Book picks similar to
Lies, Damned Lies and History: A Catalogue of Historical Errors and Misunderstandings by Graeme Donald
Crack! and Thump: With a Combat Infantry Officer in World War II
Charles Scheffel - 2007
CRACK! AND THUMP is Scheffel's chilling account of ground combat of a young company-grade officer who fought with the 9th Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, France, Belgium, and Germany. Scheffel vividly recalls the terror, mind-numbing fatigue, raw emotions, and horrific conditions fighting men endured to achieve victory in World War II.
Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution
Charles Rappleye - 2006
Set against a colonial backdrop teeming with radicals and reactionaries, visionaries, spies, and salty sea captains, Sons of Providence is the biography of John and Moses Brown, two classic American archetypes bound by blood yet divided by the specter of more than half a million Africans enslaved throughout the colonies. John is a profit-driven robber baron running slave galleys from his wharf on the Providence waterfront; his younger brother Moses is an idealist, a conscientious Quaker hungry for social reform who—with blood on his own hands—strikes out against the hypocrisy of slavery in a land of liberty.Their story spans a century, from John's birth in 1736, through the Revolution, to Moses' death in 1836. The brothers were partners in business and politics and in founding the university that bears their name. They joined in the struggle against England, attending secret sessions of the Sons of Liberty and, in John's case, leading a midnight pirate raid against a British revenue cutter. But for the Browns as for the nation, the institution of slavery was the one question that admitted no middle ground. Moses became an early abolitionist while John defended the slave trade and broke the laws written to stop it. The brothers' dispute takes the reader from the sweltering decks of the slave ships to the taverns and town halls of the colonies and shows just how close America came to ending slavery eighty years before the conflagration of civil war.This dual biography is drawn from voluminous family papers and other primary sources and is a dramatic story of an epic struggle for primacy between two very different brothers. It also provides a fresh and panoramic view of the founding era. Samuel Adams and Nathanael Greene take turns here, as do Stephen Hopkins, Rhode Island's great revolutionary leader and theorist, and his brother Esek, first commodore of the United States Navy. We meet the Philadelphia abolitionists Anthony Benezet and James Pemberton, and Providence printer John Carter, one of the pioneers of the American press. For all the chronicles of America's primary patriarch, none documents, as this book does, George Washington's sole public performance in opposition to the slave trade.Charles Rappleye brings the skills of an investigative journalist to mine this time and place for vivid detail and introduce the reader to fascinating new characters from the members of our founding generation. Raised in a culture of freedom and self-expression, Moses and John devoted their lives to the pursuit of their own visions of individual liberty. In so doing, each emerges as an American archetype—Moses as the social reformer, driven by conscience and dedicated to an enlightened sense of justice; John as the unfettered capitalist, defiant of any effort to constrain his will. The story of their collaboration and their conflict has a startlingly contemporary feel. And like any good yarn, the story of the Browns tells us something about ourselves.
Gerda's Story: Memoirs of a Holocaust Survivor
Gerda Nothmann Luner - 2019
Told through the eyes of a young girl, the book shares Gerda’s memories of Hitler’s rise to power and passionately describes the cruel toll that history can have on those who experience it. The book is much more than Gerda’s story. Through letters she received from her parents, who made the heartbreaking decision to send their two daughters to live with foster families in the relative safety of Holland, we learn how a mother and father try to raise a child from far away in times of great distress. Letters from them to Gerda’s foster parents, and desperate notes to an American family they hoped would act as sponsors, reveal their growing despair. The story is both deeply personal and universal as people wrestle with terrible choices to save their children and protect their families. These issues remain as relevant today as they were during the Holocaust. In 1939, while trying to arrange an escape from Germany, her parents sent 12-year-old Gerda and her younger sister to live with separate families in Holland, which was still safe for Jews. What was intended as a temporary move became permanent and Gerda never saw her parents again. Ultimately, she was the only member of her immediate family to survive and also had to bear the loss of the foster family she had come to love as her own. Gerda describes in searing detail her experiences in six concentration camps, her protection as a worker for the Philips Corporation, and her arrival in the U.S. in 1948 as an 18-year-old Holocaust survivor literally alone in the world. The memoir is a testament to the loving family Gerda built in America. Her husband added translations of the letters from her parents, grandparents and sister. After her oldest child and first grandchild were born, Gerda added notes to them. This group effort illustrates the special generational pull of trauma endured by Holocaust survivors.
West Point 1915
Michael E. Haskew - 2014
The graduating class of 1915, the class the stars fell on, was particularly noteworthy. Of the 164 graduates that year, 59 (36%) attained the rank of general, the most of any class in. Although Dwight Eisenhower and Omar Bradley, both five-star generals, are the most recognizable, other class members contributed significantly to the Allied victory in World War I, World War II and played key roles either in the post-war U.S. military establishment or in business and industry after World War II, especially in the Korean War and the formation of NATO. For more than half a century, these men exerted tremendous influence on the shaping of modern America, which remains substantial to this day. Individually, the stories of these military and political leaders are noteworthy. Collectively, they are astonishing. West Point, 1915 explores the achievements of this remarkable group.
Irena Sendler: Mother of the Children of the Holocaust
Anna Mieszkowska - 2005
The students were inspired by a magazine article about Irena Sendler, and after discovering that Sendler was still alive, they exchanged letters with her and eventually traveled to Poland to meet with her. The play the students wrote as a result of their research and multiple interviews spawned worldwide interest in the epic story of one person who managed to save the lives of 2,500 children in Poland under German occupation.This new translation brings the universally appealing story of Irena Sendler to an English-speaking audience for the first time. It contains moving accounts of courage and hope in the face of tremendous danger, cruelty, and terrifying uncertainty. It also portrays the unspeakable emotional distress suffered by the children's parents who chose to give them up, and communicates the decades of immense longing, loneliness, and guilt of the rescuees for having survived while their families did not.
The Ship That Wouldn't Die: The Saga of the USS Neosho: A World War II Story of Courage and Survival at Sea
Don Keith - 2015
In May 1942, Admiral Jack Fletcher’s Task Force 17 closed in for the war’s first major clash with the Japanese Navy. The Neosho, a vitally important tanker capable of holding more than 140,000 barrels of fuel, was ordered away from the impending battle. Minimally armed, she was escorted by a destroyer, the Sims. As the Battle of the Coral Sea raged two hundred miles away, the ships were attacked by Japanese dive bombers. Both crews fought valiantly, but when the smoke cleared, the Sims had slipped beneath the waves, and the Neosho was ablaze and listing badly, severely damaged from seven direct hits and a suicide crash. Scores of sailors were killed or wounded, while hundreds bobbed in shark-infested waters. Fires on board threatened to spark a fatal explosion, and each passing hour brought the ship closer to sinking. It was the beginning of a hellish four-day ordeal as the crew struggled to stay alive and keep their ship afloat, while almost two hundred men in life rafts drifted away without water, food, or shelter. Only four of them would survive to be rescued after nine days. Working from eyewitness accounts and declassified documents, Keith offers up vivid portraits of Navy heroes: the Neosho’s skipper, Captain John Phillips, whose cool, determined leadership earned him a Silver Star; Lieutenant Commander Wilford Hyman, skipper of the Sims, who remained on his vessel’s bridge throughout the attack and made the ultimate sacrifice to try to save his ship; Seaman Jack Rolston, who pulled oil-soaked survivors out of the water and endured days adrift in an open life raft; and Chief Watertender Oscar Peterson, whose selflessness saved the lives of innumerable shipmates and earned him a posthumous Medal of Honor. A tale of a ship as tough and resilient as its crew, The Ship That Wouldn’t Die captures the indomitable spirit of the American sailor—and finally brings to the surface one of the great untold sagas of the Pacific War.
The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II
Lawrence Verria - 2012
Two weeks later LIFE magazine published that image. It became one of the most famous WWII photographs in history (and the most celebrated photograph ever published in the world's dominant photo-journal), a cherished reminder of what it felt like for the war to finally be over. Everyone who saw the picture wanted to know more about the nurse and sailor, but Eisenstaedt had no information and a search for the mysterious couple's identity took on a dimension of its own. In 1979 Eisenstaedt thought he had found the long lost nurse. And as far as almost everyone could determine, he had. For the next thirty years Edith Shain was known as the woman in the photo of V-J Day, 1945, Times Square. In 1980 LIFE attempted to determine the sailor's identity. Many aging warriors stepped forward with claims, and experts weighed in to support one candidate over another. Chaos ensued.For almost two decades Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi were intrigued by the controversy surrounding the identity of the two principals in Eisenstaedt's most famous photograph and collected evidence that began to shed light on this mystery. Unraveling years of misinformation and controversy, their findings propelled one claimant's case far ahead of the others and, at the same time, dethroned the supposed kissed nurse when another candidate's claim proved more credible. With this book, the authors solve the 67-year-old mystery by providing irrefutable proof to identify the couple in Eisenstaedt's photo. It is the first time the whole truth behind the celebrated picture has been revealed.The authors also bring to light the couple's and the photographer's brushes with death that nearly prevented their famous spontaneous Times Square meeting in the first place. The sailor, part of Bull Halsey's famous task force, survived the deadly typhoon that took the lives of hundreds of other sailors. The nurse, an Austrian Jew who lost her mother and father in the Holocaust, barely managed to escape to the United States. Eisenstaedt, a World War I German soldier, was nearly killed at Flanders.For more information on the book, go to www.thekissingsailor.com
The Bravest Man: Richard O'Kane and the Amazing Submarine Adventures of the USS Tang
William Tuohy - 2001
You’re either alive or dead.”–Richard O’KaneHailed as the ace of aces, captain Richard O’Kane, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor for his consummate skill and heroism as a submarine skipper, sank more enemy ships and saved more downed fliers than anyone else.Now Pulitzer Prize—winning author William Tuohy captures all the danger, the terror, and the pulse-pounding action of undersea combat as he chronicles O’Kane’s wartime career–from his valiant service as executive officer under Wahoo skipper Dudley “Mush” Morton to his electrifying patrols as commander of the USS Tang and his incredible escape, with eight other survivors, after Tang was sunk by its own defective torpedo.Above all, The Bravest Man is the dramatic story of mavericks who broke the rules and set the pace to become a new breed of hunter/killer submariners who waged a unique brand of warfare. These undersea warriors would blaze their own path to victory–and transform the “Silent Service” into the deadliest fighting force in the Pacific.
Three Years with Quantrill: A True Story Told By His Scout
John McCorkle - 1992
After serving briefly in the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, he became a prominent member of William Clarke Quantrill’s infamous guerrillas, who took advantage of the turmoil in the Missouri-Kansas borderland to prey on pro-Union people.McCorkle displayed an unflinchingly violent nature while he participated in raids and engagements including the massacres at Lawrence and Baxter Springs, Kansas, and Centralia, Missouri. In 1865 he followed Quantrill into Kentucky, where the notorious leader was killed and his followers, McCorkle among them, surrendered and were paroled by Union authorities. Early in this century, having returned to farming, McCorkle told his remarkable Civil War experiences to O.S. Barton, a lawyer, who wrote this book, first published in 1914.
Did Lincoln Own Slaves?: And Other Frequently Asked Questions About Abraham Lincoln
Gerald J. Prokopowicz - 2008
Was he the great emancipator or a racist? If he were alive today, could he get elected? Did he die rich? Did scientists raise Lincoln from the dead? From the seemingly lighthearted to the most serious Gerald Prokopowicz tackles each question with balance and authority, and weaves a complete, satisfying biography that will engage young and old, scholars and armchair historians alike.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Admiral Halsey's Story
William F. Halsey - 1976
“Bull” Halsey earned a legendary reputation for daring and boldness as commander of the U.S. Third Fleet. Admiral Halsey’s Story is this admiral’s record of his actions through the course of his remarkable career in the U.S. Navy. The account begins with a brief overview of his years in school and early years with the navy where he fought in the First World War and served in Mexico and Greece as he rose through the ranks to become vice admiral just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Halsey’s life was dramatically altered with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor as through the next four years he rose from relative obscurity to become one of the most famous allied naval figures in the war. The events of Halsey’s life through World War Two are split into three sections in the book and are covered in wonderful detail: Firstly he uncovers the details of his command of a carrier task force in the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor until May 1942. Next the book discusses his life as Commander of the South Pacific Area and its forces which lasted until June 1944. And finally the book gives an in-depth overview of the final year of the war when Halsey was commander of the U.S. Third Fleet. During the war Halsey had continually acted with bravery and speed and all of his most famous actions are covered through the book such as how he directed the campaigns in the Solomons and led the attacks on the Carolines and New Britain. “The book is pure Halsey — the personal yarn of a seagoing, fighting admiral who was forthright, honest, often brilliant, sometimes rash, but who possessed above all else, a natural modesty that enhanced his uncommon valor.” Naval War College Review “To learn what went on behind the wartime newspaper reports, her is an incomparable document. Admiral Halsey has written simply and modestly a book that will further enhance the Halsey legend.” The Saturday Review “he knew far better than armchair historians do that the best defense is a good offense. That is the legacy of Bull Halsey.” Warfare History Network William F. Halsey was an American admiral in the United States Navy during World War II. In 1943 he was made commander of the Third Fleet, the post he held through the rest of the war. He was promoted to fleet admiral in December 1945 and retired from active service in March 1947. Admiral Halsey's Story was first published in 1947 and Halsey passed away in 1959. The book was written with Lieutenant Commander J. Bryan III, USNR, who during the war had served a lieutenant commander assigned to naval air combat intelligence in the Pacific. In civilian life he was a journalist and writer who was born into the influential Bryan family of newspaper publishers and industrialists. He passed away in 1993.
The Black Sheep: The Definitive History of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in World War II
Bruce Gamble - 1998
The popular television series Baa Baa Black Sheep added to their legend—while obscuring the truly remarkable combat record of the Black Sheep and Boyington. A retired naval flight officer and former historian for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, Bruce Gamble provides a highly readable account that serves to both correct and extend the record of this premier fighting force. From the Paperback edition.