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.

Follow Me: The Life and Adventures of a Military Family

Title: Follow Me: The Life and Adventures of a Military Family
Author: Elizabeth Carroll Foster
Genre: Non-Fiction Sub-Category: Memoir
Reviewed by: Charlene Rubush

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1450207545

On September 6, 1949, the author was a bride and clueless as to the twists and turns her life would take as the wife of a US Army officer. Her husband served sixteen months at the end of WWII and completed his three-year obligation in the reserve forces. Meantime, he tried to complete college and enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard while at the University of Oklahoma. The Guard unit was recalled to service with the 45th Division at the outbreak of the Korean War.
Elizabeth was ill-prepared for the kind of life she would experience as a military wife, the frequent moves from pillar to post while rearing four children, the separations from her husband, and parting from her friends and making new ones. Without a support system, she learned that military wives depended on each other.

It wasn't an easy life, but it offered many exciting adventures and presented friendships in many places. Her children adapted well to the nomadic lifestyle, despite transferring from school to school in midterm. Would she have made the commitment had she known what it entailed? She would have because it was a life of wonderful adventures shared with her husband, her children, their dog, and many, many friends.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Foster, Elizabeth Carroll

Centauri Intervention, The

Title: The Centauri Intervention
Author: David Michaelson
Genre: Fiction Sub-Category: SciFi/Fantasy/Horror
Reviewed by: jim greenwald

ISBN (for Amazon store): B005D9TJ0A

Out of control human population and a depleted Earth has created a need to seek another planet to colonize. The trip to Alpha Centauri in the starship PEGASUS will take 20,000 years. Near the end of the long journey, the aliens (Odeons) finally make their appearance. We are now in their backyard. The two species cannot communicate in any way, resulting in a tenuous warlike situation between starships. Two unlikely young heroes emerge—one human, the other Odeon. Together they take clandestine steps to recreate an ancient dialogue technique in the hope of establishing meaningful communications.

To make matters worse, the humans suffer from catastrophic cryogenic failure, losing many of their brightest minds. When morality wanes, The Church Of The Eternal Insight, led by the Good Vidhali, sets the standards of behavior for the surviving humans, as the final leg of their journey brings unprecedented grief and sadness.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Michaelson, David

Allemagne Deception, A Novel of the Cold War, The

Title: The Allemagne Deception, A Novel of the Cold War
Author: Donald J. Farinacci
Genre: Fiction Sub-Category: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by: Terry Shoptaugh

ISBN (for Amazon store): 0983416818

A friendship formed in World War II may be the only thing that can stop World War III… Berlin, 1945 — A U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and a Soviet Army Lieutenant comb through the bombed-out ruins of the Nazi capital, searching for evidence to be used in the war crimes trials at Nuremburg. They are two warriors from opposite sides of the Iron Curtain, drawn together by shared revulsion for the inhuman atrocities of the Third Reich. Two decades later, America is embroiled in the Vietnam war and the U.S.S.R. has become a ruthless empire of communist oppression. A team of U.S. military intelligence officers in Munich play deadly games against KGB operatives, traitors, and assassins. The Soviet military crashes across the border of Czechoslovakia, smashing all resistance beneath the treads of their tanks. The invasion of Western Europe has begun, and NATO is not ready for the assault. The Cold War is about to go hot…

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Farinacci, Donald

Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, The

Book Title: The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus
Author: Robert Schaefer
Reviewed by: Edward Cox
Genre: Non-fiction Sub-Category: History

ISBN (for Amazon store): 031338634X

The shocking events of the Moscow airport terrorist attack make it clear that the North Caucasus insurgency is still strong – despite the Kremlin’s announcement in 2008 that the conflict was “over.” Find out why Russia has been promised a “year of blood and tears” in 2011 and what this means for the Sochi Olympics in 2014. For the first time, a military expert on both Russia and insurgency offers the definitive guide on activities in Southern Russia, explaining why the Russian approach to counterterrorism is failing and why terrorist and insurgent attacks in Russia have sharply increased over the past three years.

The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad is a comprehensive treatment of this 300 year-old conflict. Thematically organized, it cuts through the rhetoric to provide a contextual framework with which readers can truly understand the "why" and "how" of one of the world’s longest-running contemporary insurgencies, despite Russia's best efforts to eradicate it.

A fascinating case study of a counterinsurgency campaign that is in direct contravention of US and Western strategy, the book also examines the differences and linkages between insurgency and terrorism; the origins of conflict in the North Caucasus; and the influences of different strains of Islam, of al-Qaida, and of the War on Terror. A critical examination of never-before-revealed Russian counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns explains why those campaigns have consistently failed and why the region has seen such an upswing in violence since the conflict was officially declared "over" less than two years ago.

The book's features include: information drawn from the North Caucasus Incident Database (NCID), compiling every violent incident in the region over a two-year period; charts showing the complex strategies of the insurgency and the Russian counterinsurgency campaigns; declassified intelligence reports; as well as maps and a bibliography. Presented through the lens of counterinsurgency theory, this incisive analysis explores the historic roots of each issue, the key players, and the farthest-reaching effects. It is the first doctrinal analysis (classified or unclassified) produced on the conflict in over 10 years and is already being used as a textbook at the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies at the Marshall Center.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Schaefer, Robert

Fighting Bob

Title: Fighting Bob
Author: Bob Stockton
Genre: Fiction Sub-Category: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Gail Chatfield

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1463430728

You are most suited to complete the mission that I require With those spoken words I began a ten day journey with the ghost of my great-great-great grandfather Commodore 'Fighting Bob' a journey filled with adventure, danger and conquest. I would witness the duels with British Officers while narrowly avoiding capture and imprisonment, subdue both Barbary Pirates and savage tribesmen and invade the California Territory, wresting it from rebel armies in pitched battle. Why was I selected? What skills or knowledge did I possess that I was the one uniquely qualified to carry out his mission? It wasn't long before the answer to these questions and more would be revealed. I was about to embark on an unforgettable odyssey.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Stockton, Bob

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