Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Ether Zone, US Army Special Forces Detachment B-52, Project Delta, The

Title: The Ether Zone, US Army Special Forces Detachment B-52, Project Delta
Author: Raymond Morris
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: John Cathcart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1555716628

Project Delta and its clandestine special reconnaissance operations proved to be one of the most successful Special Operation units of the Vietnam War, yet few Americans have ever heard of them, or know that this unit's operational model was precursor for the renowned Delta Force. This small unit of less than 100 U.S. Army Special Forces amassed a record for bravery that rivals few. For the first time, the Project Delta "Quiet Professionals" finally share their amazing story.Highly trained as experts in special reconnaissance techniques and procedures, the covert Project Delta missions were accomplished through recon team insertions into enemy territory. As the primary sources of intelligence collection for Project Delta, these tough and tenacious recon men recount hair-raising adventures from personal recollections."The Ether Zone" is certain to appeal to those with an interest in Special Operations Group, the Vietnam War, special operations and military history in general.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Morris, Raymond C.

Sacred Ground: A Tribute to America's Veterans

Title: Sacred Ground: A Tribute to America's Veterans
Author: Tom Ruck
Genre: Non-Fiction, Picture Book
Reviewer: Dave Brown

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1596985240

Sacred Ground" is a sweeping tour of some of America's most beautiful and moving cemeteries, Sacred Ground features richly evocative photographs from military cemeteries across the country, enhanced by poignant quotes, powerful essays, and speeches from famous Americans throughout history.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Ruck, Tom

Jackie O: On the Couch

Title: Jackie O: On the Couch
Author: Alma Bond
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Joyce Gilmour

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

Jackie O: On the Couch is the story of Jackie Kennedy Onassis as she might have written it.

This is not just another biography. For the first time, Jackie O: On the Couch highlights Jackie's life from her own perspective, as imagined by author Dr. Alma Bond, a psychoanalyst and long-time student of Jackie lore.

The facts are all historically correct, as are the ideas, the Washington intrigue and politics, and the examination of the role of women in society and in the White House. Jackie speaks of her need to record her story truthfully--to replace the hodgepodge of lies published during her lifetime. Speaking as an older woman, she ponders how her points of view have changed from those she held when she was young.

The book delves into her childhood and explores how and why Jackie became the person she was. It also explores the Kennedys, and how John F. Kennedy's background affected his marriage. Jackie's deep love for Jack, his early inattentiveness, their difficulties together, his outrageous womanizing, happy times at the White House, and the tragedy of his assassination-all are viewed through Jackie's eyes.

Jackie writes of her need for Aristotle Onassis, debunking the notion that she married him purely for his money, and traces the joyful early years of the marriage through to its dramatic collapse and Ari's difficult death.

A different Jackie emerges into the world of publishing. Her new persona allows her to establish her very best relationship with the stout and adoring Maurice Tempelsman, until non-Hodgkins lymphoma takes her life in 1994, at age 64.

Jackie O: On the Couch is a unique exploration of the life and loves of a great historical figure. Jackie Kennedy Onassis deeply prized her privacy and, as a result, she was both revered and mysterious

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bond, Alma

Lady Gangster: A Sailor's Memoir, The

Title: The Lady Gangster: A Sailor's Memoir
Author: Del Staecker
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: John Cathcart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1934980226

The true story of WWII's most amazing ship and her unique crew of 327 reservists from Chicago.

In a seamless blend of oral history, narrative, biography, autobiography, journal entries, ships logs, action reports, newspaper articles, illustrations, photos, and even two poems - the Lady Gangster's tale explains how the "Chicago Boys" transformed from raw naval recruits into veteran "Salts."
From the North Atlantic through nine invasions in the Pacific the crew of the USS Fuller heroically earned for their Lady the title of "Queen of Attack Transports

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Staecker, Del

Cat Lo, A Memoir of Invincible Youth

Title: Cat Lo, A Memoir of Invincible Youth
Author: Virg Irwin
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

Cat Lo is a story of young men who volunteer for Swift Boats in Vietnam and about war's indelible lesson for those who survive: life is too precious to waste.
Thirty-six years after Vietnam, Virg Erwin sits with a disfigured marine convalescing from Iraq and asks, "Do you want to talk about it?" It is a question no one has ever asked Erwin. "It was hard to know who were civilians--who were bad guys," the marine says as he describes being caught in a violent ambush.
For Erwin, the marine's story resurrects memories of sailors patrolling narrow rivers and canals, their naive sense of invincibility shattered by Viet Cong patiently waiting in bunkers with rockets. Cat Lo is about conflict of compassion for the South Vietnamese who are caught in the middle of war without option of neutrality, and confusion by the question: Who is the enemy and who is not?

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Irwin, Virg