Non-Fiction

When Whippoorwills Call

Title: When Whippoorwills Call
Author: John Bandy
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0595212727

A 16 year old, high school dropout leaves home to avoid incarceration in the juvenile detention center. Using a fraudulent birth certificate, he enlists in the army, where he finds an extremely hostile environment. Seeking refuge in the army he discovers that he cannot run away from himself and the family "curse."

As a member of the United States Constabulary in occupied Germany at the end of WW2 where he faces the greatest challenges of his life amid the war torn ruins of a conquered nation.

The book describes in lurid detail the misadventures of the men in the lower ranks of the military establishment and the effects of their relationships with the German population. As a fraudulent enlistee, he lives in constant fear of being discovered. He is further plagued by premonition of doom by the family "curse," the result of a terrible sin committed by his maternal grandfather.

Born in an impoverished, dysfunctional family in the midst of the Great Depression, he struggles to overcome the indoctrination of inferiority and social ostracism, the result of his mother's alcoholism,

The story traces the family history from his ancestors' 19th century Mississippi plantation to the early 1950's in segregated Birmingham, Alabama.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Bandy, John

Recommended Reading List


MWSA Recommended Reading List

Winter – 2011/2012

As most of you know, the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) is an organization of over one thousand writers, poets, and artists drawn together by a common bond of military service or admiration for those who've served/are serving.  One purpose of our Society is to review the written works of our members. From our recent book reviews, we’ve selected the following as our 2011/2012 Winter Recommended Reading List:

Sunchon Tunnel Massacre Survivors

Title: Sunchon Tunnel Massacre Survivors
Authors: Pat McGrath Avery and Joyce Faulkner
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Reviewer: Andy Lubin

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0978515811

In the early days of the Korean War, 450+ American prisoners were marched from Taejon, South Korea, to Seoul, then on to Pyongyang, North Korea. There they boarded a train. On October 19, the train pulled into a tunnel. The North Korean guards unloaded the prisoners, a few at a time, and executed them. Eight of the known survivors tell their story.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
McGrath-Avery, Pat
Faulkner, Joyce

Guiding Lights: United States Naval Academy Monuments and Memorials

Title: Guiding Lights: United States Naval Academy Monuments and Memorials
Author: Nancy Prothro Arbuthnot
Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Reference
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1591140161

In this easy-to-use reference, Naval Academy English professor Nancy Prothro Arbuthnot tells the stories behind sixty of the Academy's monuments and memorials. To personalize the memorials and the naval figures they honor, she has included letters, firsthand battle reports, Lucky Bag commentaries, award citations, and other documents. Along with famous quotations, the book also presents poems and tributes written by midshipmen that explain how the memorials have inspired them, along with original poems by the author. More than 140 illustrations, including black-and-white photographs and reproductions of historic sketches, visually enrich the book. In revealing the people and events behind the Academy s memorials, Arbuthnot provides models or guiding lights to help readers steer their own courses through life.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Arbuthnot, Nancy Prothro

K9 Heroes: Together We Protect, Defend, and Conquer as One

Title: K9 Heroes: Together We Protect, Defend, and Conquer as One
Author: Nicole Arbelo
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Carmen Stenholm

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1432744755

Presents stories of courage and duty, friendship and family, loss and love, as told by the men and women serving with the Military Working Dogs, whose tasks include scouting, search and rescue, and the detection of explosives. Families and friends remember the servicemen and women, and their Military Working Dogs, who gave their lives for their country's service, as well as presenting a vivid picture of the life and times of a K9 Military Working Dog handler.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Arbelo, Nicole

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