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History - Military

The Great War and Modern Memory

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The Great War and Modern Memory Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780195133325
Availability: Special Order
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - March 1st, 2000

This groundbreaking work that showed how World War I changed western society and culture was published in 1975. Highly readable and original. ~ Reviewed by Louise Jones


Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945

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Winston's War: Churchill, 1940-1945 Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780307388711
Availability: Backordered
Published: Vintage - May 3rd, 2011

Justly admiring yet well balanced reaffirmation of Churchill's greatness as war leader, although his ideas and power became increasingly irrelevant. Among the foremost works of its kind, well timed for current generations with minimal understanding of The War. Hastings at his superb best. ~ Reviewed by Bill Lewis


George, Nicholas and Wilhelm

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George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781400079124
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - March 8th, 2011

Vivid, entertaining, compelling chronicle of the decline and fall (thank goodness) of authoritarian European monarchy at the start of the 20th century. Should encourage further reading about a fascinating period. ~ Reviewed by Bill Lewis


Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson - Bill Lewis

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Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781400067589
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House - February 2nd, 2010

From 1776 to 1940 the "special relationship" with the "cousins" rarely prevailed. But during the Battle of Britain unique bonds were created that still endure. An extraordinary and inspiring story about decent Americans doing decent things...and making a real difference. Memorable. Highest recommendation. ~ Reviewed by Bill Lewis


D-Day: The Battle for Normandy by Antony Beevor - Book Review

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$32.95
ISBN: 9780670021192
Availability: Special Order
Published: Viking Adult - October 13th, 2009

Thought we didn't need another history of the Normandy Invasion? Me too...until reading this. Should not have been surprised knowing the high quality of Beevor's earlier work (Stalingrad is awesome.) Great scholar, great writer and great story. ~ Reviewed by Bill Lewis


The Father of All Things

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The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam (Vintage Departures) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781400075430
Availability: Special Order
Published: Vintage - March 11th, 2008

The Father of All Things is his fourth book and the latest brilliant offering from one of America's great young writers.

Whereas Bissell's first book, Chasing the Sea, alternated between his (sometimes humorous, sometimes painful) return to Uzbekistan after a failed stint in the Peace Corps and a deft history of Central Asia focusing on the ability of its peoples to repel or outlast any and all outside powers' tries at conquest,The Father of All Things plumbs the depths of one family's experience in the Vietnam War, and the reverberation that war has had on the children of veterans on both sides.

To his credit, Bissell shares more of himself in the memoir sections of this book than he does in Chasing the Sea, but that's the point. His relationship with his father is one of soft reconciliation after years of -- if not literal, then certainly emotional -- separation. There are courageous and heart-baring passages that would've been clumsy in the hands of a less-talented writer, and you can see the warmth that Marine Captain John Bissell has for his son, even when teasing him about being a Communist as they travel to Vietnam together, almost 40 years after John's last visit when he was one of the first combat troops on the ground.

Bissell has reported from both Afghanistan and Iraq, and there's a particularly harrowing passage in the book where, trapped in Mazar-i-Sharif in the early days of the 2002 American invasion, he uses a fellow journalist's satellite phone to call his father. He gets cut off in the middle of the conversation and his father, believing his youngest son has been kidnapped by the Taliban, is suddenly thrown back into his own war.Bissell well understands the sacrifices a military man makes, as he lived with them in the form of his father. Yes, this book is about war, and specifically about the Vietnam War and its shadow (there are passing yet spot-on references to Iraq), but to read it so narrowly misses the point: This is a book about a son trying to understand his father because he loves him.


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