Category Archives: Non-fiction

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.

How America Lost Its Secrets

Title: How America Lost Its Secrets

Author: Edward Jay Epstein

A ground breaking, compelling investigation that convincingly challenges the popular image of Edward Snowden as hacker-turned-avenging angel, while revealing how vulnerable our national security systems have become.

in the wake of the scandal that emerged after details of American government surveillance were made public by WikiLeaks in 2013, Edward Snowden, formerly an employee of an outside contractor at the NSA facility in Hawaii, became the controversial center of an international conversation about the limits of power and privacy. Had the U,S Government overstepped important boundaries in its anti-terrorism efforts? Was Snowden’s theft of information legitimized buy the nature of the secrets being kept from the American people? We learn in How America Lost Its Secrets that Snowden stole a great deal more that documents relating to domestic surveillance. He also stole secret documents from the NSA, the CIA, the Department of Defense, and the British Cipher service revealing the sources and method they employed in their monitoring of adversaries. He then transported these state secrets to an adversary country, Russia, without authorization. Which raises the question: Who is Edward Snowden–hero, traitor, whistle-blower, spy?

Edward Jay Epstein brings a lifetime of journalistic and investigative acumen to hear on this question and more. Retracing Snowden’s steps from disgruntled tech worker to international notoriety, he seeks to understand both how we lost our secrets and the man who took them. Along the way, we discovered Snowden’s sometimes troubling pseudonymous writing on the Internet, as well as aspects of his private and public life previously elided. We see that by outsourcing parts of our own security apparatus to private companies in order to save money, the government has made classified information far more vulnerable to theft and misuse. Snowden, working for one of these private companies, ultimately sought employment precisely where he could most easily gain access to the most sensitive classified information,. He claims to have acted to serve his country, but in his new home, Moscow, he is treated as a prized intelligence asset in the new Cold War.

With unerring insight, meticulous reporting, and the pacing of a thriller writer, Epstein follows the Snowden trail across the globe, unearthing revelations that shed a whole new light on one of the most controversial and fascinating events of the new Millennium.

Target: JFK

Title: Target: JFK

Author: Robert K. Wilcox

For years conspiracy theories have swirled around the Kennedy assassination. While most are easily dismissed, and some have been debunked thanks to diligent research, serious questions have remained.

And those serious questions just got a whole lot more serious.

In this stunning new book, Target: JFK, acclaimed investigative reporter Robert Wilcox presents shocking new information that cast the Kennedy assassination in an entirely new light.

The key figure, as revealed by Wilcox, is Rene A. Dussaq–a mysterious, dashing, stuntmen-turned-spy who might have been behind Kohn F. Kennedy’s assassination. Indeed, a trained assassin, he might even have been the triggerman.

Born in Buenos Aires and educated in Geneva and Cuba, Dussaq became an American citizen, worked for the OSS (the precursor of the CIA), and parachuted behind enemy lines before D-Day. He was a handsome, charming man who briefly worked in Hollywood as a stuntman before settling down to work for an insurance company. But also, it appears, he worked for the FBI, the CIA, and was engaged in other shadowy activities.

In page after page of never-before-reported evidence, Wilcox reveals how this mysterious Argentine with a stranger-than-fiction life story is the missing link in the assassination mystery. In Target: JFK you’ll learn:
1 How a fellow veteran of the OSSS implicated Dussaq in the assassination
2 How Dussaq brings the most important suspects in the Kennedy assassination–domestic communists like Lee Harvey Oswald, Fidel Castro, and the Mafia–all together
3 Why the United States government destroyed evidence on the most likely suspect in the assassination

Thoroughly documented and researched, responsible in its conclusions, and su0perbly told, Target: JFK is a must read for anyone interested in the Kennedy assassination, modern American history, and great unsolved mysteries.

American Heiress

Title: American Heiress

Author: Jeffrey Toobin

On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst, a sophomore in college and heiress to the Hearst family fortune, was kidnapped by a ragtag group of self-styled revolutionaries calling itself the Symbionese Liberation Army. the already sensational story took the first of many incredible twists of April 3, when the group released a tape of Patty saying she had joined the SLA and had adopted the nom de guerre “Tania.”

The weird turns of the tale are truly astonishing–the Hearst family trying to secure Patty’s release by feeding all the people of Oakland and San Francisco for free; the bank security cameras capturing “Tania” wielding a machine gun during a robbery; a cast of characters including everyone from Bill Walton to the Black Panthers to Ronald Regan to F. Lee Bailey; the largest police shoot-out in American history; the first breaking news event to be broadcast live on television stations across the country; Patty’s year on the lam, running from authorities; and her circuslike trial, filled with theatrical courtroom confrontations and a dramatic last-minute reversal, after which the term “Stockholm Syndrome” entered the lexicon.

The saga of Patty Hearst highlighted a decade in which America seemed to be suffering a collective nervous breakdown. Based on more then a hundred interviews and thousands of previously secret documents, American Heiress thrillingly recounts the craziness of the times (there were an average of 1,500 bombings a year the early 1970s). Tobbin portrays the lunacy of the half-baked radicals of the SLA and the toxic mix of sex, politics and violence that swept up Patty Hearst and re-creates her melodramatic rtial. American Heritage examines the life of a young woman who suffered an unimaginable trauma and then made the stunning decision to join her captors’ crusade. Or did she?