Madison’s generals had lost control of he war in the North,, losing battles in Canada. Then British troops set the White House ablaze, and a feeling of hopelessness spread across the country.

Into this dire situation stepped Major General Andrew Jackson. A native of Tennessee who had witnessed the horrors of the Revolutionary War and Indian attacks, he was glad America had finally decided to confront repeated British aggression. But he feared that President Madison’s men were overlooking the most important target of all: New Orleans.

If the British conquered New Orleans, they would control the mouth of the Mississippi River, cutting Americans off from that essential trade route and threatening the previous decade’s Louisiana Purchase. The new Nation’s dreams of western expansion would be crushed before they really got off the ground.

So Jackson faced three enormous challenges. He had to convince President Madison and his War Department to take him seriously, even though he wasn’t one of the well-educated Virginians and New Englanders who dominated the government. He had to assemble a coalition of frontier militiamen, French-speaking Louisianans, Cherokee and Choctaw Indians, freed slaves, and even some pirates. And he had to defeat the most powerful military force in the world–in the confusing terrain of the Louisiana bayous.

in short, then Jackson needed a miracle. The local Ursuline nuns set to work praying for his outnumbered troops. And so the Americans, driven by patriotism and protected by prayer, began he battle that would shape our young nation’s destiny.

As they did in their two previous bestsellers, kilmeade and Yaeger make history come alive with a riveting true story that will keep you turning the pages. You’ll finish with a new understanding of one of America’s greatest generals–who later became one of you most controversial presidents. And you’ll have a renewed appreciation for the brave men who fought so that America could one day stretch “from sea to shining sea.”

THE ODYSSEY OF ECHO COMPANY

Title: The Odyssey of Echo Company

Author: Doug Stanton

On a single night, January 31, 1968, as many as 100,000 soldiers in the North Vietnamese Army attack thirty-six cities throughout South Vietnam, hoping to dislodge American forces. forty-six young American soldiers of an Army reconnaissance platoon (Echo Company, 1/501) of the 101st Airborne Division hailing from farms, small towns, and big cities, are thrust into savage combat having been in-country only a few weeks. Their battles against North Vietnamese soldiers and toughened Viet Cong guerrillas are relentless, often hand to hand, and waged ac ross landing zones, rice paddies hamlets, rivers and dense jungle. Their exhausting day-to-day existence, which involves ambushes, grueling machine-gun battles, and heroic rescues of wounded comrades, forges the group into a lifelong brotherhood, The Odyssey of Echo Company is about these young men and centers on the searing experiences of one of them, Stanley Parker, who is wounded three times during the fighting.

When the young men came home, some encounter a country that doesn’t understand what they have survived. Many fall silent, knowing that few want to hear the stories they have lived to tell–until now. Based on interviews, personal letters, and Army after-action reports, and augmented by maps and combat zone photos, The Odyssey of Echo Company recounts the wartime service and incoming of ordinary young American men in an extraordinary time and confirms Doug Stanton’s prominence as an unparalleled storyteller of our age.

THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES

Title: Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates

Author: Brian Kilmeade

This is the little-known story of how a newly independent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America’s third president decided to stand up to intimidation.

When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America faced a crisis. The new nation was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa’s Barbary coast routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves, demanding ransom and tribute payments far beyond what the new country could afford.

Over the previous fifteen years, as a diplomat and then as secretary of state, Jefferson had tried to work with the Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers, and Morocco). Unfortunately, he found in impossible to negotiate with people who believed their religion justified the plunder and enslavement of non-Muslims. These rogue states would show no mercy–at least not while easy money could be made by extorting the Western powers. So President Jefferson decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S Navy’s new warships and a detachment of Marines to blockade Tripoli–launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status.

As they did in their previous bestseller, George Washington’s Secret Six, Kilmeade and Yaeger have transformed a nearly forgotten slice of history into a dramatic story that will keep you turning the pages to find our what happens next. Among the many suspenseful episodes: 1. Lieutenant Andrew Sterett’s ferocious cannon battle on the high seas against the treacherous pirate ship Tripoli. 2. Lieutenant Stephen Decatur’s daring night raid of an enemy harbor, with the aim of destroying an American ship that had fallen into the pirates’ hands. 3. General William Eaton’s unprecedented five-hundred-mile land march from Egypt to the port of Derne, where the Marines launched a surprise attack and an American flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time.

few today remember these men and other heroes who inspired the Marine Corps hymn “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air and, on land and sea.” Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates recaptures this forgotten war that changed American history with a real-life drama of intrigue, bravery, and battle on the high seas.

THE UNWOMANLY FACE OF WAR

Title: The Unwomanly Face Of War

Author: Svetlana Alexievich/strong>

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Novel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kink of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions….a history of the soul.”

The Unwomanly Face of War is the long awaited English translation of Alexievich’s first book, a groundbreaking oral history of women in World War II across Europe and Russia. Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women–more than a million in total–were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.

Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women’s stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war–the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories.

Translated by the renown Rchard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Unworthy Face of War is a powerful and poignant account of the central conflict of the twentieth century a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human side of war.

THE FROZEN HOURS

Title: The Frozen Hours

Author: Jeff Shaara

The master of military historical fiction turns his discerning eye to the Korean War in this riveting new novel, which tells the dramatic story of the Americans and the Chinese who squared off in one of the deadliest campaigns in the annals of combat: the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, also known as Frozen Chosin.

June 1950. The North Korean army invades South Korea, intent on uniting the country under Communist rule. In response, the United States mobilizes a force to defend the overmatched South Korean troops, and together they drive the North Koreans back to their border with China.

But several hundred thousand
Chinese troops have entered Korea, laying massive traps for the Allies. In November 1950, the Chinese spring those traps. Allied forces, already battling stunningly cold weather, find themselves caught completely off guard as the Chinese advance around the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. A force that once stood on the precipice of victory now finds itself on the brink of annihilation. Assured by General Douglas MacArthur that they would be home by Christmas, the soldiers and Marines fight for their lives against the most brutal weather conditions imaginable–and an enemy that outnumbers them more than six to one.

The Frozen Hours tells the story of Frozen Chosin from multiple points of view: Oliver P Smith, the commanding general of the American 1st Marine Division, who famously redefined defeat as “advancing in a different direction”; Marine Private Pete Riley, a World War II veteran who now faces the greatest fight of his life; and the Chinese commander Sung Shi-Lun, charged with destroying the American he has so completely surrounded, ever aware that above him, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung watches his every move.

Written with the propulsive force Shaara brings to all his novels of combat and courage, The Frozen Hours transports us to the critical moment in the history of America’s “forgotten War,” when the fate of the Korean peninsula lay in the hinds of a brave band of brothers battling both the elements and a determined, implacable foe.

The Big Break

Title: The Big Break

Author: Stephen Dando – Collins

The story opens in 1943 in the stinking latrines of a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp at Sshubin, Poland, as an American and a Canadian lead the digging of an ingenious escape tunnel, enabling a break by thirty-six POWs. The Germans then converted the camp to Oflag 64, to exclusively hold US army officers, with more than 1,500 ultimately imprisoned there. Plucky Americans attempt[ted a variety of escapes until January 1945, only to be thwarted every time.

As the Red Army advanced closer to Schubin, Camp commandant Colonel Fritz Schneider received orders from Berlin to march his prisoners west. This was the opening the Americans needed to break free once and for all; before long, 250 US Army officers would succeed in escaping east to link up with the Russians. Within months, General Patton would launch a bloody bid to rescue the rescue the remaining Schubin Americans.

In The Big Break, this astonishing, previously untold story follows POWs, including General Eisenhower’s personal aide. General Paton’s son-in-law, and Ernest Hemingway’s eldest son, as they struggle to gain their freedom. Military historian and Paul Brickhill biographer Stephen Dando-Collins expertly chronicles this gripping tale of Americans determined to be free, brave Poles risking their lives to help them, and dogmatic Nazis determined to stop them.