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.

Hearts and Minds: Uncovering the Wars of Ideas and Images Behind the Global War on Terror

Title: Hearts and Minds: Uncovering the Wars of Ideas and Images Behind the Global War on Terror
Author: Timothy S. McWilliams
Genre: Non-Fiction Sub-Category: History
Reviewed by: Terry Shoptaugh

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1460961544

During the Global War on Terror, multiple wars of ideas and images played out as belligerents and various competing political interests sought to influence multiple public spheres toward their desired political goals. At the same time, the international media played a vital role in framing the issues, debates, and events in the arena of ideas that accompanied the conflict. These wars of ideas and images had profound effects on domestic and international public opinion, which not only influenced events and operations during the conflict, but also threatened the outcome. This study traces these wars of ideas and images from the prewar debates following September 11, 2001 through military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. It not only examines how belligerents and various competing political interests sought to shape public opinion toward their political objectives during the Global War on Terror, but also examines both media performance on the battlefield and the media’s role in shaping public opinion, policy, and events during the war. As a foundation for understanding media’s role in modern wars of ideas, this study also provides a crucial examination of media’s influence on U.S public opinion and policy during important events in U.S. history, to include a fresh examination of media performance and influence during the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. This study is essential for anyone wanting to understand the wars of ideas and images that accompany military conflict and international crisis, the challenges of reporting combat, and the media’s power to influence public opinion and policy. Thoroughly researched and meticulously cited, this important multi-discipline study significantly contributes to the history and understanding to today’s conflicts.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McWilliams, Timothy S.

Separated by Duty, United in Love

Book Title: Separated by Duty, United in Love
Author: Shellie Vandevoorde
Reviewed by: Edward Cox
Genre: Non-fiction Sub-Category: How-to/ Business

ISBN (for Amazon store): B004W9CWPQ

Where Can You Turn. . .?
. . .when the bills are due, the kids are acting out, loneliness and doubt are creeping into your quiet hours--and you're handling it all alone? If your partner is in the military, these challenges may be the greatest that your relationship will ever face. Now is the time you need answers, resources, and understanding. This is the book that will give them to you.

Military wife and U.S. Army veteran Shellie Vandevoorde has penned a practical, compassionate guide to help military couples cope with the separation of active deployment. Now updated and expanded, Separated by Duty, United in Love is infused with her years of experience, offering sound and comforting advice from someone who's been there. Vandevoorde explores real-life issues and shares invaluable insights on the best ways to:

Keep the lines of communication open while your partner is away
Address your children's fears as you cope with your own
Juggle finances and other household duties
Find the balance you desperately need
Cope with post-traumatic stress, injury and other challenges when a spouse returns from war
Utilize military resources and support groups to help yourself through the toughest times
You are not alone. Separated by Duty, United in Love gives you the tools and the encouragement you need to help your military relationship survive--and thrive.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Vandevoorde, Shellie

King of the Oilers: The Story of the USS Chiwawa AO-68

Title: King of the Oilers: The Story of the USS Chiwawa AO-68
Author: Jon Strupp
Genre: Military Sub-Category: Navy
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (for Amazon store): 1592981917

With entry into World War II, the United States of America faced a daunting task of delivering men and material on two distant fronts on opposite ends of the world. Due to this, a logistical system was developed like never seen before. This book tells the story of the fleet oiler, USS Chiwawa AO-68. How both men and machine, not primarily designed for war, were called from civilian life to defend their country and become part of the backbone of the navy helping to tip the balance in the Allies favor. Loaded with cargo consisting of kerosene, gasoline, diesel oil, Navy Special Fuel Oil, top side cargo, and passengers, the Chiwawa participated in nine trans-Atlantic convoys, delivering the goods to the European theater. Facing bad weather and the imminent threat of U-boats, the Chiwawa performed the delicate job of refueling the escort ships protecting the convoy while underway. When the war in Europe was won, the Chiwawa was transferred to the Pacific theater to confront ever present mines and two typhoons. This often overlooked aspect of World War II is examined using U.S. Navy records, crew interviews, diaries, and letters written during the war, telling the Chiwawa's story through first-hand accounts of life at sea and land while visiting ports throughout Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Pacific. This story is unique because the Chiwawa avoided scrapping after the war to return to civilian use, and serves to the present day on the Great Lakes as the ore carrier M/V Lee A. Tregurtha.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Strupp, Jon

Beasts of Buchenwald, The

General book info.

ISBN (for MWSA Amazon store): 1934980714

The crime and punishment story of how Nazi SS Colonel Karl Koch and his wife Ilse ran Buchenwald, the most infamous concentration camp of Nazi Germany, where evil reigned unchecked and the inconceivable was commonplace

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Whitlock, Flint