Non-Fiction

Grief Denied: A Vietnam Widow's Story

Title: Grief Denied: A Vietnam Widow's Story
Author: Pauline Laurent
Genre: Non-ficiton, Memoir
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0967142407

Grief Denied is about healing: it is about coming to terms with the intimate pain and emotional violence that was unleashed by the Vietnam War. It is also a bittersweet love story in which a young girl meets a soldier-boy, a young bride loses her soldier-husband and how, on the 30th anniversary of their marriage, the mature woman is finally able to say good-bye to the man she will always love. Laurent tells her story with clarity and candor and a great deal of caring. There are vivid descriptions of her husband, Howard, who died in combat in Vietnam on May 10, 1968, when she was 22 years old and in the last phase of her first pregnancy. There are also sharp, tender portraits of her daughter Michelle, her parents, her friends and her lovers. The author doesn't seem to have held back anything or to have denied readers a full and complete view of her personality, including her dark side. So there are emotionally wrenching accounts of her depression, her suicidal feelings, her "insanity," as she calls it, as well as her therapy and recovery and rediscovery of prayer and faith. Grief Denied offers deeply moving passages from Howard's letters to Pauline shortly before his death. Laurent describes how Vietnam got to her, though she was thousands of miles away from the heat, the dirt and the mortars. If somehow or other you never did appreciate how Vietnam got to the heart of America, then this book ought to be at the top of your list of books to read. And if you are thinking of writing a memoir to express your seemingly inexpressible pain, then this book is also for you. "In writing I finally found a container which could hold my grief," Laruent writes. "the blank page wanted to hear it all--every last detail." -- The Press Democrat, August 29, 1999 by Jonah Raskin, Chairman of the Communication Studies Department at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Laurent, Paulin

G-DAY, Rendezvous with Eagles

Title: G-DAY, Rendezvous with Eagles
Author: Stephen D. Wiehe
Genre: Non-Fiction Sub-Category: Memoir
Reviewed by: Gail Chatfield

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005FHX1DG

When I started my research, the twenty plus years that had passed began to shrink. By the end of the project, the events that changed my life two decades ago seemed like yesterday. The reconnection with old friends was well worth the time it took to put the book together.

In working on our unit history, I found very little about our important missions and objectives during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. I was amazed that the units themselves had very little information regarding our objectives and the reasons for them. In a day when the internet and cell phones are everywhere, including the front lines of combat, there is a rich and living commentary written by the troops as they live it. But, just a few decades ago during Desert Storm, there were no blogs, satellite radio or internet. When it comes to Desert Storm there is a void in the written history. Our children would be hard pressed to put all of the pieces together. My goal when I started writing G-Day was to create a factual, historical document that all of us could be proud of and that could be used as a reference for future generations.When visiting with Dr. John O'Brien, Chief Historian at the Don F. Pratt Museum at Fort Campbell, I told him I didn't want this to turn into a book of "fish stories" or a compilation of war tales that are told so many times over the years that they gradually become the truth.

There are some great books written by accomplished authors who give us a great view of the "big picture" in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In writing this book, my hope is that it will help you see, and appreciate, the day to day activities of the soldiers who were there and how they fit into the "bigger picture."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Wiehe, Stephen D.

Rough War: The Combat Story of Lt Paul J Eastman, a "Burma Banshee" P-40 & P-47 Pilot

Title: Rough War: The Combat Story of Lt Paul J Eastman, a "Burma Banshee" P-40 & P-47 Pilot
Author: Walt Shiel
Reviewer: Jim Greenwald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1934631159

"One of the most unusual and insightful stories of a young American at war, and it has a particular significance for today." --from the Foreword by Walter J. Boyne.

Paul Eastman was one of thousands of fighter pilots who served honorably, bravely, and with little fanfare during World War II. He did not end the war as a celebrated national hero. No air base was ever named for him. He never became an ace. He never became famous. Paul spent 20 months flying daily combat sorties in one of the most difficult environments of the war -- the China-Burma-India Theater.

Paul Eastman maintained a daily diary throughout the war, covering his life in the air and on the ground. "Rough War" is based on those diaries and the many letters he wrote to his wife. His letters professed his love, expressed his post-war hopes, documented his ongoing fears, and voiced his concerns for his wife and family stateside. Would he survive the war? What would he do afterward?

Although the CBI has been labeled the "forgotten theater" of WW II, Paul Eastman's story helps ensure that the men who fought the air war over its unforgiving jungles and mountains will never be forgotten.

"Rough War" is an important story that makes an equally important connection to the effects of war on the members of the US military today.

"'Rough War' presents a history of the making of a combat fighter pilot. Interspersed with World War II events and in-theater events from the rarely mentioned CBI theater are writings from Paul's journals and letters home detailing his journey into and through combat. While aviation technology changed for America's next war in SE Asia, the threats of the jungle, monsoon, and a determined enemy created similar issues during my own fighter-pilot experiences in Vietnam." -William H. Lawson, Brig. Gen., US Air Force, Retired

"This book brings back lots of memories of my time in that part of the world. In '66-'67 our combat maps of Vietnam and Laos still had large holes of data, and we had to work our way to the war and home just like Paul did. I really enjoyed the format -- chronological, big picture, CBI, and Paul's War helped put it all in perspective. Here's to you, Paul. As we say in 2011 -- Thanks for your service and a job well done." -Ace Rawlins, Col., US Air Force, Retired

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Shiel, Walt

Devil's Own Day: Shiloh and the American Civil War, The

Title: The Devil’s Own Day
Author: John D. Beatty
Reviewed by Jack Manick

ISBN (for Amazon store): 160910661X

The Devil's Own Day is a story of three armies-two Union and one Confederate-that fought for two days near an obscure flatboat landing in southeastern Tennessee that lay just two miles from a Methodist meeting house called Shiloh. The battle would determine the course of the Civil War in the Mississippi Valley, the fate of two generals, Ulysses S. Grant and Albert S. Johnston, and the course of American history.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Beatty, John D.

Henry Ford's Moving Picture Show Vol.I 1914-1920

Title: Henry Ford's Moving Picture Show Vol.I 1914-1920
Author: Phillip W. Stewart
Reviewed by: Dave Brown

ISBN (for Amazon store): 0981744478

This is the first volume of the HENRY FORD'S MOVING PICTURE SHOW: An Investigator's Guide to the Films Produced by the Ford Motor Company series. It focuses on the initial six years (1914-1920) of the Ford Motor Company motion picture collection that is held in the U.S. National Archives and identifies 935 films. To assist in your investigation of this historically significant film collection, two indexes are also provided--an alphabetical title index and a comprehensive subject index.

The Henry Ford's Moving Picture Show is a multi-book series of guides written to facilitate the public and professional use of the film footage in the Ford Motor Company Collection and to describe its contents in a way that has been, until now, unavailable. The volumes ultimately published under this title, catalog the surviving films produced or acquired by the Ford Motor Company between 1914 and 1954. When the U.S. National Archives accepted these historically significant films in 1963, it provided an all inclusive formal title of: Films Relating to the Ford Motor Company, the Henry Ford Family, Noted Personalities, Industry, and Numerous Americana and Other Subjects...and this pretty well sums up the visual content of the collection.

Altogether, the collection holds approximately 1.8 million feet of silent, black and white, 35-millimeter celluloid film. The main goal of Henry Ford's Moving Picture Show is to provide a useful and practical resource to the moving images of the world during the first half of the 20th Century, as seen through the camera lens of the Ford Motion Picture Department and its successor, the Ford Photographic Department. These films have superb historical value that stems from their very broad subject-matter coverage. Overall, the moving images contained in these films are truly Americana in motion.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Stewart, Philip

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