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.

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

Walking the Tiger’s Path: A Soldier’s Spiritual Journey in Iraq

Title: Walking the Tiger’s Path: A Soldier’s Spiritual Journey in Iraq
Author: Paul Kendel
Genre: Military Sub-Category: Army
Reviewer: jim greenwald

ISBN (for Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

Paul M. Kendel (SSG Ret.) deployed with his National Guard unit out of Georgia to Iraq in 2005 hoping to use his knowledge of that land to bridge the gap between American soldiers and Iraqi civilians. However, the realities of war crushed his idealism when his buddies began dying at the hands of the enemy six weeks after their arrival. Eventually, his ongoing concern for the Iraqi people alienated some of his comrades, and he felt the sting of growing conflict within himself.
Turning to the books on Buddhist teachings he had brought with him, he found solace in the written words, but he longed for more. On a whim, he emailed Shambhala International and requested assistance. An unexpected response and ongoing support from Buddhist teacher and meditation instructor Margot Neuman helped him to retain a sane and humble humanity in a situation that often plummeted into lethal insanity.

This book addresses the horrors of war from an extraordinary human perspective. SSG. Kendel did not lose his compassion in the face of grave risk, nor did he endanger fellow soldiers while he remained true to himself--rare feats in our violent world.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Kendal, Paul

Depictions: Poems about Warriors and War

Title: Depictions: Poems about Warriors and War
Author: Chuck Habermehl
Genre: Poetry Sub-Category: Book any size
Review by Gail Chatfield

ISBN (for Amazon store): 0972587640

For the first time, close quarters battle expert Chuck Habermehl, author of Combat Proven Tactic: Small Unit Urban Warfare and other tactical-training materials, delves into poetic writing - the content of which is not for the weak at heart. In Depictions: Poems about warriors and war, Habermehl puts the reader right there - you see the tactical and violent reality of war and the grievous effects on the warrior. Battles from the Civil War to modern war are detailed, as are the segregation of the American Indian, the devastation of the wounded warrior and the travesty of the missing soldier. As expected from a tactician, Habermehl's style is blunt and unceremonious, as seen in the poem Victory released on YouTube. The visual elements created from his writing, together with illustrations, reminds the reader that the price of freedom is tremendous and the ravages of war everlasting. Depictions has over 30 poems and is 78 pages. (Net proceeds from the sales of the book go to help American wounded warriors and their families.)

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Habermehl, Chuck

What Were They Thinking: A Fresh Look at Japan at War, 1941-45

General book info.

ISBN (for Amazon store): 0557043336

The military leadership of Japan, dominated by the ages-old clans of the samurai class, embarked on a war in 1941 believing that the Americans and British wouldn't fight, but they also knew that Japan could not win a prolonged war. If the West didn't quit, well, the Japanese had no contingency for that. So why did Japan start a war at all? This and other questions are addressed in this new book. Other topics include: With a few exceptions, the Japanese Army was not well equipped, but was trained to attack even if the situation was hopeless; the Japanese Navy was never adequate to the task required of it in the Pacific War and the merchant fleet was even wors; the Japanese air forces suffered from acute shortages throughout the conflict that were often the result of their industrial shortcomings. Beatty and Rochwerger discuss these and many other issues in this provocative and imaginative inquiry into Japan in World War II. Photos, index.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Beatty, John D.
Rochwerger, Lee A.

Lost in the Blue Room

Title: Lost in the Blue Room
Author: Richard Barone
Genre: Fiction Sub-Category: Literary Fiction
Reviewer: Carmen Stenholm

ISBN (for Amazon store): 0975471163

Would the Twin Towers still be standing if federal air marshals were flying on September 11, 2001? Ex-sky marshal Jack High thinks so, and he’s about to make the government and airlines pay for gross negligence. Armed with a top-secret gun-cloaking device, he hijacks a new blended-wing airliner and demands that the passengers take a journey back to 1970 when the original sky marshals flew. With the taste of ashes still in their memories of 9/11, the passengers savor first-class meals and read America’s Most Wanted Novel that Nobody Ever Wanted on the inflight Internet. Fly first class around the world—Paris, Rome, Bangkok—compliments of the besieged airlines. Be anyone you want to be—CEO, plastic surgeon, biodynamic therapist—all expenses paid by the government. It’s a dream job and Andrea High loves it. Total anonymity. Drugs. Sex. Violence. Who’s to know when even your sex is in question? The hijacker, of course, ready to strike! Highly addicted to being a cover story, Andrea loses sight of the destination, and the flight becomes a terrorism of obscurity—the very thing the passengers are helpless to destroy. Written by a former sky marshal, this book takes place in jumbo jets, communal apartments, hotel rooms, and blue rooms. Boardrooms and courtrooms are not on the itinerary.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Barone, Richard

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