The Pacific War: 1941-1945

John Edmond Costello - 1981
    ... Unearths new and fascinating material." —The Times (London)The definitive one-volume account of World War II in the Pacific theater—the first book to weave together the separate stories of the fighting in China, Malaya, Burma, the East Indies, the Philippines, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Aleutians.The Pacific War provides a brilliantly clear account of one of the most massive movements of men and arms in history—and meticulously analyzes the complex social, political, and economic causes that underlay the war, enabling the reader to better understand the conflict as the inevitable result of a series of historical events.Captured in breathtaking detail are the bloody battles—Midway, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Iwo Jima—that ultimately shaped the modern world. These fiery clashes of great navies and armies still resonate loudly to this day. The Pacific War is the complete story of possibly the most cataclysmic chapter in the annals of human conflict—from its explosive opening salvo at Pearl Harbor to its ominous conclusion in the mushroom clouds of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Everything We Had: An Oral History of the Vietnam War

Al Santoli - 1981
    A 1983 American Book Award nominee.

Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans

Wallace Terry - 1984
    An oral history unlike any other, BLOODS features twenty black men who tell the story of how members of their race were sent off in disproportionate numbers and the special test of patriotism they faced. Told in voices no reader will soon forget, BLOODS is a must-read for anyone who wants to put the Vietnam experience in historical, cultural, and political perspective.Cited by THE NEW YORK TIMES as One of the Notable Books of the Year"Superb."TIME

To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America into Iraq

Robert Draper - 2020
    For too many people, the damage is still too palpable, and still unfolding. Most of the major players in that decision are still with us, and few are not haunted by it, in one way or another. Perhaps that combination, the passage of the years and the still unresolved trauma, explains why so many protagonists opened up so fully for the first time to Robert Draper.Draper's prodigious reporting has yielded scores of important new revelations, from the important to the merely absurd. As a whole. the book paints a vivid and indelible picture of a decision-making process that was fatally compromised, by a combination of post-9/11 fear and paranoia, rank naïveté, craven group think, and a set of actors with idées fixes who gamed the process relentlessly. Everything was believed; nothing was true. The intelligence failure was comprehensive. Draper's fair-mindedness and deep understanding of the principal actors suffuse his account, as does a storytelling genius that is close to sorcery. No one is cheap-shotted here, which makes the ultimate conclusion all the more damning. In the spirit of Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August and Marc Bloch's Strange Defeat, To Start a War will stand as the definitive account of a collective process that arrived at evidence that would be prove to be, not just dubious but entirely false, driven by imagination rather than a quest for truth--evidence to drive a verdict that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and a flood tide of chaos in the Middle East that shows no signs of ebbing.

The Last Parallel: A Marine's War Journal

Martin Russ - 1957
    A national bestseller and a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection, The Last Parallel "ranks top among combat soldiers' war records of all time", said Fred T. Marsh in The New York Herald Tribune. John P. Marquand in the Book-of-the-Month Club News concurred: "The Last Parallel is about the best account of combat I have read. One could even rate it as a higher achievement in some respects than that classic, The Red Badge of Courage ... Every reader wilt see death and danger as Sergeant Russ saw it. He will wince at the explosion of the mortar shells. Vicariously he will struggle every step of the way as Russ and his companions bring back the dead and wounded ... it is the best pro-Marine book yet to be published and one that should be read by mothers, wives and sweethearts, as well as everyone who has worn a uniform".

Decent Interval: An Insider's Account of Saigon's Indecent End Told by the Cia's Chief Strategy Analyst in Vietnam

Frank Snepp - 1977
    Still the most detailed and respected account of America's final days in Vietnam, the book was written at great risk and ultimately at great sacrifice by an author who believed in the CIA's cause but was disillusioned by the agency's treacherous withdrawal, leaving thousands of Vietnamese allies to the mercy of an angry enemy. A quarter-century later, it remains a riveting and powerful testament to one of the darkest episodes in American history.

Black April: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973-75

George J. Veith - 2011
    Yet a complete understanding of the endgame—from the 27 January 1973 signing of the Paris Peace Accords to South Vietnam’s surrender on 30 April 1975—has eluded us.Black April addresses that deficit. A culmination of exhaustive research in three distinct areas: primary source documents from American archives, North Vietnamese publications containing primary and secondary source material, and dozens of articles and numerous interviews with key South Vietnamese participants, this book represents one of the largest Vietnamese translation projects ever accomplished, including almost one hundred rarely or never seen before North Vietnamese unit histories, battle studies, and memoirs. Most important, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of South Vietnam’s conquest, the leaders in Hanoi released several compendiums of formerly highly classified cables and memorandum between the Politburo and its military commanders in the south. This treasure trove of primary source materials provides the most complete insight into North Vietnamese decision-making ever complied. While South Vietnamese deliberations remain less clear, enough material exists to provide a decent overview.Ultimately, whatever errors occurred on the American and South Vietnamese side, the simple fact remains that the country was conquered by a North Vietnamese military invasion despite written pledges by Hanoi’s leadership against such action. Hanoi’s momentous choice to destroy the Paris Peace Accords and militarily end the war sent a generation of South Vietnamese into exile, and exacerbated a societal trauma in America over our long Vietnam involvement that reverberates to this day. How that transpired deserves deeper scrutiny.

Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War

Michael Maclear - 1981

Eagle Against the Sun: The American War with Japan

Ronald H. Spector - 1985

The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950-1953

Clay Blair Jr. - 1987
    Like no book before, it combines enormous battlefield-level detail with command-level military history and domestic and international politics. 32 pages of black-and-white photographs. 15 maps.

December 1941: The Month That Changed America And Saved The World

Craig Shirley - 2011
          From December 1, 1941, until the morning of December 7, 1941, America was at peace and-with the exception of the stubborn and persistent high unemployment of the Great Depression-was a relatively happy country.       By the afternoon of the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor, America was a radically changed country, forever. Its isolationist impulses evaporated, and both major political parties became more or less internationalist.       The month also introduced food and gas rationing, Victory Gardens, scrap drives, a military draft, and the conversion of Detroit into an "arsenal of democracy." From the moment of America's entry into World War II, people of all kinds, but mostly women looking for work, flooded into the city. Instant apartment buildings sprang up, as did eating and drinking salons, all to the advantage of the massive increase in spending generated by the federal government.        December 1941 is a fascinating and meticulously researched look at the American home front-her people, faith, economy, government, and culture-during a month that radically changed the American way of life.

365 Days

Ronald J. Glasser - 1971
    "The stories I have tried to tell here are true, " says Glasser in his foreword. "Those that happened in Japan I was part of; the rest are from the boys I met. I would have liked to disbelieve some of them, and at first I did, but I was there long enough to hear the same stories again and again, and then to see part of it myself." Assigned to Zama, an Army hospital in Japan in September 1968, Glasser arrived as a pediatrician in the U.S. Army Medical Corps to care for the children of officers and high-ranking government officials. The hospital's main mission, however, was to support the war and care for the wounded. At Zama, an average of six to eight thousand patients were attended to per month, and the death and suffering were staggering. The soldiers counted their days by the length of their tour--one year, or 365 days--and they knew, down to the day, how much time they had left. Glasser tells their stories--of lives shockingly interrupted by the tragedies of war--with moving, humane eloquence.

Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution

Benson Bobrick - 1997
    When it did, the independence movement grew in strength until protest and rebellion eventually erupted into war. But despite the charismatic leadership of the independence movement, more than half the colonists remained loyal to England. Benson Bobrick casts light on such important, often overlooked aspects of the American Revolution, and offers compelling portraits of the major figures, as well as some illuminating observations by some of their lesser-known contemporaries. He thrillingly describes the major battles, from Lexington and Concord to Bunker Hill, Trenton, Saratoga, Camden, and Kings Mountain, and then the climactic siege of Yorktown when the British flag of empire was finally lowered before patriots guns. At the same time, "Angel in the Whirlwind" weaves together the social and political as well as the military history of the struggle into one epic tale. A variety of voices is represented: English and American, patriot and loyalist, soldier and civilian, foreign adventurer having come to aid the Revolution and German mercenary hired to serve in the army of the king. Their vivid presence brings life to every page.

If By Sea: The Forging of the American Navy--from the Revolution to the War of 1812

George C. Daughan - 2008
    Paul Revere began his famous midnight ride not by jumping on a horse, but by scrambling into a skiff with two other brave patriots to cross Boston Harbor to Charlestown. Revere and his companions rowed with muffled oars to avoid capture by the British warships closely guarding the harbor. As they paddled silently, Revere's neighbor was flashing two lanterns from the belfry of Old North Church, signaling patriots in Charlestown that the redcoats were crossing the Charles River in longboats. In every major Revolutionary battle thereafter the sea would play a vital, if historically neglected, role. When the American colonies took up arms against Great Britain, they were confronting the greatest sea-power of the age. And it was during the War of Independence that the American Navy was born. But following the British naval model proved crushingly expensive, and the Founding Fathers fought viciously for decades over whether or not the fledgling republic truly needed a deep-water fleet. The debate ended only when the Federal Navy proved indispensable during the War of 1812. Drawing on decades of prodigious research, historian George C. Daughan chronicles the embattled origins of the U.S. Navy. From the bloody and gunpowder-drenched battles fought by American sailors on lakes and high seas to the fierce rhetorical combat waged by the Founders in Congress, If By Sea charts the course by which the Navy became a vital and celebrated American institution.

Kill Bin Laden: A Delta Force Commander's Account of the Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Man

Dalton Fury - 2008
    Kill Bin Laden: A Delta Force Commander's Account of the Hunt for the World's Most Wanted Man