Fiction

Two Brothers - One North, One South

Title: Two Brothers - One North, One South
Author: David H. Jones
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0979689856

Walt Whitman feared that the real war would never get in the books: the true stories that depicted the courage and humanity of soldiers who fought, bled, and died in the American Civil War. Exceptionally researched and keenly accurate to actual events, along with the personages that forged them, David H. Jones's novel spans four years in the midst of America s costliest and most commemorated war. The journey is navigated by the poet, Walt Whitman, whose documented compassion for the wounded and dying soldiers of the war takes him to Armory Square Hospital in Washington, D.C., and finds him at the bedside of William Prentiss, a Rebel soldier, just after fighting has ended. As fate has it, William's brother, Clifton, a Union officer, is being treated in another ward of the same hospital, and Whitman becomes the sole link not just between the two, but with the rest of their family as well. The reader is taken seamlessly from Medfield Academy in Baltimore, where the Prentiss family makes its home, to the many battlefields where North and South collide, and even through the drawing rooms of wartime Richmond, where Hetty, Jenny, and Constance Cary are the reigning belles.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Jones, David H.

Killing Rommel

Title: Killing Rommel
Author: Steven Pressfield
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Andrew Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005UVRYAI

Steven Pressfield’s quintet of acclaimed, bestselling novels of ancient warfare— Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, and The Afghan Campaign— have earned him a reputation as a master chronicler of military history, a supremely literate and engaging storyteller, and an author with acute insight into the minds of men in battle. In Killing Rommel Pressfield extends his talents to the modern world with a WWII tale based on the real-life exploits of the Long Range Desert Group, an elite British special forces unit that took on the German Afrika Korps and its legendary commander, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, "the Desert Fox."

Autumn 1942. Hitler’s legions have swept across Europe; France has fallen; Churchill and the English are isolated on their island. In North Africa, Rommel and his Panzers have routed the British Eighth Army and stand poised to overrun Egypt, Suez, and the oilfields of the Middle East. With the outcome of the war hanging in the balance, the British hatch a desperate plan—send a small, highly mobile, and heavily armed force behind German lines to strike the blow that will stop the Afrika Korps in its tracks. Narrated from the point of view of a young lieutenant, Killing Rommel brings to life the flair, agility, and daring of this extraordinary secret unit, the Long Range Desert Group. Stealthy and lethal as the scorpion that serves as their insignia, they live by their motto: Non Vi Sed Arte—Not by Strength, by Guile as they gather intelligence, set up ambushes, and execute raids. Killing Rommel chronicles the tactics, weaponry, and specialized skills needed for combat, under extreme desert conditions. And it captures the camaraderie of this “band of brothers” as they perform the acts of courage and cunning crucial to the Allies’ victory in North Africa.

As in all of his previous novels, Pressfield powerfully renders the drama and intensity of warfare, the bonds of men in close combat, and the surprising human emotions and frailties that come into play on the battlefield. A vivid and authoritative depiction of the desert war, Killing Rommel brilliantly dramatizes an aspect of World War II that hasn’t been in the limelight since Patton. Combining scrupulous historical detail and accuracy with remarkable narrative momentum, this galvanizing novel heralds Pressfield’s gift for bringing more recent history to life.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Pressfield, Steven

Constant Bearing - Decreasing Range: A Makeover for Sailor Sam

Title: Constant Bearing - Decreasing Range: A Makeover for Sailor Sam
Author: Skip Vogel
Genre: Fiction, Literary, Navy
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1419651455

Skip Vogel's CONSTANT BEARING - DECREASING RANGE: The Collision of Public Policy and National Defense is a compelling character-driven story of intrigue, tragedy, honor, and humor within the U.S. Navy as it was undermined by the questionable efforts of American politicians and social engineers as they attempted to integrate low aptitude personnel and criminals into our naval forces, and the unfortunate consequences that resulted from these policies.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Vogel, Skip

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