Nighthawk A Young Airman's Tour at Clark Air Base by Bill Bowers

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

During his senior year in high school, author Bill Bowers needed to make some tough decisions about his life path. At seventeen, he made a commitment to join the Air Force. On October 5, 1984, he began his military career.

In Nighthawk A Young Airman’s Tour at Clark Air Base, he recounts his coming of age in the 1980s while stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Through a series of vignettes centered on the antics and comedic misadventures of a young airman’s first tour of duty, this memoir offers a mirror of who we are as individuals. It shares real-life stories that explore the ups and downs of service in the military, the culture and economy of the Philippines, and the actions of a bunch of kids tossed onto an island paradise.

Nighthawk A Young Airman’s Tour at Clark Air Base focuses on a self-proclaimed screw-up with a moral compass that often causes conflict. It tells how an eighteen-year-old kid fresh out of high school became a man.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-4804-4461-2 (sc)
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Soft cover, Kindle, ePub/iBook
Genre(s): Nonfiction, History, Memoir, Biography
Review Genre: Please select your desired review genre
Number of Pages: 246
 

Oliver's Diary: A LGBTQ+ Love Story by Robert Groves

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Tormented by bullies? Remember that first adolescent crush? Recall the search for the perfect spouse? Fell in love? Lost love? Served and feared in the military during the Don't Ask, Don't Tell era? Grieved for a loss? Have a lifetime of memories that make you laugh and smile? Kept secrets? Oliver's Diary is your story.

ISBN/ASIN: B07CZ1M1SS
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Romance, Creative Nonfiction, Memoir
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 142
 

Jungle in Black by Steve Maguire

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MWSA Review

Brutal, compassionate... a soldier copes with blindness.

"Jungle in Black" is a raw-boned, "tell it as it is" book that takes a young Airborne Ranger officer from being injured on patrol in Vietnam to recovery in an Army field hospital to Japan,  and finally to Walter Reed Army Hospital in our nation's capital. 
Written in a vivid style that puts us in the shoes of the soldier, we experience the agony of a grenade exploding near our head, the terrifying blackness of a hospital, the hopes of seeing with one damaged eye dashed, and the realization that a cherished Army career is over.

Steve Maguire does not mire us in self-pity nor in the Pollyanna-ish euphoria of conquering blindness. Instead, he lays out a painful path of disappointment, void of a future in the Army, to a functioning man who can hold his own in a barroom brawl. Chock full of humorous incidents, such as wheelchair races down the hospital halls to profane escapades on frequent passes to the Goal Post, a neighborhood bar, one laughs and cries with the author. 

A college co-ed befriends him, helps turn his life around, and gives him purpose in life. They marry and have six children. He continues his studies and has a career with the Department of the Army as a civilian.

"Jungle in Black" is the tale of one soldier's long journey home from Vietnam. It is a true story of overcoming adversity. It is a story that falls into the "must read" category.

Review by Joe Epley (May 2018)

MWSA's evaluation of this book found a number of technical problems—including some combination of misspellings, grammar, punctuation, or capitalization errors—which indicate that further editing would lead to a much-improved final product.


Author's Synopsis

The True Story of One Soldier's Long Journey Home from Vietnam

This is the memoir of Steve Maguire, a decorated young Airborne Ranger, infantry officer who commanded a 9th infantry Division battalion reconnaissance platoon in the Mekong Delta.  It was there in November 1969 while on am airmobile operation that an exploding Viet Cong mine blinded him for life.

He lost his sight but not his courage.

Jungle in Black is an honest first-person account that never wallows in self pity as the author reassembles his life in a country that had turned its back on the war. Set in Long An Province. Vietnam, Camp Zama. Japan, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, this powerful yet often witty human drama details one man's successful struggle against the war's desolation.


ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-49230-332-9
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 423
 

The Perfection of Valor by Bob Mustin

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Colonel Fletcher Hinton, USMC, retired, has had a storied career, but one aspect of his life remains wanting as his end approaches: family. Son Cary, a former Marine and now a college professor, is about to marry outside his race, and the old man, suffering a bout of dementia, insults Cary's fiancee. Too, Cary has moved his mother away from Fletcher, fearing the old man has hit her. This then is Fletcher Hinton's final contest – proving himself a good father and husband as he battles dementia and the stain that seems to tarnish his name and, through him, the Corps.

ISBN/ASIN: 987-1642556889/B07BPDRQ7S
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Fiction, Literary Fiction, History
Review Genre: Fiction—Literary Fiction
Number of Pages: 208
 

War in the Company of Medics: Poems of the 45th Surgical Hospital in Vietnam by John J. Candelaria

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

During the Vietnam War, MAJ John J. Candelaria served as Executive Officer of the 45th Surgical Hospital. The poems and photographs in this collection reflect the anguish resulting from soldiers wounded and killed in the line of duty. John's tribute poems to the 45th Surgical Hospital are expressions that embrace in words the courage, duty, and valor of those who served with distinction at the 45th MASH.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0-9861604-1-7
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Poetry Book
Review Genre: Poetry—Poetry Book
Number of Pages: 52
 

Back to Serve: Return of a Soldier by Cesare Giannetti

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Back to Serve is a fictional memoir about a soon-to-be-retired army captain, Nico Corretti, who after a career in the military is ready to begin his civilian life with his family. But first, he must out-process and then drive halfway across the country to get home, during which he has an improbable encounter with a Russian woman who informs him that his safety and his post-service stability may be in jeopardy. On the long drive home, he considers the plausibility of her claim and reflects on his past and future. 

Once home, he relishes the quality time with his family, which includes visiting his father in his hometown. But afterward, he discovers the limited employment opportunities in the slow recovery years after the Great Recession. He undergoes an extended unemployment period before anxiously and dutifully taking a government-contract position abroad, which turns out to be more perilous than he had originally been briefed. And the mysterious Russian woman he met may lead him to some of the answers he was searching for, as well as to some dangers and desires that he wasn’t.

Upon completion of his contract job in Europe, he enjoys a well-deserved respite at home. But it’s short lived, as a swell of terrorist attacks against the United States require (or demand) more of his military service. Torn between being there for his family and his duty to his country, Captain Corretti is coldly reminded that the two actually are mutually inclusive. He’s sent back to a familiar place, the Middle East, and in the process, he may be able to avenge the soldiers he had lost under his command. But he’ll need to reach deeper within himself than he ever has before in order to succeed on the battlefield and in life.


ISBN/ASIN: 978-1981653287
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 210
 

Two Stars: Reflections of a Military Wife and Mother by Victoria Ventura

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

This book was written to give a deeper understanding about the military because words can paint pictures that come alive of past experiences. They are like movies of the mind, the scenes that portray soldiers and their families in real life experiences whether at home, protecting foreign countries to establish a democracy, flying combat missions and being in combat on the ground. The idea of the cute Vietnam young lady twirling a flag that covers her from all the elements of war, to a Firefight pinning down Army Rangers on a hill by the Taliban and then being protected by “Big Bird’(an AC-130 Specter Gunship), gives us visions of being safe while being pinned down in a dangerous crossfire. You can feel the sadness and hear the tears and the tension in Arlington’s slow and methodical parade to the last resting sight of a soldier’s
graveside. This is followed by the bursting of explosive laughter at the simplicity of the horses’ antics at such a serious event. I hope that these experiences will give a deeper understanding to the military life of soldiers and their families as they live day to day at home, overseas deployed in foreign countries or in dangerous war zone.

ISBN/ASIN: ISBN-10 0-9988249-3-3                    ISBN 13 978-0-9988249-3-2
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Collections, Memoir, Poetry Book
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 76
 

The Luckiest Guy in Vietnam by James A. Lockhart

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

This book describes two unique tours of duty in Vietnam by a U.S. Army officer. In the first, after two assignments in Infantry platoons, he is given command of a rifle company while still a lieutenant.  The daily life of infantrymen, with all of its quirks and surprises, is recounted as he lived it. He returns for a second tour as a Special Forces-trained captain to participate in a secret mission.  This program has received little attention and some previously unpublished events are revealed here.  Most readers should find the actions recounted herein differ from the widely held concepts based on news coverage or even personal experience in the war.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-54392-812-9
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Memoir
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 363
 

Sebastian's Tale by Dylan Weiss

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Sebastian’s Tale is a fast paced, allegorical coming of age adventure.  As the story develops, readers discover, along with our hero, a lovable stripeless skunk, and his sidekick, a clever but oft misguided weasel,
exactly what is destroying Penn’s Woods.

Together Sebastian and Willie learn how to battle this menacing new enemy threatening life as we know it on earth. Although the telling is a fantasy, in reality the author hopes that lessons learned by Sebastian
and his woodland friends are embraced by children and young adults who choose to protect our environment against the degradation brought on by present day pollution.

ISBN/ASIN: B01LWHXS5B
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Fantasy/Sci Fi, Young Adult
Review Genre: Children & Young Adult—Young Adult (fiction or non-fiction)
Number of Pages: 197
 

Vietnam Voices by Michael Lepore

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Vietnam Voices employs in poetic verse the harsh realities of the Vietnam War as felt by those who fought it, those who anxiously waited at home, and those children born of American G.I.’s and Vietnamese women—innocent victims scorned for life. This book presents in all its complexity the bravado, agony and loss of those affected by combat and is as resonant with the issues that face our fighting men and women today as fifty years ago.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0-9913861-3-0
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Poetry Book
Review Genre: Poetry—Poetry Book
Number of Pages: 60
 

My Daddy Sleeps Everywhere by Jesse Franklin

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MWSA Review

On any given day, thousands of US military servicemen and women are deployed around the globe.  Over two million have deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan over the last decade, and about half of those have deployed more than once.  That equates to countless days and nights spent away from home—often more than a year at a time.  Inevitably, the repeated and prolonged absences of so many fathers and mothers leads to stress, anxiety, and a feeling of loss at home.  Although they don't fully understand what's going on, the youngest members of these military families are still very much aware that there has been a dramatic change in their lives.

It is for this reason that author Jesse Franklin and illustrator Tahna Desmond Fox's My Daddy Sleeps Everywhere is so timely. Using a series of short declarative sentences and a matching set of well-executed drawings of military fathers in various locales and settings, the book allows young children to imagine where their daddies might be sleeping on any particular night.  Each drawing includes a black and white cutout of the sleeping father, so that children can put their own father "in the picture." 

During these early, formative years, these young ones aren't yet ready to understand—much less worry about—what Daddy's work might entail.  But by concentrating on where he might be sleeping (instead of what he's doing), the parent can share a comforting look at the varied locations where Daddy might be laying his head at night.  In the end, they'll appreciate that, of all the places where he might be sleeping while he's away, his favorite is at home with his family. 

My Daddy Sleeps Everywhere will appeal to military families with children one-to-five years old having a father who spends large stretches of time away from home on deployment.

Review by John Cathcart (April 2018)


Author's Synopsis

As military families tuck in for the night, their thoughts often turn to daddies who can’t always be home. This children’s military deployment book shows some of the many places daddy sleeps while he is away. In this wonderful story, daddy travels to every clime and place including the mountains, the prairie, the jungle, and everywhere in between. Though daddy’s particular location and sleeping arrangements are constantly changing, one thing never does. No matter how far daddy is from home, home is never far from his mind.
 

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-938505-25-6
Book Format(s): Hard cover, Soft cover
Genre(s): Picture Book
Review Genre: Children & Young Adult—Picture Book
Number of Pages: 40

Blades of Thunder by W. Larry Dandridge

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Blades of Thunder (book One) is a non-fiction, action packed, and Vietnam War history book that tells the story of six young Army aviators, flight school classmates, who go to Vietnam in the fall of 1968 and are forever changed.  Some died, some were wounded.  All those who returned brought back emotional scars that will never really go away.  Blades of Thunder is more than a story about Vietnam.  It combines a realistic narrative of combat operations with a human dimension, the physical and psychological toll imposed on those who survived. While learning about their experiences, this all five-star reviewed paperback or hard cover book gives you a window into the lives of crew chiefs and door gunners whose job extends beyond flight when the aircraft is once again safely tucked into its revetment, the battery switch is off and the blades are tied down.  Timeless lessons on leadership abound.  •    The author takes the reader into the details of the Army Aviation business.  46 annotated photos and generous, informative appendices provide an informal class on the tools of our trade: the components of a UH-1B rocket pod and machine gun assembly; the essential elements of an OH-6A “Loach” to include cyclic, collective, armored seats, grenades and mini-gun; and a host of other switches, gauges, etc., to include the hook over the pilot’s door in a Huey on which to hang your helmet.  Blades of Thunder (Book One) even offers an appendix of over 24 mini-biographies of the key characters in the book, showing that, if they survived, they each became successful family men and leaders in every field of business and government. Nothing is left out.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0-578-15637-8 Paperback and 978-0-692-78369-6 Hard Cover
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Nonfiction, History, Memoir, Biography, Picture Book
Review Genre: Nonfiction—History
Number of Pages: 411

Raiding the Empire of the Sun: Tinian 1945 by Kit Crumpton

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Author's Synopsis

Raiding the Empire of the Sun: Tinian 1945 is a historical novel of B-29 Superfortress missions over Japan during the last year of WWII. This book is based on real life events of a B-29 crew, describing life on Tinian Island as well as the dramatic happenings in the skies over enemy territory until the end of the war. The characters are fictionalized but the main character, Captain Jenson, is strongly based on the authors’ father.

ISBN: 978-0996539616 ASIN B017ODJ6NC
Format: Paper and Kindle
Review Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 232

 

Medallion by Richard Barnes

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MWSA Review

Medallion by Richard Whitten Barnes is a historical novel set in Norway and Great Britain during World War II. Karin Hansen, an American pilot of Norwegian descent, travels to Great Britain in 1940 to take part in the British Air Transport Auxiliary. There she meets Arne Solberg, a personal guard to Norway’s exiled royal family, which has narrowly escaped Oslo on the eve of German occupation. In Germany, Oberleutnant Horst von Prohn has been assigned to a civilian posting under a Nazi appointee tasked with occupying Norway. The paths of these three main characters cross sporadically over the next several years. Karin and Arne begin to fall in love. Arne carries out missions with Norway’s resistance fighters under Horst’s nose.

Eventually the strands of the three divergent plot lines weave themselves into a Gordian knot in which Karin and Arne must escape Horst’s detection while working for him and concurrently devising a plot for rescuing Norway’s national treasure of historically minted gold coins—all 2500 kilograms of it.

Other characters enter and exit, lending charm, courage, expertise, and sometimes comic relief. Of particular note (and possibly my favorite character) is Iver Lindahl, a teenage Norwegian who gains Horst’s trust by helping to track down Norwegian resistance fighters. Or does he? Cameo appearances by well-known historical figures such as Jacqueline Cochran and Vidkun Quisling add to the believability of the plot.

The structure of alternating the story line among the three main characters challenges the reader to keep pace. While the multiple views increase the staccato effect of the action, they leave less room for character development. Overall, Medallion is an appealing wartime story, and it is especially satisfying that the author focused on the little known women civilian aviators, all volunteers, who wore uniforms and flew aircraft during World War II, freeing up male pilots for combat duty.

Review by Betsy Beard (May 2018)


Author's Synopsis

In April 1940 Nazi Germany makes a surprise attack on the major ports and airfields of Norway for control of the North Sea and the precious ore deposits of northern Sweden.
The attack is a stunning success, except for the Capital city. The defense of Oslo stalls the Germans for 24 hours--enough time for the Royal Family, members of the cabinet, and the entire treasury to escape, ultimately to England. Subsequently, Nazi aggression overruns most of Europe, looting its treasuries and treasures.

Karin Hansen, a young American fresh from a summer of barnstorming and air shows in her uncle’s biplane, has joined the British Air Transport Auxiliary--a civilian service organized to free up pilots for the war effort.  She advances from single-engine trainers to sophisticated warplanes, delivering them from factories to strategic RAF airfields.

By chance, her path crosses with that of Arne Solberg, a young Norwegian commando in the employ of the Royal Family-in-exile, who has been charged with rescuing one of Norway’s most cherished treasures from being stolen back to Nazi Germany.

Medallion is the story of two young lovers and the treachery of occupied Norway. A story you won’t forget.

ISBN/ASIN: B07B5W3FRX
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical Fiction
Review Genre: Fiction—Historical Fiction
Number of Pages: 237
 

CIA Super Pilot Spills the Beans, Flying Helicopters in Laos for Air America by Captain Bill Collier

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Death defying adventure, big money, world travel, sex, booze: this true tale has it all. In 1967, after surviving 13 months, of combat flying in H-34 helicopters in Vietnam for the United States Marine Corps, Captain Collier wanted nothing more to do with that war. Somehow, 34 months later he found himself flying for Air America, the air arm of the CIA, on (not for) the other side of the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

He teamed up with his best Vietnam helicopter pilot buddy, Gary, and the two rascals shared true adventure enough to make any novel seem lame. In many ways it was a much better job than flying for the USMC, but it also had many exciting and interesting times. Flying in mountainous and weather-hostile Laos was some of the most challenging ever experienced by any pilot, any time, any war. He flew 3100 hours more of combat for a total of 3850. He came a whisker from death several times and a few times actually tweaked the devil’s nose, daring the devil to take him! 

Making fabulous money and having airline benefits allowed them to live an exotic lifestyle, to travel the world on their monthly R&Rs and to chase and catch more than a few stewardesses from several different airlines around the world.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1547225323
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Memoir
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 364
 

The Adventures of a Helicopter Pilot, Flying the H-34 in Vietnam for the United States Marine Corps by Captain Bill Collier

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

This is a spell-binding, first-hand account of what it was like to pilot a Marine Corps H-34 helicopter in combat during "The Helicopter War" in Vietnam. As a brand-new United States Naval Aviator, Second Lieutenant Bill Collier had many exciting adventures - some exciting, some horrific and some terrifying. This is the true story of his experiences during his 13 months in the war. Bill watched friends die violently and stood many times eye-to-eye and toe-to-toe with Death itself. Each time, Death flinched first.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-500936-13-6
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Memoir
Review Genre: Nonfiction—Memoir/Biography
Number of Pages: 351
 

Homeland Burning by Brinn Colenda

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Spring of 2000: Wildfires destroy mountain watersheds and municipal water systems, breached dams release tidal waves of water to obliterate farms and towns, and stone-cold shooters target helpless civilians. USAF Colonel Tom Callahan struggles to convince a skeptical U.S. intelligence community that enemy attacks on American soil are not only possible, but inevitable.

Kurt Wallerein, the world’s foremost terrorist-for-hire, feared, hated and hunted by every intelligence service in the West, has unleashed a terrifying campaign against the American Heartland to undermine the legitimacy of the United States government.

Callahan has to rally support to stop the attacks, but his political enemies in Washington conspire to distract the President and ridicule evidence. He’ll need all the help he can get from aviators of the New Mexico National Guard, the Civil Air Patrol and the Ninety-Nines.


ISBN/ASIN: ISBN-10: 1596161035 ISBN-13: 978-1596161030
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 300
 

Settling Up by Phil Keith

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

A Vietnam Veteran, poisoned by Agent Orange, has decided that, with the time he has left, he is going to wage a one-man war on those who must "settle up" for the misdeeds they committed during the war. As the bodies pile up, he leaves, at each scene, a particular calling card, which every Vietnam Veteran will understand. The FBI is finally assigned to the case, and one particular Agent figures it out: will she bring her target to justice? Does she really want to?

ISBN/ASIN: ASIN: B074P9SWMD ISBN: 978-1974333417
Book Format(s): Soft cover, Kindle
Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller
Review Genre: Fiction—Mystery/Thriller
Number of Pages: 447

From Student to Warrior -- A Military History of The College of William and Mary by Wilford Kale

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MWSA Review Pending

 

Author's Synopsis

Wilford Kale, 73, is a retired journalist and Virginia state agency official. He is an alumnus of the College of William and Mary and has a bachelor’s degree in history from Park College (now Park University). He also received his master of philosophy degree in history from the University of Leicester, Leicester, England. 

Over the past 25 years he has written, co-authored or edited eleven books, all nonfiction and many related to history. His latest book, “From Student to Warrior – A Military History of The College of William and Mary,” is his last in a trilogy of William and Mary history volumes. Earlier he wrote, “Hark Upon the Gale – An Illustrated History of The College of William and Mary in Virginia,” and “Goal to Goal,” 100 Seasons of Football at William and Mary.”

“A Very Virginia Christmas,” in which Kale wrote many chapters and edited, received the IPPY award in 2012 as the nation’s best Holiday Book. His volume on William and Mary football history was cited as “a model for gridiron histories of a single institution.” 

He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia with his wife, Kelly.

Book contains a lengthy bibliography more than 300 items and more than 400 endnotes.

ISBN/ASIN: 0979968437
Book Format(s): Hard cover
Genre(s): Nonfiction, History
Review Genre: Nonfiction—History
Number of Pages: 242